The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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                                                        [Page 241]
I had referred to two conversations, held by United States
Ambassador Bullitt with the defendants Schacht and Goering, in
November, 1937.

                                                        [Page 246]

For this purpose, I offer in evidence our document L-151, offered
as exhibit USA 70. It is a dispatch from Mr. Bullitt, American
Ambassador in Paris, to the American Secretary of State, on 23rd
November, 1937.

Now, again, if the Tribunal please, we are embarrassed because
that document is not in the document book before the members of
the Tribunal. It has been furnished in German translation to the
defence counsel.

THE PRESIDENT: We have got it in German, apparently.

MR. ALDERMAN: I expect you have, yes; you have the German version.

If the Tribunal will permit, I will read from the original
exhibit. On top, is a letter from Ambassador Bullitt to the
Secretary of State, 23rd November, 1937, stating that he visited
Warsaw, stopping in Berlin en route, where he had conversations
with Schacht and Goering, among others.

On the conversation with Schacht, I read from page 2 of the

   "Schacht said that, in his opinion, the best way to begin to
   deal with Hitler, was not through political discussion, but
   through economic discussion. Hitler was not in the least
   interested in economic matters. He regarded money as filth. It
   was, therefore, possible to enter into negotiations with him in
   the economic domain without arousing his emotional antipathy;
   and it might be possible through the conversations thus begun
   to lead him into arrangements in the political and military
   field, in which he was intensely interested. Hitler was
   determined to have Austria eventually attached to Germany, and
   to obtain at least autonomy for the Germans of Bohemia. At the
   present moment he was not vitally concerned about the Polish
   Corridor and again - that is Schacht's opinion - it might be
   possible to maintain the Corridor, provided Danzig were
   permitted to join East Prussia, and provided some sort of
   bridge could be built across the Corridor, uniting Danzig and
   East Prussia with Germany."

And for the defendant Goering's statement to Ambassador Bullitt, I
read from the second memorandum, "Memorandum of conversation
between Ambassador Bullitt and General Hermann Goering," on page 2
of that document, the second page, following a part of a sentence
which is underlined, just below the middle of the page:

   "The sole source of friction between Germany and France was the
   refusal of France to permit Germany to achieve certain vital
   and necessary national aims.
   If France, instead of accepting collaboration with Germany,
   should continue to follow a policy of building up alliances in
   Eastern Europe to prevent Germany from achieving her legitimate
   aims, it was obvious that there would be conflict between
   France and Germany.
   I asked Goering what aims especially he had in mind. He
   replied: 'We are determined to join to the German Reich all
   Germans who are contiguous to the Reich, and are divided from
   the great body of the German race merely by the artificial
   barriers imposed by the Treaty of Versailles.'
   I asked Goering if he meant that Germany was absolutely
   determined to annex Austria to the Reich. He replied that this
   was an absolute determination of the German Government. The
   German Government, at the present time, was not pressing the
   matter, because of certain momentary political considerations,
   especially in their relations with Italy. But Germany would
   tolerate no solution of the Austrian question other than the
   consolidation of Austria in the German Reich.
   He then added a statement which went further than any I have
   heard on this subject. He said: 'There are schemes being pushed
   now for a union of Austria, Hungary and Czechoslovakia, either
   with or without a Hapsburg at the head of the union. Such a
   solution is absolutely unacceptable to us, and for us the
   conclusion of such an agreement would be an immediate casus

Goering used the Latin expression "casus belli"; it is not a
translation from the German, in which that conversation was
carried on.

                                                        [Page 247]

   "I asked Goering if the German Government was as decided in its
   views with regard to the Germans in Bohemia as it was with
   regard to Austria. He replied that there could be only one
   final solution of this question. The Sudeten Germans must enter
   the German Reich as all other Germans who lived contiguous to
   the Reich."

These, if the Tribunal please, are official reports made by the
accredited representative of the United States in the regular
course of business. They carry with them the guarantee of
truthfulness of a report made by a responsible official to his own
government, recording contemporaneous conversations and events.

My next subject is: Pressure and Threats Resulting in Further
Concessions by Austria; a meeting at Berchtesgaden, 12th February,

As I have stated before, the Austrian Government was labouring
under great difficulties imposed by its neighbour. There was
economic pressure, including the curtailment of the important
tourist trade; and there was what the defendant von Papen called
"slowly intensified psychological pressure". There were increasing
demonstrations, plots and conspiracies. Demands were being
presented by Captain Leopold, and approval of the Nazis was being
espoused by the defendant Seyss-Inquart, the new Councillor of
State of Austria. In this situation, Chancellor Schuschnigg
decided to visit Hitler at Berchtesgaden.

The official communique of this conference is quite calm: I invite
the Tribunal to take judicial notice of it. It is document 2461-
PS, the official German communique of the meeting of Hitler and
von Schuschnigg at Obersalzberg, 12th February, 1938, taken from
the official Dokumente der Deutschen Politik, Vol. 6, 1, page 124,
number 21-a.

The communique states that the unofficial meeting was caused by
mutual desire to clarify, by personal conversation, the questions
relating to the relationship between the German Reich and Austria.

