The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-01/tgmwc-01-08.03

Archive/File: imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-01/tgmwc-01-08.03
Last-Modified: 1999/09/04

I quote briefly from page 7 of the English text, the paragraph
beginning on page 11 of the German original:-

   "The Landesleitung received word about the planned plebiscite,
   through illegal information services, on 9th March, 1938, at 10
   a.m. At the session which was called immediately afterwards,
   Seyss-Inquart complained that he had known about this for only
   a few hours, but that he could not talk about it because he had
   given his word to keep silent on this subject. But during the
   talks, he made us understand that the illegal information we
   received was based on truth, and that in view of the new
   situation, he had been co-operating with the Landesleitung from
   the very first moment. Klausner, Jury, Rainer, Globotschnik and
   Seyss-Inquart were present at the first talks, which were held
   at 10 a.m. There it was decided that first, the Fuehrer had to
   be informed immediately; secondly, the opportunity for him to
   intervene must be given to him by way of an official
   declaration made by Minister Seyss-Inquart to Schuschnigg; and,
   thirdly, Seyss-Inquart must negotiate with the Government until
   clear instructions and orders were received from the Fuehrer.
   Seyss-Inquart and Rainer together composed a letter to von
   Schuschnigg, and only one copy of it was brought to the Fuehrer
   by Globotschnik, who flew to him on the afternoon of 9th March,
   Negotiations with the Government were not successful. Therefore
   they were stopped by Seyss-Inquart in accordance with the
   instructions he received
                                                        [Page 251]

   from the Fuehrer. On the 10th March, all the preparations for
   future revolutionary actions had already been made, and the
   necessary orders given to all unit leaders. During the night of
   the 10th and 11th, Globotschnik returned with the announcement
   that the Fuehrer gave the party freedom of action, and that he
   would back it in everything it did."

That means, the Austrian Nazi party.

Next, Germany's actual preparations for the invasion and the use
of force. When news of the plebiscite reached Berlin it started a
tremendous amount of activity. Hitler, as history knows, was
determined not to tolerate the plebiscite. Accordingly, he called
his military advisers and ordered the preparation of the march
into Austria.

On the diplomatic side, he started a letter to Mussolini
indicating why he was going to march into Austria, and in the
absence of the defendant Ribbentrop (who was temporarily detained
in London), the defendant von Neurath took over the affairs of the
Foreign Office again.

The terse and somewhat disconnected notes in General Jodl's diary
give a vivid account of the activities in Berlin. I quote from the
entry of 10th March.

By surprise and without consulting his ministers, von Schuschnigg
ordered a plebiscite for Sunday, 13th March, which should bring a
strong majority for the legitimate party in the absence of plan or

The Fuehrer is determined not to tolerate it. This same night,
March 9th to 10th he calls for Goering. General von Reichenau is
ordered back from the Vairo Olympic Committee. General von
Schebert is ordered to come as well as Minister Glaise-Horstenau,
who is with the District leader (Gauleiter Burckel) in the
Palatinia. General Keitel communicates the facts at 1.45. He
drives to the Reichskanzlei at ten o'clock. I follow at 10.15,
according to the wish of General von Viebahn, to give him the old
draft "Prepare Case Otto.'

1300 hours, General K - which I think plainly means Keitel -
"informs Chief of Operational Staff and Admiral Canaris;
Ribbentrop is being detained in London. Neurath takes over the
Foreign Office. Fuehrer wants to transmit ultimatum to the
Austrian cabinet. A personal letter is dispatched to Mussolini and
the reasons are developed which forced the Fuehrer to take action.
1630 hours, mobilisation order is given to the Commander of the
VIII Army, Corps Area 3, 7th and 13th Army Corps, without Reserve

Now, it is to be noted that defendant von Neurath was at this
critical hour acting as Foreign Minister. The previous February
the defendant Ribbentrop had become Foreign Minister, and von
Neurath had become President of the Secret Cabinet Council. But in
this critical hour of foreign policy the defendant Ribbentrop was
in London handling the diplomatic consequences of the Austrian
transaction. As Foreign Minister in this hour of aggression,
involving mobilisation and movement of troops, use of force and
threats to eliminate the independence of a neighbouring country,
the defendant von Neurath reclaimed his former position in the
Nazi conspiracy.

