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   Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression, Volume II, Chapter XV

                                                  [Page 329]

B. Criminal Activities of the General Staff and High Command

The General Staff and High Command group is well represented
among the individual defendants in this case. It must be
kept in mind that this group may be declared criminal in
connection with any act of which an individual defendant who
is a member of the group may be convicted (Charter, Article
9). Five of the individual defendants, or one-quarter of the
total number accused, are members of this group.

In the order of listing in the indictments, the first is
Goering. Goering is a defendant in this case in numerous
capacities. He is a member of the General Staff and High
Command group by reason of having been the Commander-in-
Chief of the Air Force from the time when the Air Force
first came into the open, and was officially established,
until about a month prior to the end of the war. During the
last month of the war he was replaced in

                                                  [Page 330]

this capacity by von Greim, who committed suicide shortly
after his capture at the end of the war. Goering is charged
with crimes under all counts of the Indictment.

The next listed defendant who is a member of the group is
Keitel He and the remaining three defendants who are members
of the group are all four in this case primarily or solely
in their military capacities, and all four of them were
professional soldiers or sailors. Keitel was made the chief
of the High Command of the German Armed Forces (OKW) when
the OKW was first set up in 1938, and remained in that
capacity throughout the period in question He held the rank
of Field Marshall throughout most of this period, and in
addition to being the Chief of OKW, he was a member of the
Secret Cabinet Council and of the Council of Ministers for
the Defense of the Reich. Keitel is charged with crimes
under all four counts of the Indictment.

The defendant Jodl was a career soldier; he was an
Oberstleutnant (Lieutenant Colonel) when the Nazis came to
power, and ultimately attained the rank of Generaloberst
(Colonel General). He became the Chief of the Operations
Staff of the Wehrmacht, and continued in that capacity
throughout the war. He also is charged with crimes under all
four counts of the Indictment

The defendant Raeder is in a sense the senior member of the
entire group, having been Commander-in-Chief of the German
Navy as early as 1928. He attained the highest rank in the
German Navy, Grossadmiral, and in addition to being
Commander-in-Chief of the Navy he was a member of the Secret
Cabinet Council. He retired from Supreme Command of the Navy
in January 1943, and was replaced by Doenitz. Raeder is
charged with crimes under counts 1, 2, and 3 of the

The last of these five defendants, Doenitz, was a relatively
junior officer when the Nazis came to power. During the
early years of the Nazi regime he specialized in submarine
activities and was in command of the U-boat arm when the war
broke out. He rose steadily in the Navy and was chosen to
succeed Raeder when the latter retired in 1943. Doenitz then
became Commander-in-Chief of the Navy and attained the rank
of Grossadmiral. When the German Armed Forces collapsed near
the end of the war, Doenitz succeeded Hitler as head of the
German government. He is charged with crimes under counts 1,
2, and 3 of the Indictment.

Four of these five defendants are reasonably typical of the
group as a whole. Goering is an exception: he is primarily a
Nazi party politician nourishing a hobby for aviation as a
result of his career in 1914-18. But the others made
soldiering or sailoring their life work. They collaborated
with and joined in the most important

                                                  [Page 331]

adventures of the Nazis, but they were not among the early
party members. They differ in no essential respect from the
other 125 odd members of the group. They are, no doubt,
abler men in certain respects than some of the other
members, as they rose to the highest positions in the German
Armed Forces, and all but Jodl attained the highest rank.
But they are generally representative of the group, and
their expressed ideas and actions are fairly characteristic
of those of the other group

It is not, of course, the prosecution's position, and it is
not essential to its case, that all 130 members of this
group, (or all the members of any other organization or
group named in the Indictment), actually committed crimes,
under Article 6 of the Charter. It is the prosecution's
position that the leadership of the group and the purposes
to which the group was committed by the leaders were
criminal under Article 6. The individual defendants were
among the leaders of the General Staff and High Command
group, and, acting in the official capacities which made
them members of the group, they performed and participated
in acts which are criminal under Article 6 of the Charter.
Other members of the group performed such acts. The German
Armed Forces were so completely under the group's control as
to make the group responsible for their activities under the
last sentence of Article 6 of the Charter.