The communique lists among those present: Von Schuschnigg and his
Foreign Minister Schmidt, Hitler and his Foreign Minister
Ribbentrop, and the defendant von Papen.

The communique concludes on a rather bright note, saying, and I
quote: "Both statesmen are convinced that the measures taken by
them constitute at the same time an effective contribution toward
the peaceful development of the European situation."

A similar communique was issued by the Austrian Government.

But, in fact, and as I think history well knows, the conference
was a very unusual and a very harsh one. Great concessions were
obtained by the German Government from Austria. The principal
concessions are contained in the official Austrian communique of
the reorganisation of the Cabinet and the general political
amnesty, dated 16th February, 1938.

That communique, as taken from the Dokumente der Deutschen
Politik, Vol. 6, page 125, number 21-b, is translated in our
document 2464-PS, and I invite the Court's judicial notice of it.

That communique announced a reorganisation of the Austrian
Cabinet, including most significantly, the appointment of the
defendant Seyss-Inquart to the position of Minister of Security
and Interior, where he would have control of the police. In
addition, announcement was made of a general political amnesty to
Nazis convicted of crimes.

Two days later another concession was divulged. I invite the
Court's judicial notice to our document 2469-PS, a translation of
the official German and Austrian communique concerning the so-
called equal rights of Austrian National Socialists in Austria,
18th February, 1938, Dokumente der Deutschen Politik, Vol. 6, 1,
page 128, number 21-d.

That communique announced that, pursuant to the Berchtesgaden
conference, the Austrian National Socialists would be taken into
the Fatherland Front, the single, legal political party of

                                                        [Page 248]

THE PRESIDENT: Will you tell us what exhibit numbers those two
documents were?

MR. ALDERMAN: I am sorry, Sir; document 2469-PS.

THE PRESIDENT: We haven't had that yet. We have had 2461-PS; which
is exhibit what?

MR. ALDERMAN: Well, I hadn't read it in. I was asking the Tribunal
to take judicial notice of this as an official communique.

THE PRESIDENT: You are not going to give it an exhibit number?

MR. ALDERMAN: No, sir.


MR. ALDERMAN: No, sir.

In actual fact, great pressure was put on von Schuschnigg at
Berchtesgaden. The fact that pressure was exerted, and pressure of
a military nature involving the threat of the use of troops, can
be sufficiently established from captured German documents.

I have our document 1544-PS, a captured German document, which I
offer in evidence as exhibit USA 71.

This document consists of the defendant von Papen's own notes on
his last meeting with von Schuschnigg, on February 26th, 1938. I
quote the last two paragraphs of these notes. This is von Papen
   "I then introduced into the conversation the widespread opinion
   that he" - that is, von Schuschnigg - "had acted under brutal
   pressure in Berchtesgaden. I myself had been present and been
   able to state that he had always and at every point had
   complete freedom of decision. The Chancellor replied he had
   actually been under considerable moral pressure, he could not
   deny that. He had made notes on the talk which bore that out. I
   reminded him that despite this talk he had not seen his way
   clear to make any concessions, and I asked, him whether without
   the pressure he would have been ready to make the concessions
   he made late in the evening. He answered: 'To be honest, no.'"

And then von Papen says:

   "It appears to me of importance to record this statement. In
   parting I asked the Chancellor never to deceive himself that
   Austria could ever maintain her status with the help of non-
   German, European combinations. This question would be decided
   only according to the interests of the German people. He
   asserted that he held the same conviction and would act

Thus we have, through the words of von Papen, von Schuschnigg's
contemporary statement to Papen of the pressure which had been
exerted upon him, as recorded by von Papen in an original,
contemporaneous entry.

For diplomatic purposes, Papen, who had been at Berchtesgaden,
kept up the pretence that there had been no pressure applied.

But the defendant General Jodl, writing the account of current
events in his diary, was much more candid. We are fortunate in
having General Jodl's hand-written diary, in German script, which
I can't read. It is our document 1780-PS, and I offer it in
evidence as exhibit USA 72.

I may say that General Jodl, in interrogation, has admitted that
this is his genuine diary in his handwriting.

This diary discloses not only the pressure at Berchtesgaden, but
also the fact that for some days thereafter defendants Keitel and
Admiral Canaris worked out a scheme for shamming military pressure
in order, obviously, to coerce President Miklas of Austria into
ratifying the agreement. It started from von Schuschnigg at
Berchtesgaden. It will be noted that the approval of President
Miklas was needed to ratify the Berchtesgaden agreement; that is,
with respect to naming Seyss-Inquart as Minister of the Interior
and Security.

And so the Nazi conspirators kept up the military pressure with
threats of invasion for some days after the Berchtesgaden
conference in order to produce the desired effect on President

                                                        [Page 249]

I quote from General Jodl's diary, the entries for 11th February,
13th February, and 14th February, 1938.