I now offer in evidence our document C-102 as exhibit USA 74,
captured German document, Top Secret, the directive of the Supreme
Command of the Armed Forces, 11th March, 1938. This directive by
Hitler, initialled by the defendants Jodl and Keitel, stated,
"Hitler mixed political and military intentions." I quote
paragraphs one, four, and five of the directive. First, the
caption: "The Supreme Command of the Armed Forces," with some
initials, referring to Operation Otto." Thirty copies. This is the
eleventh copy. Top Secret.
   "1. If other measures prove unsuccessful I intend to invade
   Austria with armed forces to establish constitutional
   conditions and to prevent further outrages against the pro-
   German population.
   4. The forces of the Army and Air Force detailed for this
   operation must be ready for invasion and/or ready for action on
   the 12th of March, 1938, at the latest
                                                        [Page 252]
   from 1200 hours. I reserve the right to give permission for
   crossing and flying over the frontier and to decide the actual
   moment for invasion.
   5. The behaviour of the troops must give the impression that we
   do not want to wage war against our Austrian brothers; it is in
   our interest that the whole operation shall be carried out
   without any violence, but in the form of a peaceful entry
   welcomed by the population. Therefore any provocation is to be
   avoided. If, however, resistance is offered it must be broken
   ruthlessly by force of arms."

I also offer in evidence captured German document C-103 as exhibit
USA 75, special instruction number one, directive, 11th March,
1938. This was an implementing directive, issued by the defendant
Jodl, and it provided as follows:

"Top Secret. General. Forty copies, of which this is the sixth.
Special instruction number one to the Supreme Commander of the
Armed Forces No. 427-38, with some symbols. Directive. Our policy
toward Czechoslovakian and Italian troops or militia units on
Austrian soil.

1.  If Czechoslovakian troops or militia units are encountered in
Austria they are to be regarded as hostile.

2. The Italians are everywhere to be treated as friends,
especially as Mussolini has declared himself disinterested in the
solution of the Austrian question. The Chief of the Supreme
Command of the Armed Forces, by order of Jodl."

Next, the actual events of 11th March in Austria. The events of
11th March, 1938, in Austria are available to us in two separate
documents. Although these accounts differ in some minor details,
such as the precise words used and the precise times when they
were used, they afford each other almost complete corroboration.
We think it appropriate for this Tribunal to have before it a
relatively full account of the way in which the German Government
on 11th March, 1938, deprived Austria of its sovereignty. First I
shall give the report of the day's events in Austria as given by
the Austrian Nazis. I refer to document 812-PS, exhibit USA 61, a
report from Gauleiter Rainer to Reich Commissar Burckel, and I
shall read from page 8 of the English version. For the purpose of
the German interpreter I am starting following a tabulation: First
case; second case; third case; and following the sentence: "Dr.
Seyss-Inquart took part in these talks with Gauleiters."

