Nuremberg Trial – The Fifth Day
Monday, 26th November, 1945
DR. SAUTER: May it please the Court, I should like to make an application. I am Dr. Sauter and defend the defendant von Ribbentrop. On the 30th October the defendant von Ribbentrop requested that his former secretary, Margarete Blank, at that time in the Remand Prison in Nuremberg, be made available to him in order that he might make his reply to the Indictment, as well as a survey of the manner in which he performed his official duties in the last seven or eight years. He wished to dictate the facts.
On the 11th November, 1945, the Tribunal allowed this plea. The defendant von Ribbentrop thereupon was able to dictate for a few hours, but this was stopped for reasons unknown to him. The defendant von Ribbentrop has not yet had returned to him either the shorthand notes or the type script dictated to Fraulein Blank. He therefore makes application to the Court that the President be good enough to decree that his former secretary, Margarete Blank, be made available to him for the transcription of the requisite data. Such permission would appear to be essential for the proper preparation of his testimony and for the preparation of the testimony of the defence witnesses.
Particularly in the case of the defendant von Ribbentrop, the material to be treated is so voluminous, that no other way of treating it appears feasible to us. Von Ribbentrop has a further request to put forward. He has repeatedly asked that some of his former colleagues, in particular Ambassador Gauss, Ambassador von Rintelen, Minister von Sonnleitner, Professor Fritz Berber and Under-Secretary of State Henke, be brought to Nuremberg as witnesses, and that he be permitted to speak to these witnesses in the presence of his counsel. This request has, in part, been refused by the Court on the 10th November. The remaining part has not yet been decided.
It is quite impossible for the defendant von Ribbentrop, considering the question of the entire foreign policy for the last seven or eight years, to give a clear and exhaustive account, if nothing is placed at his disposal except a pencil and a block of writing paper. The White Book of the Foreign Office for which he has asked could not be placed at his disposal. In view of the voluminous nature of the material entailed by Germany’s foreign policy during the last seven or eight years, the defendant von Ribbentrop cannot possibly remember every single detail of events, documents et alia, unless he be afforded some outside help. He will be unable to remember particulars unless his memory be stimulated by discussions with his former colleagues.
Moreover, the defendant von Ribbentrop has been taking a great many soporifics during the last four years, especially bromides, and his memory has suffered in consequence. For a comprehensive realisation of the historical truth in a field which interests not only the Court, but universal public opinion in particular, little would be achieved if, in the course of his examination, he were to declare, over and over again, that he could no longer remember these details.
Defendant von Ribbentrop therefore applies to the Court and begs that his above-mentioned colleagues be brought here, and that he receive permission to discuss with them matters pertaining to the trial, in order that he may prepare for further proceedings.
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal has already intimated to defendant’s counsel that all applications should, as far as possible, be made in writing and they consider that the applications which have now been made orally should have been made in writing. They will consider the facts with reference to the application in respect of defendant von Ribbentrop’s secretary. The other applications, as to witnesses and documents, which have been made in writing, have been considered, or will be considered by the Tribunal.
DR. SAUTER: Mr. President, I would, in addition, like to observe that the applications which I have today submitted have been repeatedly lodged with the Court in writing, but my client is anxious lest he experience difficulties in preparing his own testimony and the examination of the defence witnesses.
THE PRESIDENT: As was announced at the sitting on Friday, counsel for the prosecution were to try and arrange with defendants’ counsel some satisfactory arrangement with reference to the production of documents in the German language. In accordance with that announcement, counsel for the prosecution saw counsel for the defence, and representatives of the prosecution and the defence appeared before the Tribunal, and the Tribunal has provisionally made the following arrangement: One, that in future, only such parts of documents as are read in Court by the prosecution, shall in the first instance be part of the record. In that way, those parts of the documents will be conveyed to defendants’ counsel through the earphones in German. Two, in order that defendants and their counsel may have an opportunity of inspecting such documents in their entirety in German, a photostatic copy of the original and one copy thereof shall be deposited in the defendants’ counsel room at the same time that they are produced in Court. Three, the defendants’ counsel may at any time refer to any other part of such documents. Four, prosecuting counsel will furnish defendants’ counsel with ten copies of their trial briefs in English and five copies of their books of documents in English, at the time such briefs and books are furnished to the Tribunal. Five, defendants’ counsel will be furnished with one copy each of the transcript of the proceedings. That is all.
I call upon the prosecuting counsel for the United States.
MR. ALDERMAN: May it please the Tribunal, may I make, Mr. President, one inquiry with regard to your reference to trial briefs.
On my section of the case I shall not expect to hand up to the Court trial briefs. Whatever I have in the nature of trial briefs will be put over the microphone. I wonder if that is satisfactory.
THE PRESIDENT: I think what I said meets that case.
MR. ALDERMAN: I thought so, yes.
THE PRESIDENT: Because what I said was that the defendants’ counsel would be furnished with ten copies of the trial briefs in English at the same time that they are furnished to the Tribunal. Therefore, if you don’t furnish the trial briefs to the Tribunal, none will be furnished to the defendants’ counsel.
MR. ALDERMAN: Yes.
When the Tribunal rose on Friday last, I had just completed an introductory statement preliminary to the presentation of evidence on the aggressive war aspect of the case. In that introductory statement I had invited attention to the parts of the Charter and to the parts of the Indictment which are pertinent to this aspect of the case. I had also discussed the relationship between recorded history and the evidence to be presented, indicating what sort of additions to recorded history would be made by the evidence contained in the captured documents.
I then indicated to the Court that I would first proceed by presenting singly a handful of captured documents, which, in our opinion, prove the corpus of the crime of Aggressive War, leaving no reasonable doubt concerning the aggressive character of the Nazi war, or concerning the conspiratory premeditation of that war. I indicated to the Tribunal that, after proving the corpus of the crime in this way, I would follow the presentation of this evidence with a more or less chronological presentation of the case on Aggressive War, producing evidence in greater detail of the relevant activities of the conspirators from 1933 to 1941.
As the members of the Tribunal may understand, it is easier to make plans about presentation than to keep them. There have been, by necessity, some changes in our plans. I indicated on Friday that to a certain extent the American case under Count 1 and the British case under Count 2 would interlock. The British Chief Prosecutor, Sir Hartley Shawcross, is by force of circumstances required to be in London this week. He expects to be back next week. The intention now is that he will make his opening statement covering Count 2 of the Indictment, and such interrelated parts of Count 1 of the Indictment as have not by then been presented, when he returns on Monday.
So that what is at the moment planned, if it meets with the Court’s views, is that I shall continue as far as I may within two days of this week on the detailed story as to Aggressive War; that thereupon we shall alter the presentation and present some other matters coming under Count 1. Then, following the British Chief Prosecutor’s opening on Monday of next week, we shall continue jointly with the Chapters on Poland, Russia, and Japan, as parts of both Count 1 and Count 2. While that may not be strictly logical it seems to us the best method to proceed with under the circumstances.
I turn now to the period of 1933 to 1936, a period characterised by an orderly, planned sequence of preparations for war. This is the period covered by Paragraphs 1 and 2 of IV (F) of the Indictment. This may be found at Page 7 of the printed English text of the Indictment.
The essential character of this period was the formulation and execution of the plan to rearm and to re-occupy and fortify the Rhineland in violation of the Treaty of Versailles and other treaties, in order to acquire military strength and political bargaining power to be used against other nations.
Hitler’s own eloquence in a secret speech delivered to all supreme commanders on 23rd November, 1939, at 12.00 hours, is sufficient to characterise this phase of the Nazi conspiracy. This document comes to hand as a captured document found in the OKW files – OKW is Ober Kommando der Wehrmacht, the High Command of the Army, Chief of the High Command of the Armed Forces – and was captured at Flensburg. The document is numbered 789-PS in our numbered series of documents.
I have in my hand, if the Court please, the German original of this document in the condition in which it was captured, and I wish to offer the document in evidence and have it given the proper serial number as the United States Prosecutor’s exhibit. The serial number, I understand, is exhibit USA 23. I would ask that the German text of the original be handed to the interpreters, the German interpreters.
If the Court please, understanding the ruling just made by the presiding Justice, although I have offered the entire document, it is a very long speech, and I shall not read it into the record in its entirety. Of course, as the Presiding Judge said, defence counsel may insert any other parts of it as they wish.
I shall begin reading at the beginning, and read a little more than half of the first page in the English text. I am advised that the German original is marked with a blue pencil at the point where I shall stop reading. I will read the English translation:
“November 23rd, 1939, 12.00 hours. Conference with the Fuehrer, to which all supreme Commanders are ordered. The Fuehrer gives the following speech:
The purpose of this conference is to give you an idea of the world of my thoughts, which takes charge of me, in the face of future events, and to tell you my decisions. The building up of our armed forces was only possible in connection with the ideological – the German word is ” weltanschaulich” – “education of the German people by the Party.”
If I may interpolate just to comment on that interesting German word “weltanschaulich.” I take it that ideological is about as close a translation as we can get, but the word means more than that. It means a whole attitude towards the world, the way of looking on the world.
“When I started my political task” – I am quoting again – “in 1919, my strong belief in final success was based on a thorough observation of the events of the day and the study of the reasons for their occurrence. Therefore, I never lost my belief in the midst of setbacks which were not spared me during my period of struggle. Providence has had the last word and brought me success. On top of that, I had a clear recognition of the probable course of historical events, and the firm will to make brutal decisions. The first decision was in 1919 when I, after long internal conflict, became a politician and took up the struggle against my enemies. That was the hardest of all decisions. I had, however, the firm belief that I would arrive at my goal. First of all, I desired a new system of selection. I wanted to educate a minority which would take over the leadership. After 15 years I arrived at my goal, after strenuous struggles and many setbacks. When I came to power in 1933, the period of the most difficult struggle lay behind me. Everything existing before that had collapsed. I had to reorganise everything, beginning with the mass of the people, and extending it to the armed forces. First, reorganisation of the interior, abolishment of appearances of decay and defeatist ideas, education to heroism. While reorganising the interior, I undertook the second task: to release Germany from its international ties. Two particular characteristics are to be pointed out: secession from the League of Nations and denunciation of the Disarmament Conference. It was a hard decision. The number of prophets who predicted that it would lead to the occupation of the Rhineland, was large, the number of believers was very small. I was supported by the nation, which stood firmly behind me, when I carried out my intentions. After that the order for rearmament. Here again there were numerous prophets who predicted misfortunes, and only a few believers. In 1935 the introduction of compulsory armed service. After that the militarisation of the Rhineland, again a process believed to be impossible at that time. The number of people who put trust in me was very small. Then – beginning of the fortification of the whole country, especially in the West.
