The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1999/09/04
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MR. ALDERMAN: May it please the Tribunal:

Before I resume the consideration of Mr. Messersmith's second
affidavit, document 2385-PS, exhibit USA 68, I should like to
consider briefly the status of the evidence before this Tribunal,
of the matter stated in the first Messersmith affidavit,
introduced by the United States, document 1760-PS, exhibit USA 57.
You will recall that Mr. Messersmith, in that affidavit, made the
following general statement:

First, that although Nazi Germany stated that it would respect the
independence of Austria, in fact it intended from the very
beginning to conclude an Anschluss, and that Defendant von Papen
was working toward that end.

Second, that although Nazi Germany pretended, on the surface, to
have nothing to do with the Austrian Nazis, in fact they kept up
contact with them and gave them support and instruction.

Third, that while they were getting ready for their eventual use
of force in Austria, if necessary, the Nazis were using quiet
infiltrating tactics to weaken Austria internally, through the use
of Christian-front personalities who were not flagrantly Nazis and
could be called, as they were referred to, Nationalist Opposition,
and through the device of developing new names for Nazi
organisations, so that they could be brought into the Fatherland
Front of Austria corporatively, that is, as an entire group.

Now let us see briefly what some of our German documents proved in
support of these general statements in the Messersmith affidavit.
The excerpts I have already read out of the report from Rainer to
Burckel, enclosed in the letter to Seyss-Inquart, document 812-PS,
exhibit USA 61, showed first, that the Austrian Nazi groups kept
up contacts with the Reich, although they did it secretly, in
accordance with instructions from the Fuehrer.

Second, that they continued their organisation on a secret basis
so as to be ready in what they referred to as an emergency.

Third, that they used persons like Seyss-Inquart and Glaise-
Horstenau, who had what they called good legal positions, but who
could be trusted by the Nazis, and that five days after the Pact
of 11th July, 1936, between Germany and Austria - a Pact which
specifically pledged the German Government not to interfere,
either directly or indirectly, in the internal affairs of Austria,
including the question of Austrian Socialism - the Austrian Nazis
met with Hitler at Obersalzberg and received new instructions, and
finally, that Hitler then used Keppler, whose name we shall again
meet in a short while, in a significant manner, as his "contact
man" with the Austrian Nazis, with full authority to act for the
Fuehrer in Austria and to work with the leaders of the Austrian

Then we offered document 2248-PS, exhibit USA 63, von Papen's
letter of 27th July, 1935, which reviewed the situation one year
after Dollfuss' death, and pointed out how National Socialism
could be made a link for the Anschluss and could overcome the
Austrian ideologies, and in which letter he identified himself
completely with the National Socialist goal.

We offered document 2246-PS, exhibit USA 67, von Papen's letter to
Hitler of 1st September, 1936, which showed how von Papen advised
using both economic and continuing psychological pressure; that he
had conferences with leaders of the illegal Austrian Party; that
he was trying to direct the next developments in such a way as to
get corporative representation of the Nazi movement in the

                                                        [Page 242]

Fatherland Front, and that meanwhile he was not ready to urge that
avowed National Socialists be put in prominent positions, but was
quite satisfied with collaborators, like Glaise-Horstenau.

I think that practically all of the statements in Mr.
Messersmith's affidavits have been fully supported by these
documents, German documents which we have introduced. Certain
parts of the affidavits cannot be corroborated by documents, in
the very nature of things, and I refer specifically to Mr.
Messersmith's conversation with the defendant von Papen. in 1934,
which I read to the Tribunal yesterday. But I think these matters
are manifestly just as true and just as clear as to the
defendant's guilt and complicity.