    "On Friday, 11th March, the Minister Glaise-Horstenau arrived
    in Vienna after a visit to the Fuehrer. After talks with Seyss-
    Inquart he went to see the Chancellor. At 11.3o a.m. the
    'Landesleitung' had a meeting at which Klausner, Rainer, Jury,
    Seyss-Inquart, Glaise-Horstenau, Fishbock, and Muhlmann
    participated. Dr. Seyss-Inquart reported on his talks with von
    Schuschnigg, which had ended in a rejection of the proposal of
    the two ministers.
    In regard to Rainer's proposal, von Klausner ordered that the
    Government be presented with an ultimatum, expiring at 1400
    hours, signed by legal political 'front' men, including both
    ministers and also State Councillors Fishbock and Jury, for
    the establishment of a voting date in three weeks and a free
    and secret ballot in accordance with the constitution.
    On the basis of written evidence which Glaise-Horstenau had
    brought with him, a leaflet, to be printed in millions of
    copies, and a telegram to the Fuehrer calling for help were
    Klausner placed the leadership of the final political actions
    in the hands of Rainer and Globotschnik. Von Schuschnigg
    called a session of all ministers for 2 p.m. Rainer agreed
    with Seyss-Inquart that he should send the telegram to the
    Fuehrer and the statement to the population at 3 p.m., and at
    the same time he would start all necessary actions to take
    over power unless he received news from the session of the
    ministers' council before that time. During this time all
    measures had been prepared. At two-thirty Seyss-Inquart phoned
    Rainer and informed him that von Schuschnigg had been unable
    to stand the pressure, and had recalled the plebiscite, but
    that he had refused to call a new plebiscite and had ordered
    the strongest police measures for maintaining order. Rainer
    asked whether the two
                                                        [Page 253]
    ministers had resigned, and Seyss-Inquart answered 'No.'
    Rainer informed the 'Reichskanzlei' through the German
    Embassy, and received an answer from Goering through the same
    channels, that the Fuehrer will not consent to partial
    solutions and that von Schuschnigg must resign. Seyss-Inquart
    was informed of this by Globotschnik and Muhlmann. Talks were
    had between Seyss-Inquart and von Schuschnigg. Von Schuschnigg
    resigned. Seyss-Inquart asked Rainer what measures the Party
    wished taken. Rainer's answer: 'Re-establishment of the
    government by Seyss-Inquart, legalisation of the Party, and
    calling up of the S.S. and S.A. as auxiliaries to the police
    force. Seyss-Inquart promised to have these measures carried
    out, but very soon the announcement followed that everything
    might be threatened by the resistance of Miklas, the
    President. Meanwhile word arrived from the German Embassy that
    the Fuehrer expected the establishment of a government under
    Seyss-Inquart with a national majority, the legalisation of
    the Party, and permission for the Legion (that is the Austrian
    Legion in Germany) to return, all within the specified time of
    7.30 p.m.; otherwise German troops would cross the border at 8
    p.m. At 5 p.m. Rainer and Globotschnik, accompanied by
    Muhlmann, went to the Chancellor's office to carry out this
    Situation: Miklas negotiated with Ender for the creation of a
    government which included Blacks, Reds, and National
    Socialists, and proposed the post of Vice-Chancellor to Seyss-
    Inquart. The latter rejected it, and told Rainer that he was
    not able to negotiate by himself because he was personally
    involved, and therefore a weak and unpleasant political
    situation might result. Rainer negotiated with Zernatto.
    Director of the cabinet Huber, Guido Schmidt, Glaise-
    Horstenau, Legation Councillor Stein, Military Attache General
    Muff, and the 'Gruppenfuehrer' Keppler (whose name I told you
    would reappear significantly), who had arrived in the
    meantime, were already negotiating. At 7 p.m. Seyss-Inquart
    entered the negotiations again. Situation at 7-30 P-m.:
    stubborn refusal of Miklas to appoint Seyss-Inquart as
    Chancellor; appeal to the world in case of a German invasion.
    Gruppenfuehrer Keppler explained that the Fuehrer did not yet
    have an urgent reason for the invasion. This reason must first
    be created. The situation in Vienna and in the country is most
    dangerous. It is feared that street fights will break out any
    moment, because Rainer ordered the entire Party to demonstrate
    at three o'clock. Rainer proposed storming and seizing the
    government palace in order to force the reconstruction of the
    government. The proposal was rejected by Keppler, but as
    carried out by Rainer after he discussed it with Globotschnik.
    After 8 p.m. the S.A. and S.S. marched in and occupied the
    government buildings and all important positions in the city
    of Vienna. At 8.30 p.m. Rainer, with the approval of Klausner,
    ordered all Gauleiters of Austria to take over power in all
    eight 'gaus' of Austria, with the help of the S.S. and S.A.,
    and with instructions that all government representatives who
    try to resist should be told that this action was taken on the
    order of Chancellor Seyss-Inquart.
    With this the revolution broke out, and this resulted in the
    complete occupation of Austria within three hours and the
    taking over of all important posts by the Party.
    The seizure of power was the work of the party supported by
    the Fuehrer's threat of invasion, and the legal standing of
    Seyss-Inquart in the government. The national result in the
    form of the taking over of the government by Seyss-Inquart was
    due to the actual seizure of power by the Party on one hand,
    and the political efficiency of Dr. Seyss-Inquart in his
    territory on the other; but both factors may be considered
    only in relation to the Fuehrer's decision on 9th March, 1938,
    to solve the Austrian problem under any circumstances, and the
    orders consequently issued by the Fuehrer."

We have at hand another document which permits us virtually to
live again through the events of 11th March, 1938, and to live
through them in most lively

                                                        [Page 254]

and interesting fashion. Thanks to the efficiency of the defendant
Goering and his Luftwaffe Organisation, we have a highly
interesting document, obviously an official document from the
Luftwaffe Headquarters headed as usual "Geheime Reichssache," Top
Secret. The letter head is stamped "Reichsluftfahrtministerium
Forschungsamt." If I can get the significance of the German,
"Forschungsamt" means the "Research Department" of Goering's Air
Ministry. The document is in a characteristic German folder, and
on the back it says " Gespracche Fall Oesterreich." " Conversation
about the Case on Austria," and the paper cover on the inside has
German script writing. In time I will ask the interpreter to read
it, but it looks to me as if it is "Privat, Geheime Archive,"
which is "Secret Archive," Berlin, Gespraeche Fall Oesterreich
(Case About Austria). I offer that set of documents in the
original file as they were found in the Air Ministry, identified
as our 2949-PS. I offer them as exhibit USA 76,and, in offering
them, I am reminded of Job's outcry: "Oh, that mine enemy would
write a book."