One year later, Austria came” – I suppose he meant Austria went – “this step also was considered doubtful. It brought about a considerable reinforcement of the Reich. The next step was Bohemia, Moravia and Poland. This step also was not possible to accomplish in one campaign. First of all, the Western fortification had to be finished. It was not possible to reach the goal in one effort. It was clear to me from the first moment that I could not be satisfied with the Sudeten-German territory. That was only 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, but I wasn’t quite clear at that time whether I should start first against the East and then in the West, or vice versa.”
There are some curious antitheses of thought in that speech, as in most of Adolf Hitler’s speeches. In one sentence he combines guidance by Providence with the making of brutal decisions. He constantly speaks of how very few people were with him, and yet of how the mass of the German people were with him. But he does give a brief summary of the gist of what is contained in the allegations of our Indictment, to which I have invited your attention: the organisation of the mass of the people, then extending to the armed forces, and the various brutal decisions that he did make, about which history knows.
That long document contains other material of great interest. It may be that we shall advert to other portions of it later. At this point, however, I have simply asked the Court to focus attention on the matter I have just read and its hearing on the development of the conspiracy during the period 1933 to 1936.
Another captured document is sufficient to demonstrate the preparations for war in which the Nazi conspirators were engaged during this period. I refer to a top secret letter dated 24th June, 1935, from General von Brauchitsch to the Supreme Commanders of the Army, Navy and Air Forces. Attached to that letter is a copy of a secret Reich Defence law of 21st May, 1935, and a copy of a decision of the Reich Cabinet of 21st May, 1935, on the Council for the defence of the Reich.
These documents were captured in the OKW files at Fechenheim. This group of documents is numbered 2261-PS in our numbered series of documents. It seems to us one of the most significant evidences of secret and direct preparations for aggressive war.
I gave expression to a typographical error. That was General von Blomberg instead of Brauchitsch.
I have the original of these documents. I ask that they be admitted into evidence as exhibit USA 24.
The top page of that document I shall read in full, which is the letter signed “von Blomberg, Berlin, 24th June, 1935, ‘Top Secret’ ” headed “The Reich Minister of War and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, No. 1820/35 Top Secret L IIa.”
To: The Supreme Commander of the Army
The Supreme Commander of the Navy
The Supreme Commander of the Air Forces
In the appendix I transmit one copy each of the law for the defence of the Reich of the 21st May, 1935, and of a decision of the Reich Cabinet of 21st May, 1935, concerning the Reich Defence Council. The publication of the Reich’s Defence Law is temporarily suspended by order of the Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor.
The Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor has nominated the President of the Directorate of the Reichsbank, Dr. Schacht, to be Plenipotentiary-General for war economy.
I request that the copies of the Reich’s Defence Law needed within the units of the Armed Forces, be ordered before 1st July, 1935, at Armed Forces Office (L) where it is to be established with the request that the law should only be distributed down to Corps Headquarters outside of the Reich Ministry of War.
I point out the necessity of strictest secrecy once more.”
Signed by “von Blomberg.” Underneath that is an endorsement “Berlin. 3rd September, 1935; No. 1820/35 L Top Secret II a. To Defence-Economic Group C-3, copy transmitted (signed) Jodl.”
There is attached thereto, if the Tribunal please, the statute referred to as the Reich Defence Law of 21st May, 1935, or rather it was enacted by the Reich Cabinet, and it starts with the statement:
“The Reich Cabinet has enacted the following law that is hereby made public.”
There follows a law in detail covering preparations for state of defence, mobilisation, appointment of this plenipotentiary-general for war economy, with plenipotentiary authority for the economic preparation of the war, and a Part III providing for setting of penalties.
The law is signed “The Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor, Adolf Hitler; the Reich Minister of War, von Blomberg; the Reich Minister of the Interior, Frick,” one of the defendants. And at the bottom of it there is this note. That is on Sheet 4 of the original German, I think:
“Note on the law for the Defence of the Reich of 21st May, 1935.
The publication of the Law for the Defence of the Reich on 21st May, 1935, will be suspended. The law became effective 21st May, 1935.
The Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor, Adolf Hitler.”
So that although the publication itself stated the law was made public, the publication was suspended by Adolf Hitler; although the law became effective immediately.
There is further attached a copy of the decision of the Reich Cabinet Of 21st May, 1935, on the Council for the Defence of the Realm which deals largely with organisation for economic preparation for the war and which I think was disclosed by my colleague, Mr. Dodd, last week.
There can be no question that this law Of 21st May, 1935, was the corner-stone of war preparations of the Nazi conspirators. The relationship of the defendant Schacht to this preparation is made transparently clear by this captured document.
So much, for the time being, on the preparatory phase of the conspiracy, 1933 to 1936.
As indicated earlier, the next phase of aggression was the formulation and execution of plans to attack Austria and Czechoslovakia, in that order. This is the phase of the aggression covered by paragraphs 3(a), (b), and (c) of Section IV (F) of the Indictment appearing at pages seven to eight of the printed English Text.
One of the most striking and revealing of all the captured documents which have come to hand is a document which we have come to know as the Hoszbach notes of a conference in the Reich Chancellery On 5th November, 1937, from 16.15 to 20-30 hours, in the course of which Hitler outlined to those present the possibilities and necessities of expanding their foreign policy, and requested – I quote, – “That his statements be looked upon in the case of his death as his last will and testament.” And so with this document we shall present to the Tribunal and to the public the last will and testament of Adolf Hitler as he contemplated that last will and testament on 5th November, 1937. The document comes to hand through the United States Department of State of the United States. It is numbered document 386-PS in our series of numbered documents. I offer it in evidence as exhibit USA 25.
Before reading it, I note at the start that the recorder of the minutes of this meeting, then Colonel Hoszbach, was the Fuehrer’s adjutant. I note also the presence in this conspiratorial meeting of the defendant Erich Raeder. The defendant Constantin von Neurath was present. The defendant Hermann Wilhelm Goering was present. The minutes of this meeting reveal a crystallisation towards the end of 1937 in the policy of the Nazi regime. Austria and Czechoslovakia were to be acquired by force. They would provide Lebensraum (living space) and improve Germany’s military position for further operations. While it is true that actual events unfolded themselves in a somewhat different manner than that outlined at this meeting, in essence the purposes stated at the meeting were carried out. The document destroys any possible doubt concerning the Nazis’ premeditation of their crimes against peace. This document is of such tremendous importance that I feel obliged to read it in full into the record.
“Berlin, 10th November, 1937. Notes on the conference in the Reichrkanzlei on 5th November, 1937, from 16.15 to 20.30 hours.
Present: The Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor;
The Reich Minister for War, Generalfeldmarschall v. Blomberg;
The C.-in-C. Army, Generaloberst Freiherr von Fritsch;
The C.-in-C. Navy, Generaladmiral Dr. H. C. Raeder;
The C.-in-C. Luftwaffe, Generaloberst Goering;
The Reich Minister for Foreign Affairs Freiherr v. Neurath;
Oberst Hoszbach (the adjutant who took the minutes).”
The Fuehrer stated initially that the subject matter of today’s conference was of such high importance that its detailed discussion would certainly in other States take place before the Cabinet in full session. However, he, the Fuehrer, had decided not to discuss this matter in the larger circle of the Reich Cabinet, because of its importance. His subsequent statements were the result of detailed deliberations and of the experiences of his four and a half years in government; he desired to explain to those present his fundamental ideas on the possibilities and necessities of expanding their foreign policy, and in the interests of a far-sighted policy he requested that his statements be looked upon, in the case of his death, as his last will and testament.
The Fuehrer then went on: “The aim of German policy is the security and the preservation of the nation and its propagation. This is consequently a problem of space. The German nation comprises eighty-five million people, which, because of the number of individuals and the compactness of habitation, form a homogeneous European racial body, the like of which cannot be found in any other country. On the other hand it justifies the demand for larger living space more than for any other nation. If there have been no political measures to meet the demands of this racial body for living space, then that is the result of historical development spread over several centuries, and should this political condition continue to exist, it will represent the greatest danger to the preservation of the German nation (the German word used there is not “nation”; it is ” Volkstum “) at its present high level. An arrest of the deterioration of the German element in Austria and in Czechoslovakia is just as little possible as the preservation of the present state in Germany itself.”
I interpolate that I can but think that this is not a good translation of the German because to me the sentence seems meaningless.
“Instead of growth, sterility will be introduced, and as a consequence tensions of a social nature will appear after a number of years, because political and philosophical ideas are of a permanent nature only as long as they are able to produce the basis for the realisation of the actual claim of the existence of a nation. The German future is therefore dependent exclusively on the solution of the need for living space. Such a solution can be sought naturally only for a limited period, about one to three generations.
Before touching upon the question of solving the need for living space, it must be decided whether a solution of the German position with a good future can be attained, either by way of an autarchy or by way of an increased share in universal commerce and industry.
Autarchy: Execution will be possible only with strict National-Socialist State policy, which is the basis; (that is the basis of autarchy) assuming this can be achieved, the results are as follows:
A. In the sphere of raw materials, only limited, but not total autarchy can be attained:
1. Wherever coal can be used for the extraction of raw materials autarchy is feasible.
2. In the case of ores the position is much more difficult. Requirements in iron and light metals can be covered by ourselves. Copper and tin, however, cannot.
3. Cellular materials can be covered by ourselves as long as sufficient wood supplies exist. A permanent solution is not possible.
4. Edible fats – possible.
B. In the case of foods, the question of an autarchy must be answered with a definite capital NO. The general increase of living standards, compared with thirty to forty years ago, brought about a simultaneous increase of the demand and an increase of personal consumption among the producers, the farmers themselves. The proceeds from the production increases in agriculture have been used for covering the increased demand, therefore they represent no absolute increase in production. A further increase in production by making greater demands on the soil is not possible, because it already shows signs of deterioration due to the use of artificial fertilisers, and it is therefore certain that, even with the greatest possible increase in production, participation in the world market could not be avoided.”
I interpolate, that if I understand him he means by that “no autarchy; we must participate in world trade and commerce.”
The considerable expenditure Of foreign currency to secure food by import, even in periods when harvests are good, increases catastrophically when the harvest is really poor. The possibility of this catastrophe increases correspondingly to the increase in population, and the annual 560,000 excess in births would bring about an increased consumption in bread, because the child is a greater bread eater than the adult.
Permanently to counter the difficulties of food supplies by lowering the standard of living and by rationalisation is impossible in a continent which has developed an approximately equivalent standard of living. As the solving of the unemployment problem has brought into effect the complete power of consumption, some small corrections in our agricultural home production will be possible, but not a wholesale alteration of the standard of food consumption. Consequently autarchy becomes impossible, specifically in the sphere of food supplies, as well as generally.
