The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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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


    "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    further delay the danger of their becoming out-of-date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.


                                                  [Page 161]


    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



    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



    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.

                                                  [Page 162]

    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



    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


    "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



    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


                                                  [Page 163]


    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


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


                                                  [Page 164]

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


          (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


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