The covering letter in that file, signed by some member of this
research organisation within the Air Ministry, and addressed to
the defendant Goering, states in substance - well, I will read the
English translation. It starts: "To the General Fieldmarshal.
Fieldmarshal. Enclosed I submit, as ordered, the copies of your
telephone conversations." Evidently the defendant wanted to keep a
record of important telephone conversations which he had with
important persons regarding "Case Austria," and had the
transcriptions provided by his research department. Most of the
conversations, transcribed and recorded in the volume I have
offered, were conducted by the defendant Goering, although at
least one interesting one was conducted by Hitler. For purposes of
convenience our staff has marked these telephone calls in pencil
with identifying letters running from "A" through "Z" and then to
"AA." Eleven of these conversations have been determined, by a
screening process, to be relevant to the evidence of this
particular time. All the conversations which have been translated
have been mimeographed and are included in the document books
handed to the defendants. The original binder contains, of course,
the complete set of conversations. A very extensive and
interesting account of events with which we are much concerned can
be developed from quotations from these translated conversations.
The first group in part "A" of the binder took place between Field
Marshal Goering, who was identified by the letter "F" for Field
Marshal, and Seyss-Inquart, who was identified as "S."  The
transcript prepared by the Research Institute of the Air Ministry
is in part in the language of these two persons, and is in part a
summary of the actual conversations. I quote from part "A" of this
binder, and because of the corroborated nature of this transcript
and its obvious authenticity I propose to quote this conversation
in full.

   "F - (hereafter I shall use Goering and Seyss-Inquart)-F. How
   do you do, doctor? My brother-in-law; is he with you?
   Seyss-Inquart: No."

Thereupon the conversation took approximately the following turn:-

   "Goering: How are things with you? Have you resigned, or have
   you any news?
   Seyss-Inquart: The Chancellor has cancelled the elections for
   Sunday, and therefore he has put "S" (Seyss-Inquart) and the
   other gentlemen in a difficult situation. Besides having
   called off the elections, extensive precautionary measures are
   being ordered, among others curfew at eight p.m.

Goering replied that in his opinion the measures taken by
Chancellor Schuschnigg were not satisfactory in any respect. At
this moment he could not commit himself officially. Goering will
take a clear stand very shortly. In calling off the election he
could see a postponement only, not a change of the present
situation which had been brought about by the behaviour of the
Chancellor Schuschnigg in breaking the Berchtesgaden agreement.

Thereafter a conversation took place between Goering and the
Fuehrer. Afterwards Goering phoned Seyss-Inquart again. This
conversation was held at 1505 hours.

                                                        [Page 255]

   "Goering told Seyss-Inquart that Berlin did not agree at all
   with the decision made by Chancellor Schuschnigg, since he did
   not enjoy any longer the confidence of our Government, because
   he had broken the Berchtesgaden agreement, and therefore
   further confidence in his future actions did not exist.
   Consequently the National Ministers, Seyss-Inquart, and the
   others are being requested to immediately hand in their
   resignation to the Chancellor, and also to ask the Chancellor
   to resign. Goering added that if, after a period of one hour,
   no report had come through, the assumption would be made that
   Seyss-Inquart would no more be in a position to phone. That
   would mean that the gentlemen had handed in their
   resignations. Seyss-Inquart was then told to send the telegram
   to the Fuehrer as agreed upon. As a matter of course, an
   immediate commission by the Federal President for Seyss-
   Inquart to form a new cabinet would follow Schuschnigg's

Thus you see that at 2.45 p.m. Goering told Seyss-Inquart over the
phone that it was not enough for von Schuschnigg to cancel the
elections; and twenty minutes later he telephoned Seyss-Inquart to
state that von Schuschnigg must resign. That is your second
ultimatum. When informed about an hour later that von Schuschnigg
had resigned, he pointed out that in addition it was necessary to
have Seyss-Inquart at the head of the cabinet. Shall I go into
another one?

THE PRESIDENT: I think we had better adjourn until 2 o'clock.

(A recess was taken.)

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.