Participation in world economy. There are limits to this which we are unable to transgress. The market fluctuation would be an obstacle to a secure foundation of the German position; international commercial agreements do not offer any guarantee for practical execution. It must be considered on principle that since the World War (1914-18), an industrialisation has taken place in countries which formerly exported food. We live in a period of economic empires, in which the tendency to colonies again, approaches the condition which originally motivated colonisation; in Japan and Italy economic motives are the basis of their will to expand, and economic need will also drive Germany to it. Countries outside the great economic empires have special difficulties in expanding economically.
The upward tendency, which has been caused in world economy, due to armament competition, can never form a permanent basis for an economic settlement, and this latter is also hampered by the economic disruption caused by Bolshevism. There is a pronounced military weakness in those States which base their existence on export. As our exports and imports are carried out over those sea lanes which are dominated by Britain, it is rather a question of security of transport than one of foreign currency and this explains the great weakness of our food situation in wartime. The only way out, and one which may appear imaginary, is the securing of greater living space, an endeavour which at all times has been the cause of the formation of States and of movements of nations. It is explicable that this tendency finds no interest in Geneva and in satisfied States. Should the security of our food situation be our foremost thought, then the space required for this can only be sought in Europe, but we will not copy liberal capitalist policies which rely on exploiting colonies. It is not a case of conquering people, but of conquering agriculturally useful space. It would also be more to the purpose to seek raw material- producing territory in Europe directly adjoining the Reich and not overseas, and this solution would have to be brought into effect for one or two generations. What would be required at a later date over and above this must be left to subsequent generations. The development of great world-wide national bodies is naturally a slow process and the German people, with its strong racial root” – I interpolate, there is a German word “Volkstamm”, racial root – “has for this purpose the most favourable foundations in the heart of the European Continent. The history of all times – Roman Empire, British Empire – has proved that every space expansion can only be effected by breaking resistance and taking risks. Even setbacks are unavoidable; neither formerly nor today has space been found without an owner; the attacker always comes up against the proprietor.”
(A recess was taken.)
MR. ALDERMAN: May it please the Tribunal, after the somewhat jumbled discussion, which I have just read, of geopolitical economic theory and of the need for expansion and “Lebensraum,” Adolf Hitler, in these Hoszbach notes, posed the question:
“The question for Germany is where the greatest possible conquest could be made at lowest cost.
German politics must reckon with its two hateful enemies, England and France, to whom a strong German colossus in the centre of Europe would be intolerable. Both these States would oppose a further reinforcement of Germany, both in Europe and overseas, and in this opposition they would have the support of all parties.
Both countries would view the building of German military strong points overseas as a threat to their overseas communications, as a security measure for German commerce, and retrospectively a strengthening of the German position in Europe.
England is not in a position to cede any of her colonial possessions to us owing to the resistance which she experiences in the Dominions. After the loss of prestige which England has suffered owing to the transfer of Abyssinia to Italian ownership, a return of East Africa can no longer be expected. Any resistance on England’s part would at best consist in the readiness to satisfy our colonial claims by taking away colonies which at the present moment are not in British hands, for example, Angola. French favours would probably be of the same nature.
A serious discussion regarding the return of colonies to us could be considered only at a time when England is in a state of emergency and the German Reich is strong and well armed. The Fuehrer does not share the opinion that the Empire is unshakeable.”
Meaning, I take it, the British Empire.
“Resistance against the Empire is to be found less in conquered territories than amongst its competitors. The British Empire and the Roman Empire cannot be compared with one another in regard to durability; after the Punic Wars the latter did not have a serious political enemy. Only the dissolving effects which originated in Christendom, and the signs of age which, creep into all States, made it possible for the ancient Germans to subjugate ancient Rome.
Alongside the British Empire today a number of States exist which are stronger than it. The British mother country is able to defend its colonial possession only when allied with other States and not by its own power. Now could England alone, for example, defend Canada against attack by America, or its Far Eastern interests against an attack by Japan?
The singling out of the British Crown as the bearer of Empire unity is in itself an admission that the Universal Empire cannot be maintained permanently by power politics. The following are significant pointers in this respect:
(a) Ireland’s struggle for independence.
(b) Constitutional disputes in India where England, by her half measures, left the door open for Indians, at a later date, to utilise the non- fulfilment of constitutional promises as a weapon against Britain.
(c) The weakening of the British position in the Far East by Japan.
(d) The opposition in the Mediterranean by Italy which – by virtue of its history, driven by necessity and led by a genius – expands its power position and must consequently infringe British interests to an increasing extent. The outcome of the Abyssinian War is a loss of prestige for Britain which Italy is endeavouring to increase by stirring up discontent in the Mohammedan World.
It must be established in conclusion that the Empire cannot he held permanently by power politics by 45 million Britons, in spite of all the solidity of their ideals. The proportion of the populations in the Empire, compared with that of the motherland, is nine to one, and it should act as a warning to us that if we expand in space, we must not allow the level of our population to become too low.”
I take it he meant by that: “Keep the population of occupied territories low in comparison with ours.”
“France’s position is more favourable than that of England. The French Empire is better placed geographically; the population of its colonial possessions represents a potential military increase. But France is faced with difficulties of internal politics. At the present time only 10 per cent approximately of the nations have parliamentary governments, whereas 90 per cent of them have totalitarian governments. Nevertheless, we have to take the following into our political consideration as power factors:
Britain, France, Russia, and the adjoining smaller States.
The German question can be solved only by way of force, and this is never without risk. The battles of Frederick the Great for Silesia, and Bismarck’s wars against Austria and France had been a tremendous risk and the speed of Prussian action in 1870 had prevented Austria from participating in the war. If we place the decision to apply force with risk at the head of the following expositions, then we are left to reply to the questions ‘when’ and ‘how’. In this regard we have to decide upon three different cases.”
I interpolate: The Tribunal will recall the specific allegation in the Indictment that at this meeting there emerged three different plans, any of which might be utilised.
“Case 1. Period 1943-45: After this we can only expect a change for the worse. The rearming of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force, as well as the formation of the Officers’ Corps, are practically concluded.”
I remind the Tribunal that this meeting was on 5th November, 1937, but he is contemplating the period 1943-45.
“Our material equipment and armaments are modern; with further delay the danger of their becoming out-of-date will increase. In particular the secrecy of ‘special weapons’ cannot always be safeguarded. Enlistment of reserves would be limited to the current recruiting age groups and an addition from older untrained groups would be no longer available.
In comparison with the rearmament, which will have been carried out at that time by other nations, we shall decrease in relative power. Should we not act until 1943-45, then, dependent on the absence of reserves, any year could bring about the food crisis, for the countering of which we do not possess the necessary foreign currency. This must be considered as a ‘point of weakness in the regime.’
Over and above that, the world will anticipate our action and will increase counter-measures yearly. Whilst other nations isolate themselves we should be forced on the offensive.
What the actual position would be in the years 1943-45, no one knows today. It is certain, however, that we can wait no longer.
On the one side the large armed forces, with the necessity for securing their upkeep, the ageing of the Nazi movement and of its leaders, and on the other side the prospect of a lowering of the standard of living and a drop in the birth rate, leaves us no other choice but to act. If the Fuehrer is still living, then it will be his irrevocable decision to solve the German space problem no later than 1943-45. The necessity for action before 1943-45 will come under consideration in Cases 2 and 3.
Case 2. Should the social tensions in France lead to an internal political crisis of such dimensions that it absorbs the French Army and thus renders it incapable for employment in war against Germany, then the time for action against Czechoslovakia has come.
Case 3. It would be equally possible to act against Czechoslovakia if France should be so tied up by a war against another State that it cannot “proceed” against Germany.
For the improvement of our military political position it must be our first arm, in every case of entanglement by war, to conquer Czechoslovakia and Austria simultaneously, in order to remove any threat from the flanks in case of a possible advance westwards. In the case of a conflict with France it would hardly be necessary to assume that Czechoslovakia would declare war on the same day as France. However, Czechoslovakia’s desire to participate in the war will increase proportionally to the degree to which we are being weakened. Its actual participation could make itself felt by an attack on Silesia, either towards the North or the West.
Once Czechoslovakia is conquered – and a mutual frontier, Germany-Hungary, is obtained-then a neutral attitude by Poland in a German-French conflict could more easily be relied upon. Our agreements with Poland remain valid only as long as Germany’s strength remains unshakeable; should Germany have any setbacks then an attack by Poland against East Prussia, perhaps also against Pomerania, and Silesia, must be taken into account.
Assuming a development of the situation, which would lead to a planned attack on our part in the years 1943 to ’45, then the behaviour of France, England, Poland and Russia would probably have to be judged in the following manner:
The Fuehrer believes personally, that in all probability England and perhaps also France, have already silently written off Czechoslovakia, and that they have got used to the idea that this question would one day be cleaned up by Germany. The difficulties in the British Empire and the prospects of being entangled in another long-drawn-out European war, would be decisive factors in the non-participation of England in a war against Germany. The British attitude would certainly not remain without influence on France’s attitude. An attack by France, without British support, is hardly probable, assuming that its offensive would stagnate along our Western fortifications. Without England’s support it would also not be necessary to take into consideration a march by France through Belgium and Holland, and this would also not have to be reckoned with by us in case of a conflict with France, as in every case it would have, as a consequence, the enmity of Great Britain. Naturally, we should in every case have to bar our frontier during the operation of our attacks against Czechoslovakia and Austria. It must be taken into consideration here that Czechoslovakia’s defence measures will increase in strength from year to year, and that a consolidation of the inside values of the Austrian Army will also be effected in the course of years. Although the population of Czechoslovakia in the first place is not a thin one, the embodiment of Czechoslovakia and Austria would nevertheless constitute the conquest of food for five to six million people, on the basis that a compulsory emigration of two million from Czechoslovakia, and of one million from Austria could be carried out. The annexation of the two States to Germany, militarily and politically, would constitute a considerable relief, owing to shorter and better frontiers, the freeing of fighting personnel for other purposes, and the possibility of reconstituting new armies up to a strength of about twelve Divisions, representing a new Division per one million population.
No opposition to the removal of Czechoslovakia or Austria is expected on the part of Italy; however, it cannot be judged today what would be her attitude in the Austrian question, since it would depend largely on whether the Duce were alive at the time or not.
The measure and speed of our action would decide Poland’s attitude. Poland will have little inclination to enter the war against a victorious Germany, with Russia in the rear.
Military participation by Russia must be countered by the speed of our operations; it is a question whether this needs to be taken into consideration at all in view of Japan’s attitude.
Should Case 2 occur – paralysation of France by a Civil War – then the situation should be utilised at any time for operations against Czechoslovakia, as Germany’s most dangerous enemy would be eliminated.
The Fuehrer sees Case 3 looming nearer; it could develop from the existing tensions in the Mediterranean, and should it occur, he has firmly decided to make use of it any time, perhaps even as early as 1938.