Yesterday, I was reading to the Tribunal selected excerpts from
Mr. Messersmith's second affidavit, document 2385-PS, exhibit USA
68, relating to the diplomatic preparations for war. Prior to
adjournment, I had read to the Tribunal excerpts which established
the following propositions:

First, Nazi Germany undertook a vigorous campaign to break up the
diplomatic agreements existing in 1933; first in the West, the
Locarno Pact, supplemented by the Franco-Belgian Agreement;
second, in the East, the Little Entente, Yugoslavia,
Czechoslovakia and Poland, and their respective mutual assistance
pacts with France, the French-Polish Pact; third, as regards
Austria, the special concern of Italy for her independence, that
is, for Austrian independence.

In the second place, Nazi Germany countered these alliances with
extravagant and sometimes inconsistent promises of territorial
gain to countries in South-Eastern Europe, including Yugoslavia,
Hungary and Poland.

In the third place, Mr. Messersmith wrote an official
communication to the State Department, pointing out that persons
like von Neurath and von Papen were able to work more effectively
in making these promises and in doing their other work, just
because they, and I quote, "propagated the myth that they were not
in sympathy with the regime."

In the fourth place, it is a fact that high ranking Nazis openly
stated that Germany would honour her international obligations
only so long as it suited her to do so. There are two more
excerpts which I wish to read from this affidavit.

France and Italy worked actively in South-Eastern Europe to
counter German moves, as I said yesterday. France made attempts to
promote an East Locarno Pact and to foster an economic accord
between Austria and the other Danubian powers. Italy's effort was
to organise an economic block of Austria, Hungary and Italy. But
Germany foiled these efforts by redoubling its policies of loot,
by continuing its armament and by another very significant
strategy, that is - the Fifth Column strategy; the Nazis stirred
up internal dissension within neighbouring countries to disunite
and weaken their intended victims.

I read now from page 7 of the English copy of the second
Messersmith affidavit, document 2385-PS, exhibit USA 68, the
paragraph beginning in the middle of the page.

"At the same time that Germany held out such promises of reward
for co-operation in her programme, she stirred up internal
dissension within these countries themselves and in Austria and
Czechoslovakia in particular, all of which were designed to so
weaken all opposition and. strengthen the pro-Nazi and Fascist
groups as to ensure peaceful acquiescence in the German programme.
Her machinations in Austria I have related in detail, as they came
under my direct observation, in a separate affidavit. In
Czechoslovakia they followed the same tactics with the Sudeten
Germans. I was reliably informed that the Nazi Party spent over
6,000,000 marks in financing the Henlein Party in the elections in
the Spring of 1935 alone. In Yugoslavia she played on the old
differences between the Croatians and the Serbs and the fear of
the restoration of the Hapsburg in Austria. It may be remarked
here that this latter was one of the principal instruments, and a
most effective one, which Nazi Germany used, as the fear, in
Yugoslavia in particular, of a restoration of the Hapsburg was
very real. In Hungary

                                                        [Page 243]

she played upon the agrarian difficulties and at the same time
openly encouraged the Nazi German elements in Hungary so as to
provoke the Government of Hungary to demand the recall of von
Mackensen in 1936. In Hungary and in Poland she played on the fear
of Communism and Communist Russia. In Roumania she aggravated the
existing anti-Semitism, emphasising the important role of the Jews
in Roumanian industry and the Jewish ancestry of Lupescu. Germany
undoubtedly also financed the Fascist Iron Guard through

Such 'diplomatic' measures reinforced by Germany's vast rearmament
programme had a considerable effect, particularly in Yugoslavia,
Poland and Hungary, one sufficient at least to deter these
countries from joining any combination opposed to German designs,
even if not enough to persuade them to ally themselves actively
with Nazi Germany. Important political leaders of Yugoslavia began
to become convinced that the Nazi regime would remain in power and
would gain its ends, and that the course of safety for Yugoslavia
was to play along with Germany."

I shall not take the time of the Tribunal to read into evidence
the detailed, official dispatches which Mr. Messersmith sent to
the American State Department, showing that Yugoslavia, Hungary
and Poland were beginning to follow the German line.

