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Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, Vol. II, Chapter XVI

                                                  [Page 500]

(6) The Low Countries: Belgium, The Netherlands, and
Luxembourg. The facts as to the aggression against these
countries, during the period when Ribbentrop was Foreign
Minister, are discussed in Section 10 of Chapter IX. Special
attention should be called, however, to the statement made
by Ribbentrop 10 May 1940 to representatives of the foreign
press with regard to the reasons for the German invasion of
the Low Countries. These reasons demonstrated to. be false
in Section 10 of Chapter IX on Aggression Against The Low

[Transcription note:

                                                  [Page 501]
(7) Greece and Yugoslavia. At a meeting in Salzburg in
August 1939, at which von Ribbentrop participated, Hitler
announced that the Axis had decided to liquidate certain
neutrals (1871-PS):

     "*** Generally speaking, it would be best to liquidate
     the pseudo-neutrals one after the other. This is fairly
     easily done, if one Axis partner protects the rear of
     the other, who is just finishing off one of the
     uncertain neutrals, and vice-versa. Italy may consider
     Yugoslavia such an uncertain neutral. At the visit of
     Prince Regent Paul he [the Fuehrer] suggested,
     'particularly in consideration of Italy, that Prince
     Paul clarify his political attitude towards the Axis by
     a gesture. He had thought of a closer connection with
     the Axis and Yugoslavia's leaving the League of
     Nations. Prince Paul agreed to the latter. Recently the
     Prince Regent was in London and sought reassurance from
     the Western Powers. The same thing was repeated that
     happened in the case of Gafencu, who was also very
     reasonable during his visit to Germany and who denied
     any interest in the aims of the western democracies.
     Afterwards it was learned that he had later assumed a
     contrary standpoint in England. Among the Balkan
     countries the Axis can completely rely only on
     Bulgaria, which is in a sense a natural ally of Italy
     and Germany. *** At the moment when there would be a
     turn to the-worse for Germany and Italy, however,
     Yugoslavia would join the other side openly, hoping
     thereby to give matters a final turn to the
     disadvantage of the Axis." (1871-PS)

That demonstrates the policy with regard to uncertain

Then, as early as September 1940 Ribbentrop reviewed the war
situation with Mussolini. Ribbentrop emphasized the heavy
revenge bombing raids in England and the fact that London
would soon be in ruins. It was agreed between the parties
that only Italian interests were involved in Greece and
Yugoslavia, and that Italy could count on German support.
Ribbentrop went on further to explain to Mussolini the
Spanish plan for the attack on Gibraltar and Germany's
participation therein. He added that he was expecting to
sign the Protocol with Spain, bringing the latter country
into the war, on his return to Berlin (1842-PS). Ribbentrop
then gave Mussolini a free hand with Greece and Yugoslavia:

     "With regard to Greece and Yugoslavia, the Foreign
     Minister stressed that it was exclusively a question of
     Italian interests, the settling of which was a matter
     for Italy alone,
                                                  [Page 502]
     and in which Italy could be certain of Germany's
     sympathetic assistance.
     "But it seemed to us to be better not to touch on these
     problems for the time being, but to concentrate on the
     destruction of England with all our forces instead.
     Where Germany was concerned, she was interested in the
     northern German districts (Norway, etc.), and this was
     acknowledged by the Duce." (1842-PS).

Several months later, in January 1941, at the meeting
between Hitler and Mussolini in which Ribbentrop
participated, the Greek operation was discussed. Hitler
stated that the German troops in Rumania were for use in the
planned campaign against Greece (C-134). Count Ciano, who
attended that meeting as Italian Foreign Minister, recalls
his impression of that meeting in his diary entry for 20/21

     "The Duce is pleased with the conversation on the
     whole. I am less pleased, particularly as Ribbentrop,
     who had always been so boastful in the past, told me,
     when I asked him outright how long the war would last,
     that he saw no possibility of its ending before 1942."

Despite that somewhat pessimistic statement to Count Ciano,
three weeks later, when it was a question of encouraging the
Japanese to enter the war, Ribbentrop took a more optimistic
line. On 13 February 1941 he saw Oshima, the Japanese
Ambassador. In the course of their conversation Ribbentrop
gave an optimistic account of the military situation and the
position of Bulgaria and Turkey (1834-PS).

In the course of his efforts to get Yugoslavia to join the
Axis, Ribbentrop addressed a note, (2450-PS) on 25 March
1941, to Prime Minister Cvetkovitch, which contained this

     "The Axis-Power Governments during this war will not
     direct a demand to Yugoslavia to permit the march or
     transportation of troops through the Yugoslav state or
     territory." (2450-PS)

Shortly thereafter, there occurred the coup d'etat in
Yugoslavia, when General Simovitch took over the Government.
Two days after Ribbentrop's assurance (2450-PS), at a
meeting on 27 March 1941 at which Ribbentrop was present,
Hitler outlined the military campaign against Yugoslavia and
promised the destruction of Yugoslavia and the demolition of
Belgrade by the German Air Force (1746-PS).