Following recent experiences in the course of the events of the war in Spain, the Fuehrer does not see an early end to hostilities there. Taking into consideration the time required for past offensives by Franco – the English Text says France: it means Franco – a further three years’ duration of war is within the bounds of possibility. On the other hand, from the German point of view, a one hundred per cent victory by Franco is not desirable; we are more interested in a continuation of the war and preservation of the tensions in the Mediterranean. Should Franco be in sole possession of the Spanish Peninsula, it would mean the end of Italian intervention and of the presence of Italy in the Balearic Isles. As our interests are directed towards continuing the war in Spain, it must be the task of our future policy to strengthen Italy in her fight to hold on to the Balearic Isles. However, a solidification of Italian positions in the Balearic Isles cannot be tolerated either by France or by England and could lead to a war by France and England against Italy, in which case Spain, if entirely in his (that is Franco’s) hands, could participate on the side of Italy’s enemies. A subjugation of Italy in such a war appears very unlikely. Additional raw materials could be brought to Italy via Germany. The Fuehrer believes that Italy’s military strategy would be to remain on the defensive against France on the Western frontier and carry out operations against France from Libya, against the North African French colonial possessions.
As a landing of French and British troops on the Italian coast can be discounted, and as a French offensive via the Alps to Upper Italy would be extremely difficult, and would probably stagnate before the strong Italian fortifications, French lines of communication threatened by the Italian fleet will to a great extent be paralysed for the transport of fighting personnel from North Africa to France, so that at its frontiers with Italy and Germany, France will have, at its disposal, solely the metropolitan fighting forces.”
There again I think that must be a defective English translation. “French lines of communication by the Italian fleet.” must mean “Fresh lines.” or something in that connection.
“If Germany profits from this war by disposing of the Czechoslovakian and the Austrian questions, the probability must be assumed that England-being at war with Italy-would not decide to commence operations against Germany. Without British support, a warlike action by France against Germany is not to be anticipated.
The date of our attack on Czechoslovakia and Austria must be made independent of the course of the Italian- French-English war and would not be simultaneous with the commencement of military operations by these three States. The Fuehrer was also not thinking of military agreements with Italy, but in complete independence and by exploiting this unique favourable opportunity, he wishes to begin to carry out operations against Czechoslovakia. The attack on Czechoslovakia would have to take place with the ‘speed of lightning'”
– the German words being “blitzartig schnell.”
Fieldmarshal von Blomberg and Generaloberst von Fritsch, in giving their estimate on the situation, repeatedly pointed out that England and France must not appear as our enemies, and they stated that the war with Italy would not bind the French Army to such an extent that it would not be in a position to commence operations on our Western frontier with superior forces. Generaloberst von Fritsch estimated the French forces which would presumably be employed on the Alpine frontier against Italy to be in the region of twenty divisions, so that a strong French superiority would still remain on our Western frontier. The French would, according to German reasoning, attempt to advance into the Rhineland. We should consider the lead which France has got in mobilisation, and, quite apart from the very small value of our then existing fortifications – which was pointed out particularly by General Fieldmarshal von Blomberg – the four motorised divisions which had been laid down for the West would be more or less incapable of movement. With regard to our offensive in a South- easterly direction, Fieldmarshal von Blomberg drew special attention to the strength of the Czechoslovakian fortifications, the building of which had assumed the character of a Maginot Line and which would present extreme difficulties to our attack.
Generaloberst von Fritsch mentioned that it was the purpose of a study which he had laid on for this winter to investigate the possibilities of carrying out operations against Czechoslovakia, with special consideration of the conquest of the Czechoslovakian system of fortifications; the Generaloberst also stated that owing to the prevailing conditions, he would have to relinquish his leave abroad, which was to begin on the 10th of November. This intention was countermanded by the Fuehrer, who gave as a reason that the possibility of the conflict was not to be regarded as being so imminent. In reply to statements by General Fieldmarshal von Blomberg and Generaloberst von Fritsch regarding England and France’s attitude, the Fuehrer repeated his previous statements and said that he was convinced of Britain’s non-participation and that consequently he did not believe in military action by France against Germany. Should the Mediterranean conflict, already mentioned, lead to a general mobilisation in Europe, then we should have to commence operations against Czechoslovakia immediately. If, however, the powers who are not participating in the war should declare their disinterestedness, then Germany would, for the time being, have to side with this attitude.
In view of the information given by the Fuehrer, Generaloberst Goering considered it imperative to think of a reduction or abandonment of our military undertaking in Spain. The Fuehrer agreed to this, insofar as he believed this decision should be postponed for a suitable date.
The second part of the discussion concerned material armament questions.”
(Signed) “Hoszbach,” and there are other notations.
In this connection I invite the Court’s attention to the allegation in paragraph 3(a) of Section IV (F) of the Indictment, on page 7 of the printed English text, relating to a meeting of an influential group of Nazi conspirators on 5th November, 1937. The document just introduced and read in evidence gives the specific evidentiary support for trial allegation.
The record of what happened thereafter is well known to history. The Anschluss with Austria, under military pressure from the Nazis, occurred in March, 1938. We shall give you detailed evidence concerning that in due course. We shall also give evidence as to details of the aggression against Czechoslovakia including the pressure on Czechoslovakia that resulted in the Munich Pact of September, 1938, and the violation of that Pact itself by Germany, on 15th March, 1939. There is much of interest in the secret documents relating to those aggressions.
At this point, however, I desire to bring to the attention of the Tribunal one more captured document, which reveals in all its nakedness the truth concerning the deliberateness of the aggressions against Czechoslovakia. This document consists of a file, a file kept by Colonel Schmundt, Hitler’s adjutant. The file was found by one of the units of the 327th Glider Infantry, in a cellar of the Platterhof, Obersalzberg, near Berchtesgaden. The file represents a work- file of originals and duplicates, incidental to the preparations for the annexation of Czechoslovakia. I should like to ask the Tribunal to examine particularly the photostat of the original German of this file. We have copies of those photostats. Something in physical form is lost in transcribing a translation. The picture of the original file, including photographs of the telegrams, gives a sense of the reality of the evidence that is lost in the transcribed translation. The file is numbered document 388- PS, in our numbered series of documents. I have here the original file.
I thought perhaps I might read the German title. It is “Grundlagen zur Studie Gruen,” that is the main plan for “Case Green,” Green being a code word for the aggression against Czechoslovakia.
I offer the entire file in evidence as exhibit USA 26 and will ask that photostats be passed up to the Court. I offer the file, if the Tribunal please, with, of course, the understanding arid realisation that only such parts of it as I read will immediately go into evidence; but we shall refer to other parts from time to time later, in the presentation of the case. The material in this file will be dealt with in greater detail at a later point in my prosecution. However, at this point, I desire to call attention to Item No. 2 in the file.
Item No. 2 is dated 22nd April, 1938. It is the second sheet of the English translation. It is a summary, prepared by Schmundt, the adjutant, of a discussion on 21st April, 1938, between Hitler and the defendant Wilhelm Keitel.
This item, like the other items in the file, relates to “Case Green.” As I said, “Case Green” was a secret code word for the planned operation against Czechoslovakia. This meeting occurred within approximately one month following the successful annexation of Austria. In the carrying out of the conspiracy, it became necessary to revise the “Case Green,” to take into account the changed attitude, as a result of the bloodless success against Austria. I shall now read Item 2 of this file.
“Berlin, 22nd April, 1938.
Bases of the Dissertation on ‘Gruen.’
Summary of discussion between the Fuehrer and General
Keitel of 21st April: –
A. Political Aspect.
(1) Strategic surprise attack out of a clear sky without any cause or possibility of justification has been turned down. The result would be: hostile world opinion which can lead to a critical situation. Such a measure is justified only for the elimination of the last opponent on the mainland.
(2) Action after a time of diplomatic clashes, which gradually come to a crisis and lead to war.
(3) Lightning-swift action as the result of an incident (for example, assassination of German ambassador in connection with an anti-German demonstration).
B. Military Conclusions.
(1) The preparations are to be made for the political possibilities (2 and 3) Case 2 is the undesired one since ‘Gruen’ will have taken security measures.
(2) The loss of time caused by transporting the bulk of the divisions by rail – which is unavoidable, but should be cut down as far as possible – must not impede a lightning-swift blow at the time of the action.
(3) ‘Separate thrusts’ are to be carried out immediately with a view to penetrating the enemy fortification lines at numerous points and in a strategically favourable direction. The thrusts are to be worked out to the smallest detail (knowledge of roads, targets, composition of the columns according to their individual tasks.) Simultaneous attacks by the Army and Air Force.
The Air Force is to support the individual columns (for example dive-bombers sealing of installations at penetration points, hampering the bringing up of reserves, destroying signal communications traffic, thereby isolating the garrisons).
(4) Politically, the first four days of military action are the decisive ones. If there are no effective military successes, a European crisis will certainly arise. Accomplished facts must prove the senselessness of foreign military intervention, draw Allies into the scheme (division of spoils) and demoralise ‘Gruen.’
Therefore: bridging the time gap between first penetration and employment of the forces to be brought up, by a determined and ruthless thrust by a motorised army. (For example via Pilsen, Prague.)
(5) if possible, separation of transport movement ‘Rot’ from ‘Gruen.'”
‘Rot’ was the code name for their then plan against the West.
“A simultaneous strategic concentration ‘Rot’ can lead ‘Rot’ to undesired measures. On the other hand, it must be possible to put ‘Case Rot’ into operation, at any time.
(1) Leaflets on the conduct of Germans in Czechoslovakia (Gruenland).
(2) Leaflets with threats for intimidation of the Czechs (Gruenen).”
(Initialled by Schmundt.)”
In the reading of this document, the Tribunal doubtless noted particularly paragraph 3, under the heading “Political Aspect”, which reads as follows: “Lightning-swift action as the result of an incident (example: Assassination of German ambassador as an upshot of an anti-German demonstration).” The document as a whole, establishes that the conspirators were planning the creation of an incident to justify to the world their own aggression against Czechoslovakia. It established, I submit, that consideration was being given to assassinating the German ambassador at Prague to create the requisite incident. This is alleged in paragraph 3(c) of section IV (F) of the Indictment, appearing at page 8 of the printed English text of the Indictment.
As the Indictment was being read, at the opening of the case, when this particular allegation was reached, the defendant Goering shook his head slowly and solemnly in the negative. I can well understand that he would have shaken his head, if he believed the allegation of the Indictment to be untrue. In the course of Mr. Justice Jackson’s opening address, when this same matter was referred to, the defendant Goering again solemnly shook his head. On this allegation the prosecution stands on the evidence just submitted, the denials of the defendant Goering notwithstanding.
If the Court please, would this be a convenient time to recess ?