As for Italy, Germany's initial objective was to sow discord
between Yugoslavia and Italy, by promising Yugoslavia Italian
territory, particularly Trieste. This was to prevent France from
reaching an agreement with them and to block an East Locarno Pact.
On that I quote again from document 2385-PS, exhibit USA 68, the
second Messersmith affidavit, on page 10:

While Italy openly opposed efforts at an Anschluss with Austria in
1934, Italian ambitions in Abyssinia provided Germany with the
opportunity to sow discord between Italy and France and England,
and to win Italy over to acceptance of Germany's programme in
exchange for German support of her plans in Abyssinia."

That, if the Tribunal please, paved the way for the Austro-German
Declaration or Pact of 11th July, 1936; and in the fall of 1936,
Germany extended the hand of friendship and common purpose to
Italy, in an alliance which they called the "Rome-Berlin Axis".
This, together with Germany's alliance with Japan, put increasing
pressure on England and greatly increased the relative strength of

And so, by means of careful preparation in the diplomatic field,
among others, the Nazi conspirators had woven a position for
themselves, so that they could seriously consider plans for war
and begin to outline timetables, not binding timetables and not
specific ones in terms of months and days, but still general
timetables, in terms of years which were the necessary foundation
for further aggressive planning, and a spur to more specific
planning. That timetable was developed, as the Tribunal has
already seen, in the conference of 5th November, 1937, contained
in the document 386-PS, exhibit USA 25, the Hoszbach Minutes of
that conference, to which I referred in detail on Monday last.

In those minutes we see the crystallisation of the plan to wage
aggressive war in Europe, and to seize both Austria and
Czechoslovakia, and in that order.

In connection with the exposition of the aggression on Austria, I
have shown first the purpose of the Nazi conspiracy, with respect
to the absorption of Austria, and then the steps taken by them in
Austria up to this period, that is November, 1937.

I have also outlined for the Tribunal the general diplomatic
preparations of the Nazi conspirators, with respect to their
programme in Europe generally, and with respect to Austria in

It may now be profitable to reconsider the minutes of the meeting
of 5th November, 1937, in the light of this more-detailed
background. It will be recalled that in that meeting, the- Fuehrer
insisted that Germany must have more space in Europe. He concluded
that the space required must be taken by force; and

                                                        [Page 244]

three different possible cases were outlined for different
eventualities, but all reaching the conclusion that the problem
would certainly have to be solved before 1943 to 1945.

Then there was envisaged the nature of a war in the near future,
specifically against Austria and Czechoslovakia. Hitler said that
for the improvement of Germany's military and political positions,
it must be the first aim of the Nazis, 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 Westward.

Hitler then considered that the embodiment into Germany of
Czechoslovakia and Austria, would constitute the conquest of food
for from five to six million people, including the assumption that
the comprehensive forced emigration of one million people from
Austria could be carried out. And he further pointed out that the
annexation of the two States to Germany, both militarily and
politically, would constitute a considerable relief, since they
would provide shorter and better frontiers; would free fighting
personnel for other purposes; and would make possible the
reconstitution of large new German armies.

Insofar as Austria is concerned, those minutes reveal a
crystallisation in the policy of the Nazi conspirators. It had
always been their aim to acquire Austria. At the outset a
revolutionary putsch was attempted, but that failed. The next
period was one of surface recognition of the independence of
Austria and the use of devious means to strengthen the position of
Nazis internally in Austria.

Now, however, it became clear that the need, or the greed, for
Austria, in the light of the larger aggressive purposes of the
Nazis, was sufficiently great to warrant the use of force, in
order to obtain Austria with the speed that was designed. In fact,
as we shall see later, the Nazis were actually able to secure
Austria, after having weakened it internally and removed from it
the support of other nations, merely by setting the German
military machine into motion and making a threat of force.

The German armies were able to cross the border and secure the
country without the necessity of firing a shot. Their careful
planning for war, and their readiness to use war as an instrument
of political action, made it possible, in the end, for them to
pluck this plum without having to strike a blow for it.

The German High Command had, of course, previously considered
preparation against Austria.