After the invasion of Yugoslavia Ribbentrop was one of the
persons directed by Hitler with the drawing of the

                                                  [Page 503]
for the partition and division of Yugoslavia. The
preliminary directive for that action provided:

     "*** If the drawing up of boundaries has not been laid
     down in the above Part I, it will be carried out by the
     Supreme Command of the Armed Forces in agreement with
     the Foreign Office Ribbentrop], the Plenipotentiary for
     the Four Year Plan [Goering], and the Reich Minister of
     the Interior [Frick]." (1195-PS)

(8) The U.S.S.R. On 23 August 1939 Ribbentrop signed The
German-Soviet non-aggression Pact (TC-25). The first point
at which Ribbentrop seems to have considered special
problems of aggression against the Soviet Union was just
after 20 April 1941, when Rosenberg and Ribbentrop met or
communicated to consider problems expected to arise in the
Eastern occupied territory. Ribbentrop appointed his
Counsellor, Grosskopf, to be his liaison man with Rosenberg
and also assigned a Consul General, Brauetigam, who had many
years experience in USSR, as a collaborator with Rosenberg
(1039-PS) .

The following month, on 18 May 1941, the German Foreign
Office prepared a declaration setting forth operational
zones in the Arctic Ocean and the Baltic and Black Seas to
be used by the German Navy and Air Force in the coming
invasion of the Soviet Union:

     "The Foreign Office has prepared for use in Barbarossa
     the attached draft of a declaration of operational
     zones. The Foreign Office has, however, reserved its
     decision as to the date when the declaration will be
     issued, as well as discussion of particulars." (C-77)

Thus, it is clear that Ribbentrop was again fully involved
in the preparation for this act of aggression. Finally, on
22 June 1941, Ribbentrop announced to the world that the
German armies were invading the USSR (3054-PS).

How untrue were the reasons given by Ribbentrop is shown by
the report of his own Ambassador in Moscow on 7 June 1941,
who said that everything was being done by the Russians to
avoid a conflict.

(9) Instigation of Japanese Aggression. On 25 November 1936,
as a result of negotiations of Ribbentrop as Ambassador at
Large, Germany and Japan signed the Anti-Comintern Pact
(2508-PS). The recital states the purpose of the agreement
as follows:

     "The Government of the German Reich and the Imperial
                                                  [Page 504]
     Japanese Government, recognizing that the aim of the
     Communist Internationale known as the Comintern is to
     disintegrate and subdue existing States by all the
     means at its command; convinced that the toleration of
     interference by the Communist Internationale in the
     internal affairs of the nations not only endangers
     their internal peace and social well-being, but is also
     a menace to the peace of the world; desirous of
     cooperating in the defense against Communist subversive
     activities; having agreed as follows **" (2508-PS)

There then follow the effective terms of the agreement under
which Germany and Japan are to act together for five years.
It is signed on behalf of Germany by Ribbentrop (2508-PS).

On 27 September 1940 Ribbentrop, as Foreign Minister, signed
the Tripartite Pact with Japan and Italy, thereby bringing
about a full-scale military and economic alliance for the
creation of a new order in Europe and East Asia (2643-PS).

On 13 February 1941 -- some four months later -- Ribbentrop
was urging the Japanese to attack British possessions in the
Far East (183-PS).

Then, in April 1941, at a meeting between Hitler and
Matsuoka, representing Japan, at which Ribbentrop was
present, Hitler promised that Germany would declare war on
the United States in the event of war occurring between
Japan and the United States as a result of Japanese
aggression in the Pacific (1881-PS);

The development of Ribbentrop's views is indicated by the
minutes of another conversation with the Japanese Foreign
Minister (1882-PS):

     "*** Matsuoka then spoke of the general high morale in
     Germany, referring to the happy faces he had seen
     everywhere among the workers during his recent visit to
     the Borsig Works. He expressed his regret that
     developments in Japan had not as yet advanced as far as
     in Germany and that in his country the intellectuals
     still exercised considerable influence.
     "The Reich Foreign Minister replied that at best a
     nation which had realized its every ambition could
     afford the luxury of intellectuals, most of whom are
     parasites, anyway. A nation, however, which has to
     fight for a place in the sun must give them up. The
     intellectuals ruined France; in Germany they had
     already started their pernicious activities when
     National Socialism put a stop to these doings; they
                                                  [Page 505]
     will surely be the cause of the downfall of Britain,
     which is to be expected with certainty ***." (1882-PS)

That was on April 1941.

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