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn now until 2 o’clock.
(A recess was taken until 14.00 hours.)
THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Alderman.
MR. ALDERMAN: May it please the Tribunal, as I suggested earlier, the next phase of the aggression was the formulation and execution of the plan to attack Poland, and with it the resulting initiation of aggressive war in Poland in September 1939. This is covered by paragraphs 4 a) and (b) of Section IV (in) of the Indictment appearing on page 9 of the printed English text.
Here again the careful and meticulous record-keeping of the Adjutant Schmundt has provided us with a document in his own handwriting, which lets the cat out of the bag. That may be a troublesome colloquialism to translate. I don’t know. The document consists of minutes of a conference held on the 23rd May, 1939. The place of the conference was the Fuehrer’s study in the New Reich Chancellery. The defendant Goering was present
(The defendant Frick at this point made a statement in German, which was not translated.)
MR. ALDERMAN: I think one of the defendants indicated I had referred to the wrong year. My notes show the 23rd May, 1939. That is shown by the original document.
THE PRESIDENT: Which is the document you are referring to?
MR. ALDERMAN: That is document L-79. As I said, the defendant Goering was present. The defendant Raeder was present. The defendant Keitel was present. The subject of the meeting was, and I quote: “Indoctrination on the political situation and future aims.” This document is of historical importance, second not even to the political will and testament of the Fuehrer, recorded by Adjutant Hoszbach.
The original of this document when captured found its way through the complicated channels across the Atlantic to the United States. There it was found by members of the staff of the American prosecution, by them taken to London, and thence to Nuremberg. The “L” on the identifying number indicates that it is one of the documents which were assembled in London and brought here from there. We think the document is of unquestioned validity. Its authenticity and its accuracy as a record of what transpired at the meeting of 23rd May, 1939, stands admitted by the defendant Keitel in one of his interrogations. As I say, the number is document L-79 in our numbered series. I offer it in evidence as exhibit USA 27.
This document also is of such great importance historically and as bearing on the issues now presented to the Tribunal that I feel obliged to read most of it. At the top: Geheime Reichssache “Top Secret.”
“To be transmitted by officer only.
of a Conference on 23rd May, 1939.
Place: The Fuehrer’s Study, New Reich Chancellery.
Adjutant on duty: Lt.-Col. (G.S.) Schmundt.
Present: The Fuehrer, Field Marshal Goering, Grand Admiral Raeder, Col.-Gen. Von Brauchitsch, Col.-Gen. Keitel, Col.-Gen. Milch, Gen. (of artillery) Halder, Gen. Bodenschatz, Rear-Adml. Schniewindt, Col. (G.S.) Joschennek, Col. (G.S.) Warlimont, Lt.-Col. (G.S.) Schmundt, Capt. Engel (Army), Lieut.-Commd Albrecht, Capt. V. Below (Army).
Subject: Indoctrination on the political situation and future aims.
The Fuehrer defined as the purpose of the conference
(1) Analysis of the situation.
(2) Definition of the tasks for the Armed Forces arising from that situation.
(3) Exposition of the consequences of those tasks.
(4) Ensuring the secrecy of all decisions and work resulting from those consequences. Secrecy is the first essential for success.
The Fuehrer’s observations are given in systematised form below. Our present situation must be considered from two points of view
(1) The actual development of events between 1933 and 1939;
(2) The permanent and unchanging situation in which Germany lies.
In the period 1933-1939, progress was made in all fields. Our military situation improved enormously.
Our situation with regard to the rest of the world has remained the same.
Germany had dropped from the circle of Great Powers. The balance of power had been effected without the participation of Germany.
This equilibrium is disturbed when Germany’s demands for the necessities of life make themselves felt, and Germany re-emerges as a Great Power. All demands ire regarded as ‘Encroachments’. The English are more afraid of dangers in the economic sphere than of the simple threat of force.
A mass of 80 million people has solved the ideological problems. So, too, must the economic problems be solved. No German can evade the creation of the necessary economic conditions for this. The solution of the problems demands coverage. The principle, by which one evades solving the problem by adapting oneself to circumstances, is inadmissible. Circumstances must rather be adapted to aims. This is impossible without invasion of foreign states or attacks upon foreign property.
Living space, in proportion to the magnitude of the State, is the basis of all power. One may refuse for a time to face the problem, but finally it is solved one way or the other. The choice is between advancement or decline. In fifteen or twenty years’ time we shall be compelled to find a solution. No German statesman can evade the question longer than that.
We are at present in a state of patriotic fervour, which is by two other nations: Italy and Japan.
The period which lies behind us has indeed been put to good use. All measures have been taken in the correct sequence and in harmony with our aims.
After six years, the situation is today as follows:
The national-political unity of the Germans has been achieved apart from minor exceptions.”
I suppose they were those in the concentration camps. –
“Further successes cannot be obtained without the shedding of blood.
The demarcation of frontiers is of military importance.
The Pole is no ‘supplementary enemy.’ Poland will always be on the side of our adversaries. In spite of treaties of friendship, Poland has always had the secret intention of exploiting every opportunity to do us harm.
Danzig is not the subject of the dispute at all. It is a question of expanding our living space in the East and of securing our food supplies, of the settlement of the Baltic problem. Food supplies can be expected only from thinly populated areas. Over and above the natural fertility, thoroughgoing German exploitation will enormously increase the surplus.
There is no other possibility for Europe.
Colonies: Beware of gifts of colonial territory. This does not solve the food problem. Remember – blockade.
If fate brings us into conflict with the West, the possession of extensive areas in the East will be advantageous. We shall be able to rely upon record harvests even less in time of war than in peace.
The population of non-German areas will perform no military service, but will be available as a source of labour. The Polish problem is inseparable from conflict with the West.
Poland’s internal power of resistance to Bolshevism is doubtful. Thus Poland is of doubtful value as a barrier against Russia.
It is questionable whether military success in the West can be achieved by a quick decision; questionable too is the attitude of Poland.
The Polish government will not resist pressure from Russia. Poland sees danger in a German victory in the West, and will attempt to rob us of that victory.
There is therefore no question of sparing Poland, and we are left with the decision:
To attack Poland at the first suitable opportunity. ”
That, if the Court please, is underscored in the original German text.
“We cannot expect a repetition of the Czech affair. There will be war. Our task is to isolate Poland. The success of the isolation will be decisive.
Therefore, the Fuehrer must reserve the right to give the final order to attack.
There must be no simultaneous conflict with the Western Powers (France and England).
If it is not certain that a German-Polish conflict will not lead to war in the West, then the fight must be primarily against England and France.
Fundamentally therefore: Conflict with Poland – beginning with an attack on Poland – will only be successful if the Western Powers keep out of it. If this is impossible, then it will be better to attack in the West and to settle Poland at the same time.
The isolation of Poland is a matter of skilful politics. Japan is a weighty problem. Even if at first, for various reasons, her collaboration with us appears to be somewhat cool and restricted, it is nevertheless in Japan’s own interest to take the initiative in attacking Russia in good time.
Economic relations with Russia are possible only if political relations have improved. A cautious trend is apparent in Press comment. It is not impossible that Russia will show herself to be disinterested in the destruction of Poland Should Russia take steps to oppose us, our relations with Japan may become closer.
If there were an alliance of France, England and Russia against Germany, Italy and Japan, 1 would be constrained to attack England and France with a few annihilating blows. The Fuehrer doubts the possibility of a peaceful settlement with England. We must prepare ourselves for the conflict. England sees in our development the foundation of a hegemony which would weaken her. England is therefore our enemy, and the conflict with her will be a life-and-death struggle.
What, will this struggle be like? (Underscored in the German original.)
England cannot deal with Germany and subjugate her with a few powerful blows. It is imperative for England that the war should be brought as near to the Ruhr basin as possible. French blood will not be spared (West Wall). The possession of the Ruhr basin will determine the duration of our resistance.
The Dutch and Belgian air bases must be occupied by armed forces. Declarations of neutrality must be ignored. If England and France intend the war between Germany and Poland to lead to a conflict, they will support Holland and Belgium in their neutrality and make them build fortifications in order finally to force them into co-operation.
Albeit under protest, Belgium and Holland will yield to pressure.
Therefore, if England intends to intervene in the Polish war, we must occupy Holland with lightning speed. We must aim at securing a new defence line on Dutch soil up to the Zuider Zee.
The war with England and France will be a life-and-death struggle.
The idea that we can get off cheaply is dangerous; there is no such possibility. We must burn our boats, and it is no longer a question of justice or injustice, but of life or death for 80 million human beings.
Question: Short or long war?
Every country’s armed forces or government must aim at a short war. The government, however, must also be prepared for a war of 10-15 years’ duration.
History has always shown that people have believed that wars would be short. In 1914, the opinion still prevailed that it was impossible to finance a long war. Even today this idea still persists in many minds. But on the contrary, every state will hold out as long as possible, unless it immediately suffers some grave weakening (for example Ruhr basin). England has similar weaknesses.
England knows that to lose a war will mean the end of her world power.
“England is the driving force against Germany ” (which translated literally means: “England is the motor driving against Germany.”)
I suppose that is the French “force motrice.”
“Her strength lies in the following:-
(1) The British themselves are proud, courageous, tenacious, firm in resistance and gifted as organisers. They know how to exploit every new development. They have the love of adventure and bravery of the Nordic race. Quality is lowered by dispersal. The German average is higher.
(2) World power in itself. It has been constant for 300 years. Extended by the acquisition of allies, this power is not merely something concrete, but must also be considered as a psychological force embracing the entire world. Add to this immeasurable wealth, with consequential financial credit.
(3) Geopolitical safety and protection by strong sea power and a courageous air force.
If in the World War 1 we had had two battleships and two cruisers more, and if the battle of Jutland had been begun in the morning, the British Fleet would have been defeated and England brought to her knees. It would have meant the end of this war” – that war, I take it – ” It was formerly not sufficient to defeat the Fleet. Landings had to be made in order to defeat England. England could provide her own food supplies. Today that is no longer possible.
The moment England’s food supply routes are cut, she is forced to capitulate in one day. But if the Fleet is destroyed; immediate capitulation will be the result.
There is no doubt that a surprise attack can lead to a quick decision. It would be criminal, however, for the government to rely entirely on the element of surprise.
Experience has shown that surprise may be nullified by:
(1) Disclosure outside the limit of the military circles concerned.
(2) Mere chance, which may cause the collapse of the whole enterprise.
(3) Human failings.
(4) Weather conditions.
The final date for striking must be fixed well in advance. Beyond that time, the tension cannot be endured for long. It must be home in mind that weather conditions can render any surprise intervention by Navy and Air Force impossible.
This must be regarded as a most unfavourable basis of action.