   The entry of 11th February: "In the evening and on 13th
   February General K" (Keitel) "with General von Reichenau and
   Sperrle at the Obersalzberg. Von Schuschnigg, together with G.
   Schmidt are again being put under heaviest political and
   military pressure. At 2300 hours Schuschnigg signs protocol.
   13th February: In the afternoon General K" (Keitel) "asks
   Admiral C" (Canaris) "and myself to come to his apartment. He
   tells us that the Fuehrer's order is to the effect that
   military pressure, by shamming military action, should be kept
   up until the 15th. Proposals for these deceptive manoeuvres are
   drafted and submitted to the Fuehrer by telephone for approval.
   14th February: At 2:40 o'clock the agreement of the Fuehrer
   arrives. Canaris goes to Munich to the Counter-Intelligence
   Office VII and initiates the different measures.
   The effect is quick and strong. In Austria the impression is
   created that Germany is undertaking serious military
The proposal for deceptive manoeuvres reported on by defendant
Jodi are set forth in document 1775-PS, a captured German
document, which I offer in evidence as exhibit USA 73.

The proposals are signed by the defendant Keitel. Underneath his
signature appears a note that the Fuehrer approved the proposal.

In the original document that note is hand-written in pencil.

The rumours which Keitel proposed for the intimidation of Austria
make very interesting reading. I quote the first three paragraphs
of the suggested order:

   "1. To take no real preparatory measures in the Army or
   Luftwaffe. No troop movements or redeployments.
   2. Spread false, but quite credible news, which may lead to the
   conclusion of military preparations against Austria.
   (a) Through V-men (V-Maenner) in Austria.
   (b) Through our customs personnel (staff) at the frontier.
   (c) Through travelling agents.
   3. Such news could be:
   (a) Furloughs are supposed to have been barred in the sector of
   the VII A. K.
   (b) Rolling stock is being assembled in Munich, Augsburg and
   (c) Major General Muff, the Military Attache in Vienna, has
   been called for a conference to Berlin. (As a matter of fact,
   this is the case.)"

That reminds me of a lawyer from my own home town who used to
argue a matter at great length, and then he would end up by
saying, and, incidentally, it is the truth.

   (d) The police stations located at the frontier of Austria have
   called tip reinforcements.
   (e) Custom officials report about the imminent manoeuvres of
   the Mountain Brigade (Gebirgsbrigade) in the region of
   Freilassing, Reichenhall and Berchtesgaden ".

The total pattern of intimidation and rumour was effective, for in
due course, as we have already seen from the communiques referred
to, President Miklas verified the Berchtesgaden Agreement, which
foreshadowed National Socialist Austria and then the events
culminating in the actual German invasion on 12th March, 1938.

Mr. President, would this be a convenient moment for a recess?

THE PRESIDENT: We will adjourn for ten minutes.

(A recess was taken.)

MR. ALDERMAN: May it please the Tribunal, I had reached the
subject of the events culminating in the German invasion of
Austria on 12th March, 1938, and,

                                                        [Page 250]

first under that, the plebiscite and the preparations for both
German and Austrian National Socialists.

The day after his appointment as Minister of the Interior of
Austria, Seyss-Inquart flew to Berlin for a conference with
Hitler. I invite the Court to take judicial notice of the official
German communique covering that visit of Seyss-Inquart to Hitler,
as it appeared in the "Dokumente der Deutschen Politik," Volume 6-
1, page 128, number 21-c, a copy of which will be found in our
document 464-PS.

On 9th March, 1938, three weeks after Seyss-Inquart had been put
in charge of the police of Austria and was in a position to direct
their handling of the National Socialists in Austria - three weeks
after the Nazis began to exploit their new prestige and position
with its quota of further victories - von Schuschnigg made an
important announcement.

On 9th March, 1938, Schuschnigg announced that he would hold a
plebiscite throughout Austria, the following Sunday, 13th March,
1938. The question to be submitted in the plebiscite was: "Are you
for an independent and Social, a Christian, a German and united
Austria?" A "Yes" answer to this question was certainly compatible
with the agreement made by the German Government on the 11th July,
1936, and carried forward at Berchtesgaden on the 12th February,
1938. Moreover, for a long while the Nazis had been demanding a
plebiscite on the question of Anschluss, but the Nazis apparently
appreciated the likelihood of a strong "Yes" vote on the question
put by von Schuschnigg in the plebiscite, and they could not
tolerate the possibility of such a vote of confidence in the
Schuschnigg government.

In any case, as events showed, they took this occasion to overturn
the Austrian government. Although the plebiscite was not announced
until the evening of 9th March, the Nazi Organisation received
word about it earlier in that day. It was determined by the Nazis
that they had to ask Hitler what to do about the situation (that
is, the Austrian Nazis), and that they would prepare a letter of
protest against the plebiscite, from Seyss-Inquart to von
Schuschnigg; and that, pending Hitler's approval, Seyss-Inquart
would pretend to negotiate with von Schuschnigg about details of
the plebiscite.

This information is all contained in the report of Gauleiter
Rainer to Reich Commissar Burckel, transmitted, as I have already
pointed out, to Seyss-Inquart, and which has already been received
in evidence -- our document 8122-PS, USA 61.

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