I offer in evidence another German document, C-175, exhibit USA
69. It, again, is "Top Secret," with the added caption in German
"Chefsache nur durch Offizier," "Chief Matter only to be delivered
through an Officer."

This was a Top Secret directive of 24th June, 1937, of the
Reichsminister for War and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces,
General von Blomberg. The importance of this Top Secret directive
is indicated by the fact that the carbon copy, received by the
Commander-in-Chief of the Navy, was one of only four copies,
establishing the directive for a unified preparation for war of
all the Armed Forces.

This directive from General von Blomberg states, that although the
political situation indicates that Germany need not consider an
attack from any side, and also states that Germany does not intend
to unleash European war, it then states in Part 1, and I quote
from page 2 of the English text, which, I believe, is page 4,
third paragraph, of the German text:

   "The intention to unleash a European War is held just as
   little by Germany. Nevertheless, the politically fluid world
   situation, which does not preclude surprising incidents,
   demands a continuous preparedness for war by the German Armed
   (a) to counter attacks at any time
   (b) to enable the military exploitation of politically
   favourable opportunities, should they occur."
                                                        [Page 245]

The directive then indicates that there will be certain
preparations for war of a general nature. I quote the first two
portions of paragraph 2, on page 2 of the English text, and, I
think, page 5 of the German text:

   "(2) The preparations of a general nature include
   (a) The permanent preparedness for mobilisation of the German
   Armed Forces, even before the completion of rearmament, and
   full preparedness for war.
   (b) The further working on 'Mobilisation without public
   announcement' in order to put the Armed Forces in a position
   to begin a war suddenly and by surprise, both as regards
   strength and time."

And the directive finally indicates that there might be special
preparations for war against Austria. I quote from Part 3 (1)
which is on page 4 of the English text, and page 19 of the German

   "(1) Special Case 'Otto.'
   Case 'Otto', as you will repeatedly see, was the standing code
   name for aggressive war against Austria. I quote:
   Armed intervention in Austria in the event of her restoring
   the Monarchy.
   The object of this operation will be to compel Austria by
   armed force to give up a restoration.
   Making use of the domestic political divisions of the Austrian
   people, the march in will be made in the general direction of
   Vienna, and will break any resistance."

I should now like to call attention to two conversations, held by
United States Ambassador Bullitt with the defendants Schacht and
Goering, in November, 1937.

DR. FRANZ EXNER: I am Prof. Exner, defending General Jodl. I
should like to state my objection to the manner in which document
C-175 has been treated. This document repeats a document of the
General Staff, which prepares for all kinds of possibilities of
war. The possibility has even been that you have seen in this
document that Germany might have had to wage a war with Italy.

This document was only partially read, only the part relating to
Austria; and in that way, the impression was created of a plan to
march against Austria, whereas it actually says the German Reich
had no intention to attack at that time, but was merely preparing
for all eventualities.

I should like to request that the reading of this document should
be supplemented by the reading at least of the paragraphs of this
document which come after it. If these paragraphs of the document
are placed before the Court, it will be seen that this was not a
plan to march against Austria, but simply a document preparing for
all possible eventualities.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Exner, your objection does not appear to be to
the admissibility of the document, but to the weight of the
document. The Tribunal has already informed defendants Keitel and
Jodl that they will have the opportunity at the appropriate time,
when they come to prepare their defence, to refer to any
documents, part of which have been put in by the prosecution, and
to read such parts as they think necessary then, and to make what
criticism they think necessary then.

Your objection is therefore premature, because it does not go to
the admissibility of the document. It simply indicates a wish that
more of it should be read. You will have an opportunity later to
read any parts of the document which you wish.

MR. ALDERMAN: I suppose, if the Tribunal please, that the
fundamental basis of the objection just stated by the
distinguished Counsel, must have been his theory that Germany
never made any plans to invade Austria, and if so, it would seem
to follow that Germany never invaded Austria, and perhaps history
is mistaken.

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