(1) An effort must be made to deal the enemy a significant or the final decisive blow. Consideration of right and wrong or treaties do not enter into the matter. This will only be possible if we are not involved in a war with England on account of Poland.
(2) In addition to the surprise attack, preparations for a long war must be made while opportunities on the on the Continent for England are eliminated.
The army will have to hold positions essential to the Navy and Air Force. If Holland and Belgium are successfully occupied and held, and if France is also defeated, the fundamental conditions for a successful war against England will have been secured.
England can then be blockaded from Western France at close quarters by the Air Force, while the Navy with its submarines can extend the range of the blockade.
England will not be able to fight on the Continent.
Daily attacks by the Air Force and Navy will cut all her life-lines.
Time will not be on England’s side.
Germany will not bleed to death on land.
Such strategy has been shown to be necessary by World War I and subsequent military operations. World War I is responsible for the following strategic considerations which are imperative:-
(1)With a more powerful Navy at the outbreak of the War, or a wheeling movement by the Army towards the Channel ports, the end would have been different.
(2) A country cannot be brought to defeat by an air force. It is impossible to attack all objectives simultaneously, and the lapse of time of a few minutes would evoke defence countermeasures.
(3) The unrestricted use of all resources is essential.
(4) Once the Army, in co-operation with the Air Force and Navy, has taken the most important positions, industrial production will cease to flow into the bottomless pit of the Army’s battles, and can be diverted to benefit the Air Force and Navy.
The Army must, therefore, be capable of taking these positions. Systematic preparations must be made for the attack.
Study to this end is of the utmost importance. The aim will always be to force England to her knees.
A weapon will only be of decisive importance in winning battles, so long as the enemy does not possess it.
This applies to gas, submarines and Air Force. It would be true of the latter, for instance, as long as the English Fleet had no available countermeasures; it will no longer be the case in 1940 and 1941. Against Poland, for example, tanks will be effective, as the Polish Army possesses no counter-measures.
Where straightforward pressure is no longer considered to be decisive, its place must be taken by the elements of surprise and by masterly handling.”
The rest of the document, if the Tribunal please, deals more in detail with military plans and preparations. I think it unnecessary to read further.
The document just read is the evidence which specifically supports the allegations in Paragraph 4(a) of Section IV (F) of the indictment, appearing on page 9 of the printed English text, relating to the meeting of 23rd May, 1939. We think it leaves nothing unproved in those allegations.
THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Alderman, perhaps you ought to read the last page and the last five lines, because they refer in terms to one of the defendants.
MR. ALDERMAN: I didn’t read these, Mr. President, simply because I am convinced that they are mistranslated in the English translation. I will be glad to have them read in the original German.
THE PRESIDENT: Very well, if you are of that opinion.
MR. ALDERMAN: We could get it from the original German.
THE PRESIDENT: You mean that the English translation is wrong?
MR. ALDERMAN: Yes.
THE PRESIDENT: You had better inform us then if it is wrong.
MR. ALDERMAN: Did you have a reference to the last Paragraph headed “Working principles”?
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, the one after that.
MR. ALDERMAN: Yes. Might I ask that the German interpreter read that, as it can be translated into the other languages. It is on page 16 of the original.
BY THE INTERPRETER: Page 16.
(1) Study of the entire problem.
(2) Study of the events.
(3) Study of the means needed.
(4) Study of the necessary training.
Men with great powers of imagination and high technical training must belong to the staff, as well as officers with sober and sceptical powers of understanding.
(1) No one is to take part in this who does not have to know of it.
(2) No one can find out more than he must know.
(3) When must the person in question know it at the very latest? No one may know anything before it is necessary that he know it.
On Goering’s question, the Fuehrer decided that:-
(a) The armed forces determine what shall be built.
(b) In the shipbuilding programme, nothing is to be changed.
(c) The armament programmes are to be modelled on the years 1943 or 1944.”
Schmundt certified this text.
MR. ALDERMAN: Mr. President, the translation was closer than I had anticipated.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes.
MR. ALDERMAN: We think, as I have just said, that this document leaves nothing unproved in those allegations in the indictment. It demonstrates that the Nazi conspirators were proceeding in accordance with a plan. It demonstrates the cold-blooded premeditation of the assault on Poland. It demonstrates that the questions concerning Danzig, which the Nazis had agitated with Poland as a political pretext, were not true questions, but were false issues, issues agitated to conceal their motive of aggressive expansion for food and “Lebensraum.”
In this presentation of condemning documents, concerning the initiation of war in September 1939, I must bring to the attention of the Tribunal a group of documents concerning an address by Hitler to his chief military commanders, at Obersalzburg, on 22nd August, 1939, just one week prior to the launching of the attack on Poland.
We have three of these documents, related and constituting a single group. The first one, I do not intend to offer as evidence. The other two, I shall offer.
The reason for that decision is this: The first of the three documents came into our possession through the medium of an American newspaperman, and purported to be original minutes of this meeting at Obersalzberg, transmitted to this American newspaperman by some other person; and we had no proof of the actual delivery to the intermediary by the person who took the notes. That document, therefore, merely served to keep our prosecution on the alert, to see if it could find something better. Fortunately, we did get the other two documents, which indicate that Hitler on that day made two speeches, perhaps one in the morning, one in the afternoon, as indicated by the original minutes, which we captured. By comparison of those two documents with the first document, we conclude that the first document was a slightly garbled merger of the two speeches.
On 22nd August, 1939, Hitler had called together at Obersalzberg the three Supreme Commanders of the three branches of the Armed Forces, as well as the commanding generals, bearing the title “Oberbefehlshaber,” Commanders- in-Chief.
I have indicated how, upon discovering this first document, the prosecution set out to find better evidence of what happened on this day. In this the prosecution succeeded. In the files of the O.K.W. at Flensburg, the “Oberkommamdo der Wehrmacht,” Chief of the High Command of the Armed Forces, there were uncovered two speeches delivered, by Hitler at Obersalzberg, on 22nd August, 1939. These documents are 798 PS and 1014 PS, in our series of documents.
In order to keep serial numbers consecutive, if the Tribunal please, we have had the first document, which I do not intend to offer, marked for identification exhibit USA 28. Accordingly, I offer the second document, 798 PS, in evidence as exhibit USA 29, and the third document 1014 PS as exhibit USA 30.
These are, again, especially the first one, rather lengthy speeches, and I shall not necessarily read the entire speech.
Reading from 798 PS, which is exhibit USA 29, the Fuehrer speaks to the Commanders-in-Chief on 22nd August, 1939. “I have called you together.”
THE PRESIDENT: Is there anything to show where the speech took place?
MR. ALDERMAN: Obersalzberg.
THE PRESIDENT: How do you show that
MR. ALDERMAN: You mean on the document?
THE PRESIDENT: Yes.
MR. ALDERMAN: I am afraid the indication “Obersalzberg” came from the first document which I have not offered in evidence. I have no doubt that the defendants will admit that Obersalzberg was the place of this speech.
The place is not very significant; it is the time.
THE PRESIDENT: Very well.
MR. ALDERMAN: (Reading)
“I have called you together to give you a picture of the political situation, in order that you may have insight into the individual element on which I base my decision to act, and in order to strengthen your confidence. After this, we will discuss military details.
It was clear to me that a conflict with Poland had to come sooner or later. I had already made this decision in Spring.” (I interpolate, I think he is there referring to the May document, which I have already read, L-79.) “But I thought I would first turn against the West in a few years, and only afterwards against the East. But the sequence cannot be fixed. One cannot close one’s eyes even before a threatening situation. I wanted to establish an acceptable relationship with Poland, in order to fight first against the West, but this plan, [Page 172] which was agreeable to me, could not be executed, since the essential points have changed.
It became clear to me that Poland would attack us, in case of a conflict with the West.
Poland wants access to the sea.
The further development became obvious after the occupation of the Memel region, and it became clear to me that under the circumstances a conflict with Poland could arise at an inopportune moment.
I enumerate as reasons for this reflection, first of all, two personal constitutions” –
I suppose he means “personalities.” That probably is an inept translation –
“my own personality, and that of Mussolini. Essentially, it depends on me, my existence, because of my political activities.”
I interpolate to comment on the tremendous significance of the fact of a war, which engulfed almost the whole world, depending upon one man’s personality.
“Furthermore, the fact that probably no one will ever again have the confidence of the whole German people as I do. There will probably never again be a man in the future with more authority. My existence is, therefore, a factor of great value. But I can be eliminated at any time by a criminal or an idiot.
The second personal factor is Il Duce. His existence is also vital. If something happens to him, Italy’s loyalty to the alliance will no longer be certain. The basic attitude of the Italian Court is against the Duce. Above all, the Court sees in the expansion of the empire a burden. The Duce is the man with the strongest nerves in Italy.
The third factor, favourable for us, is Franco. We can ask only benevolent neutrality from Spain, but this depends on Franco’s personality. He guarantees a certain uniformity and steadiness of the present system in Spain. We must take into account the fact that Spain has not as yet a Fascist Party or our internal unity.
On the other side, a negative picture, as far as decisive personalities are concerned. There is no outstanding personality in England or France.”
I interpolate: I think Adolf Hitler must have overlooked one in England, perhaps many.
(Mr. Alderman continues)
“For us it is easy to make decisions. We have nothing to lose – we can only gain. Our economic situation is such, because of our restrictions, that we cannot hold out more than a few years. Goering can confirm this. We have no other choice; we must act. Our opponents risk much and can gain only a little. England’s stake in a war is unimaginably great. Our enemies have men who are below average. No personalities, no masters, no men of action.”
I interpolate again. Perhaps that last sentence explains what he meant by no personalities – no masters having authority that he had over his nation.
“Besides the personal favour, the political situation is favourable for us; the Mediterranean rivalry between Italy, France, and England; in the Orient tension, which leads to the alarming of the Mohammedan world.
The English Empire did not emerge from the last war strengthened. From a maritime point of view, nothing was achieved: there was conflict between England and Ireland, the South African Union became more independent, concessions had to be made to India England is in great danger, her industries unhealthy. A British statesman can look into the future only with concern.
France’s position has also deteriorated, particularly in the Mediterranean.
Further favourable factors for us are these:
Since Albania, there is an equilibrium of power in the Balkans. Yugoslavia carries the germ of collapse because of her internal situation.
Roumania did not grow stronger. She is liable to attack and vulnerable. She is threatened by Hungary and Bulgaria. Since Kemal’s death, Turkey has been ruled by small minds, unsteady weak men.
All these fortunate circumstances will no longer prevail in two or three years.
No one knows how long I shall live. Therefore conflict is better now.
The creation of Greater Germany was a great achievement politically, but militarily it was questionable, since it was achieved through a bluff of the political leaders. It is necessary to test the military, if at all possible, not by general settlement, but by solving individual tasks.
Relations with Poland have become unbearable. My Polish policy hitherto has been contrary to the ideas of the people. My propositions to Poland, the Danzig corridor, were disturbed by England’s intervention. Poland changed her tune towards us. The initiative cannot be allowed to pass to the others. The time is more favourable today than it will be in two to three years. An attempt on my life or Mussolini’s would change the situation to our disadvantage. One cannot eternally stand opposite another with rifle cocked. A suggested compromise would have demanded that we change our convictions and make agreeable gestures. They talked to us again in the language of Versailles. There was danger of losing prestige. Now the probability is still great that the West will not interfere. We must accept the risk with reckless resolution. A politician must accept a risk as much as a military leader. We are facing the alternative to strike or to be destroyed with certainty sooner or later.”
We skip a paragraph, two paragraphs.
“Now it is also a great risk. Iron nerves, iron resolution.” A long discussion follows which I think it is unnecessary to read, and then towards the end, four paragraphs from the bottom, I resume: “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.” And then the last paragraph of one sentence: “Goering answers with thanks to the Fuehrer and the assurance that the Armed Forces will do their duty.”
I believe I have already offered exhibit USA 30, which is a shorter note entitled, “Second Speech of the Fuehrer on 22nd August, 1939.” Reading, then, from that exhibit headed “Second Speech of the Fuehrer on 22nd August, 1939:
“It may also turn out differently regarding England and France. One cannot predict it with certainty. I figure on a trade barrier, not on blockade, and with severance of relations. Most iron determination on our side. Retreat before nothing. Everybody will have to make a point of it that we were determined from the beginning to fight the Western Powers. A struggle for life or death. Germany has won every war as long as she was united. Iron, unflinching attitude of all superiors, greatest confidence, faith in victory, overcoming of the past by getting used to the heaviest strain. A long period of peace would not do us any good. Therefore it is necessary to expect everything. Manly bearing. It is not machines that fight each other, but men. We have the better quality of men. Mental factors are decisive. The opposite camp has weaker people. In 1918 the nation fell down because the mental pre-requisites were not sufficient. Frederic the Great secured final success only through his mental power.
Destruction of Poland 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. Quick decision because of the season.
I shall give a propagandistic cause for starting the war, never mind whether it be plausible or not. The victor shall not be asked, later on, whether we told the truth or not. In starting and making a war, not the Right is what matters, but Victory.
Have no pity. Brutal attitude. Eighty million people shall get what is their right. Their existence has to be secured. The strongest has the right. Greatest severity.
Quick decision necessary. Unshakeable faith in the German soldier. A crisis may happen only if the nerves of the leaders give way.
First aim: advance to the Vistula and Narew. Our technical superiority will break the nerves of the Poles. Every newly created Polish force shall again be broken at once. Constant war of attrition.
New German frontier according to healthy principle. Possibly a protectorate as a buffer. Military operations shall not be influenced by these reflections. Complete destruction of Poland is the military aim. To be fast is the main thing. Pursuit until complete elimination.
Conviction that the German Wehrmacht is up to the requirements. The start shall be ordered, probably by Saturday morning.”
That ends the quotation. The Tribunal will recall that in fact the start was actually postponed until 1st September.
DR. STAHMER (Counsel for defendant Goering): I should like to make a statement or explanation of the last two documents read. Both these, as well as the third that was not read, but which was taken into consideration, are not recognised by the defence. In order to avoid the appearance that this objection has been raised without due reason, I should like to justify it as follows:
Both the documents that were read contain a number of factual mistakes. They are not signed. Moreover, only one meeting took place, and that is where the documents lack precision. No one it, that meeting was commissioned with taking down stenographically the events in the meeting, and since all signatures are lacking, it cannot be determined who wrote them or who is responsible for their reliability. The third document that was not read is, according to the photostatic copy in the defence’s document room, simply written by typewriter. There is no indication of place nor of time.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, we have got nothing to do with the third document, because it has not been read.
DR. STAHMER: Mr. President, this document has nevertheless been published in the Press and was apparently given to the Press by the prosecution. Both the defence and the defendants have consequently a lively interest in giving a short explanation of the facts concerning this document.
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal is trying this case in accordance with the evidence and not in accordance with what is in the Press, and the third document is not in evidence before us.
MR. ALDERMAN: May it please the Tribunal, I recognise that counsel wonder how these two documents which I have just read are in our hands. They come to us from an authentic source. They are German documents. They were found in the O.K.W. files. If they are not correct records of what occurred, it surprises us that with the thoroughness with which the Germans kept accurate records, they would have had these records in their O.K.W. files if they did not represent the truth.
THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Alderman, the Tribunal will of course hear what evidence the defendants choose to give with reference to the documents.
MR. ALDERMAN: It has occurred to me in that connection that if any of these defendants have in their possession what is a more correct transcription of the Fuehrer’s words on this occasion, the Court should consider that. On the other question referred to by counsel, I feel somewhat guilty. It is quite true that by a mechanical slip, the Press got the first document, which we never at all intended them to have. I feel somewhat responsible. It happened to be included in the document books that were handed up to the Court on Friday, because we had only intended. to refer to it and give it an identification mark and not to offer it. I had thought that no documents would be released to the Press until they were actually offered in evidence. With as large an organisation as we have, it is very difficult to police all those matters.
THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Alderman, the Tribunal would like to know how many of these documents are given to the Press.
MR. ALDERMAN: I can’t answer that.
COLONEL STOREY: May it please the Tribunal, it is my understanding that as and when documents are introduced in evidence, then they are made available to the Press.
THE PRESIDENT: In what numbers?
COLONEL STOREY: I think about 250 copies of each one, about 200 or 250 mimeographed copies.
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal thinks that the defendants’ Counsel should have copies of these documents before any of them are handed to the Press. I mean to say that, in preference to gentlemen of the Press, the defendants’ Counsel should have the documents.
COLONEL STOREY: Your Honour, if it pleases the Court, I understand that these gentleman had the ten documents on Saturday morning or Sunday morning. They had them for 24 hours, copies of the originals of these documents that have been read today, down in the Information Centre.
THE PRESIDENT: I stated, in accordance with the provisional arrangement which was made, and which was made upon your representations, that ten copies of the trial briefs and five of the volumes of documents should be given to the defendants’ counsel.
COLONEL STOREY: Sir, I had the receipts that they were deposited in the room.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, but what I am pointing out to you, Colonel Storey, is that if 250 copies of the documents can be given to the Press, then the defendants’ counsel should not be limited to five copies.
COLONEL STOREY: If your Honour pleases, the 250 copies are the mimeographed copies in English when they are introduced in evidence. I hold in my hands or in my brief case here a receipt that the document books and the briefs were delivered 24 hours in advance.
THE PRESIDENT: You don’t seem to understand what I am putting to you, which is this: that if you can afford to give 250 copies of the documents in English to the Press, you can afford to give more than five copies to the defendants’ counsel – one each.
COLONEL STOREY: I see your point, your Honour, and we-
THE PRESIDENT: Well, we needn’t discuss it further. In future that will be done.
DR. DIX: May I make the point that of the evidence documents, every defence counsel should receive one copy and not simply one for several members of the defence.
THE PRESIDENT: Go on, Mr. Alderman.
MR. ALDERMAN: The aggressive war having been initiated in September 1939, and Poland having been totally defeated shortly after the initial assaults, the Nazi aggressors converted the war into a general war of aggression extending into Scandinavia, into the Low Countries, and into the Balkans. Under the division of the case between the four Chief Prosecutors, this aspect of the matter is left to presentation by the British Chief Prosecutor.
Another change that we have made in our plan, which I perhaps should mention, is that following the opening statement by the British Chief Prosecutor on Count 2, we expect to resume the detailed handling of the later phases of the aggressive war phase of the case. The British instead of the Americans will deal with the details of aggression against Poland. Then with this expansion of the war in Europe and then as a joint part of the American case under Count 1 and the British case under Count 2, I shall take up the aggression against Russia and the Japanese aggression in detail. So that the remaining two subjects with which I shall ultimately deal in more detail, by presentation of specifically significant documents, are the case of the attack on the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the 22nd of June, 1941, and the case on collaboration between Italy and Japan and Germany and the resulting attack on the United States on the 7th of December, 1941.
As to the case on aggression against the Soviet Union, I shall, at this point, present two documents. The first of these two documents establishes the pre-meditation and deliberation which preceded the attack. Just as, in the case of aggression against Czechoslovakia, the Nazis had a code name for the secret operation “Case Green,” so in the case of aggression against the Soviet Union, they had a code name “Case Barbarossa.”
THE PRESIDENT: How do you spell that?
MR. ALDERMAN: B-a-r-b-a-r-o-s-s-a -after Barbarossa of Kaiser Friederich. From the files of the O.K.W. at Flensburg we have a secret directive, Number 21, issued from the Fuehrer’s headquarters on 18th December, 1940, relating to “Case Barbarossa.” This directive is more than six months in advance of the attack. Other evidence will show that the planning occurred even earlier. The document is signed by Hitler and is initialled by the defendant Jodl and the defendant Keitel. This secret order was issued in nine copies. The captured document is the fourth of these nine copies. It is document 446 PS, in our numbered series.
I offer it in evidence as exhibit USA 31.
If the Tribunal please, I think it will be sufficient for me to read the first page of that directive; the first page of the English translation. The paging may differ on the German original.
It is headed “The Fuehrer and Commander-in-Chief of the German Armed Forces” with a number of initials, the meaning of which I don’t know, except O.K.W. It seems to be indicated to go to O.K. Chiefs, whom I suppose to be General Kommando Chiefs.
“The Fuehrer’s Headquarters, 18th December, 1940. Secret. Only through Officer. Nine Copies. 4th copy. Directive Number 21, case Barbarossa.
The German Armed Forces must be prepared to crush Soviet Russia in a quick campaign before the end of the war against England. (Case Barbarossa).
For this purpose the Army will have to employ all available units with the reservation that the occupied territories will have to be safeguarded against surprise attacks.
For the Eastern campaign the Air Force will have to free such Strong forces for the support of the Army that a quick completion of the ground operations may he expected and that damage of the Eastern German territories will be avoided as much as possible. This concentration of the main effort in the East is limited by the following reservation: That the entire battle and armament area dominated by us must remain sufficiently protected against enemy air attacks and that the attacks on England and especially the supply for them must not be permitted to break down.
Concentration of the main effort of the Navy remains unequivocally against England also during an Eastern campaign.
If occasion arises I will order the concentration of troops for action against Soviet Russia eight weeks before the intended beginning of operations.
Preparations requiring more time to start are – if this has not yet been done – to begin presently and are to be completed by 15th May, 1941.
Great caution has to be exercised that the intention of an attack will not be recognised.
The Preparations of the High Command are to be made on the following basis: 1. General Purpose:
The mass of the Russian Army in Western Russia is to be destroyed in daring operations by driving forward deep wedges within ranks and the retreat of intact battle- ready troops into the wide spaces of Russia is to be prevented.
In quick pursuit a line is to be reached from where the Russian Air Force will no longer be able to attack German Reich territory. The first goal of operations is the protection from Asiatic Russia of the general line Volga- Archangelsk. In case of necessity, the last industrial area in the Urals left to Russia could be eliminated by the Luftwaffe.
In the course of these operations the Russian Baltic Sea Fleet will quickly lose its bases and will no longer be ready to fight.
Effective intervention by the Russian Air Force is to be prevented through powerful blows at the beginning of the operations.”
Another secret document, captured from the O.K.W. files–
THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Alderman, perhaps that would be a convenient time to adjourn for ten minutes.
(A recess was taken)
MR. ALDERMAN: If it please the Tribunal, another secret document captured from the O.K.W. files, establishes, we think, the motive for the attack on the Soviet Union. It also establishes the full awareness of the Nazi conspirators of the crimes against humanity which would result from their attack. The document is a memorandum Of 2nd May, 1941, concerning the result of a discussion on that day with the State Secretaries concerning the “Case Barbarossa.” The document is initialled by a Major von Giessavet, a member of the staff of General Thomas, set up to handle the economic exploitations of the territory occupied by the Germans during the course of the aggression against Russia. The document is numbered 2718-PS, and our numbered series of documents are offered in evidence as exhibit USA 32.
I shall simply read the first two paragraphs of this document, including the introductory matter:
“Matter for Chief; 2 copies; first copy to files 1a.
Second copy to General Schubert, 2nd May, 1941.
Memorandum about the result of today’s discussion with the State Secretaries about Barbarossa.
(1) The War can only be continued if all Armed Forces are fed by Russia in the third year of War.
(2) There is no doubt that as a result many millions of people will be starved to death if we take out of the country the things necessary for us.”
That document has already been commented on and quoted from in Mr. Justice Jackson’s opening statement. The staggering implications of that document are hard to realise. In the words of the document, the motive for the attack was that the War which the Nazi conspirators had launched in September 1939, could only be continued if all Armed Forces were fed by Russia in the third year of the War. Perhaps there never was a more sinister sentence written than the sentence in this document which reads:-
“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.”
The result is known to all of us.
I turn now to the Nazi collaboration with Italy and Japan and the resulting, attack on the United States on 7th December, 1941. With the unleashing of the German aggressive war against the Soviet Union in June 1941, the Nazi conspirators and, in particular, the defendant Ribbentrop, called upon the Eastern co-architect of the New Order, Japan, to attack in the rear. Our evidence will show that they incited and kept in motion a force reasonably calculated to result in an attack on the United States. For a time, they maintained their preference that the United States should not be involved in the conflict, realising the military implication of an entry of the United States into the War. However, their incitement did result in the attack on Pearl Harbour, and long prior to that attack, they had assured the Japanese that they would declare War on the United States should a United States-Japanese conflict break out. It was in reliance on those assurances that the Japanese struck at Pearl Harbour.
On the present discussion of this phase of the case, I shall offer only one document to prove this point. The document was captured from the files of the German Foreign Office. It consists of notes dated 4th April, 1941, signed by “Schmidt,” regarding discussions between the Fuehrer and the Japanese Foreign Minister Matsuoka, in the presence of the defendant Ribbentrop. The document is numbered 1881 PS in our numbered series and I offer it in evidence as exhibit USA 33. In the original, it is in very large, typewritten form in German. I shall read what I deem to be the pertinent parts of this document, beginning with the four paragraphs, first reading the heading, the heading being:
“Notes regarding the discussion between the Fuehrer and the Japanese Foreign Minister, Matsuoka, in the presence of the Reich Foreign Minister and the Reich Minister of State, Reissner, in Berlin, on the 4th April, 1941.
Matsuoka then also expressed the request, that the Fuehrer should instruct the proper authorities in Germany to meet as broad-mindedly as possible the wishes of the Japanese Military Commission. Japan was in need of German help particularly concerning the U- boat warfare, which could be given by making available to them the latest experiences of the war is well as the latest technical improvements and inventions.”
For the record, I am reading on what is page six of the German original.
“Japan would do her utmost to avoid a war with the United States. If Japan should decide to attack Singapore, the Japanese Navy, of course, had to be prepared for a fight with the United States, because in that case America probably would side with Great Britain. He (Matsuoka) personally believed that the United States could be restrained by diplomatic exertions from entering the war at the side of Great Britain. Army and Navy had, however, to count on the worst situation, that is on war against America. They were of the opinion that such a war would extend for five years or longer and would take the form of guerrilla warfare in the Pacific and would be fought out in the South Sea. For this reason the German experiences in her guerrilla warfare were of the greatest value to Japan. It was a question how such a war would best be conducted and how all the technical improvements of submarines, in all details such as periscopes and such like, could best be exploited by Japan.
To sum up, Matsuoka requested that the Fuehrer would see to it that the proper German authorities would place at the disposal of the Japanese those developments and inventions concerning Navy and Army, which were needed by the Japanese.
The Fuehrer promised this and pointed out that Germany too considered a conflict with the United States undesirable, but that it had already made allowances for such a contingency. In Germany one was of the opinion that America’s contributions depended upon the possibilities of transportation, and that this again is conditioned by the available tonnage. Germany’s war against tonnage, however, means a decisive weakening not merely against England, but also against America. Germany has made her preparations so that no American could land in Europe. She would conduct a most energetic fight against America with her boats and her ‘Luftwaffe,’ and due to her superior experience, which would still have to be acquired by the United States, she would be vastly superior, and that quite apart from the fact that the German soldiers naturally rank high above the Americans.
In the further course of the discussion, the Fuehrer pointed out that Germany, on her part, would immediately take the consequences if Japan would get involved with the United States. It did not matter with whom the United States would first get involved, whether Germany or Japan. They would always try to eliminate one country at a time, not to come to an understanding with the other country subsequently, but to liquidate this one just the same. Therefore Germany would strike, as already mentioned, without delay in case of a conflict between Japan and America, because the strength of the tripartite powers lies in their joint action; their weakness would be if they would let themselves be beaten individually.
Matsuoka once more repeated his request, that the Fuehrer might give the necessary instructions, in order that the proper German authorities would place at the disposal of the Japanese the latest improvements and inventions, which are of interest to them, because the Japanese Navy had to prepare immediately for a conflict with the United States.
As regards Japanese-American relationship, Matsuoka explained further that he has always declared in his country, that sooner or later a war with the United States would be unavoidable, if Japan continued to drift along as at present. In his opinion this conflict would happen rather sooner than later. His argument went on, why should Japan, therefore, not strike decisively at the right moment and take the risk upon herself of a fight against America? Just thus would she perhaps avoid a war for generations, particularly if she gained predominance in the South Seas. There were, to be sure in his opinion, in Japan, many who would hesitate to follow those trends of thought. Matsuoka was considered in those circles a dangerous man with dangerous thoughts. He, however, stated that, if Japan continued to walk along her present path, one day she would have to fight anyway and that this would then be under less favourable circumstances than at present.
The Fuehrer replied that he could well understand the situation of Matsuoka, because he himself had been in similar situations (the clearing of the Rhineland, declaration of Sovereignty of Armed Forces, etc.). He too was of the opinion that he had to exploit favourable conditions and accept the risk of an anyhow unavoidable fight at a time when be himself was still young and full of vigour. How right he was in his attitude was proven by events. Europe now was free. He would not hesitate a moment to reply instantly to any widening of the war, be it by Russia, be it by America. Providence favoured those who would not let dangers come to them, but who would bravely face them. Matsuoka replied, that the United States or rather their ruling politicians, had recently attempted a last manoeuvre towards Japan, by declaring that America would not fight Japan on account of China or the South Seas, provided that Japan gave free passage to the consignment of rubber and tin to America to their place of destination. However, America would fight against Japan the moment she felt that Japan entered the war with the intention of assisting in the destruction of Great Britain. Such an argument naturally did not miss its effect upon the Japanese, because of the education oriented on English lines which many of them had received.
The Fuehrer commented on this, that this attitude of America did not mean anything but that the United States had the hope, that, as long as the British World Empire existed, one day they could advance against Japan together with Great Britain, whereas, in case of the collapse of the World Empire, they would be totally isolated and could not do anything against Japan.
The Reich Foreign Minister interjected that the Americans definitely under all circumstances wanted to maintain the powerful position of England in East Asia, but that on the other hand it was proved by this attitude, to what extent she fears a joint action of Japan and Germany.
Matsuoka continued that it seemed to him of importance to give to the Fuehrer an absolutely clear picture of the real attitude inside Japan. For this reason he also had to inform him regretfully of the fact that he, Matsuoka, in his capacity as Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs could not utter in Japan a single word of all that he had expounded before the Fuehrer and the Reich Foreign Minister regarding his plans, as this would cause him serious damage in political and financial circles. Once before, he had committed the mistake, before he became Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs, of telling a close friend something about his intentions. It seems that the latter had mentioned these things and thus brought about all sorts of rumours, which he as Foreign Minister had to oppose energetically, though as a rule he always tells the truth. Under these circumstances he also could not indicate how soon he could report on the questions discussed, to the Japanese Premier or to the Emperor. He would have to study exactly and carefully in the first place the development in Japan, so as to decide on a favourable moment, for making a clean breast of his proper plans to the Prince Konoye and the Emperor. That decision would have to be made within a few days, otherwise the plans would be spoiled by talk.
Should he, Matsuoka, fail to carry out his intentions, that would be proof that he was lacking in influence, in power of conviction, and in tactical capabilities. However, should he succeed, it would prove that he had great influence in Japan. He himself felt confident that he would succeed.
On his return, being questioned, be would indeed admit to the Emperor, the Premier and the Ministers for the Navy and the Army, that Singapore had been discussed; he would, however, state that it was only on a hypothetical basis.
Besides this Matsuoka made the express decision not to cable in the matter of Singapore, because he had reason to fear that by cabling something might leak out. If necessary, he would send a courier.
The Fuehrer agreed and assured him after all, that he could entirely rely on German reticence.
Matsuoka replied he believed indeed in German reticence, but unfortunately could not say the same for Japan.
The discussion was terminated after the exchange of some personal parting words.
Berlin, the 4th of April, 1941
This completes the presentation of what I have called the “handful of selected documents,” offered not as a detailed treatment of any of these wars of aggression but merely to prove the deliberate planning, the deliberate premeditation with which each of these aggressions was carried out.
I turn to a more detailed and more or less chronological presentation of the various stages of the aggression.
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will now adjourn until ten o’clock tomorrow.