(1) The Planning and Launching of Wars of Aggression. It is,
of course, the normal function of a military staff to
prepare military plans. In peacetime, military staffs
customarily concern themselves with the preparation of plans
of attack or defense based on hypothetical contingencies.
There is nothing criminal about carrying on such exercises
or preparing such plans. That is not what these defendants
and this group are charged with.

This group agreed with the Nazi objective of aggrandizing
Germany by force or threat of force. They joined knowingly
and enthusiastically in developing German armed might for
this criminal purpose. They joined knowingly and willfully
in initiating and waging aggressive wars. They were advised
in advance of the Nazi plans to launch aggressive wars. They
laid the military plans and directed the initiation and
carrying on of the wars. These things are criminal under
article 6 of the Charter.

Aggressive war cannot be prepared and waged without intense
activity on the part of all branches of the Armed Forces and
particularly by the high-ranking officers who control such
forces. To the extent, therefore, that German preparations
for and waging aggressive war are historical facts of common
knowledge, or are proved, it necessarily follows that the
General Staff and High

                                                  [Page 332]
Command group, and the German Armed Forces, participated

This is so notwithstanding the effort on the part of certain
military leaders of Germany, after defeat, to insist that
until the troops marched they lived in an ivory tower of
military technicalities, unable or unwilling to observe the
end to which their work led. The documentary evidence which
follows fully refutes any such contentions.

The purposes and objectives of the German General Staff and
High Command group during the period prior to the absorption
of Austria may be summarized as follows:

     (i) Secret rearmament, including the training of
     military personnel, the production of war munitions,
     and the building of an air force;
     (ii) The creation of a military air force, announced by
     Goering on 10 March 1935;
     (iii) The law for compulsory military service, of 16
     March 1935, fixing the peace-time strength of the
     German Army at 500,000; and
     (iv) The reoccupation of the Rhineland on 7 March 1936
     and the refortification of that area.

These events are historical facts not requiring proof.
Likewise, the impossibility of the Nazis' achieving these
ends without cooperation by the Armed Forces is indisputable
from the very nature of things.

Events and circumstances during the period 1933-36 are
discussed in Section 2 of Chapter IX. Chief among these were
the secret expansion of the German Navy in violation of
treaty limitations, under the guidance of Raeder; the secret
Reich Defense Law of 21 May 1935, adopted the same day that
Germany unilaterally renounced the armament provision of the
Versailles Treaty (2261-PS); von Blomberg's plan, 2 May
1935, for the reoccupation of the Rhineland (C-139); and von
Blomberg's orders of 2 March 1936 under which the
reoccupation was actually carried out (C-159). All these
events clearly required the closest collaboration between
the military leaders and the Nazis.

The state of mind and objectives of the German military
leaders during this early period are significant. The
viewpoint of the German Navy on the opportunities which
Naziism offered for rearmament so that Germany could achieve
its objectives by force or threat of force, is reflected in
a memorandum published by the High Command of the German
Navy in 1937 entitled "The Fight of the Navy against
Versailles, 1919-35" (C-156). This memorandum was compiled
by a naval captain named Schuessler in the

                                                  [Page 333]
German Admiralty. The preface contains the following

     "The object and aim of this memorandum is to draw a
     technically reliable picture based on documentary
     records and the evidence of those who took part, of the
     fight of the Navy against the unbearable regulations of
     the Peace Treaty of Versailles."
     "This compilation makes it clearer however, that even
     such ideal and ambitious plans can be realized only to
     a small degree if the concentrated and united strength
     of the whole people is not behind the courageous
     activity of the soldier. Only when the Fuehrer had
     created the second and even more important condition
     for an effective rearmament, in the coordination of the
     whole nation and in the fusion of the political,
     financial and spiritual powers, could the work of the
     soldier find its fulfilment.
     "The framework of this Peace Treaty, the most shameful
     known in world history, collapsed under the driving
     power of this united will."
Thus, the German Navy and the Nazis were in comradely
agreement and full collaboration. Hitler was giving the
military leaders the chance they wanted. Jodl stated the
situation clearly in his speech to the Gauleiters on 7
November 1943 (L-172):

     "1. The fact that the National-Socialist movement and
     its struggle for internal power were the preparatory
     stage of the outer liberation from the bonds of the
     Dictate of Versailles is not one on which I need
     enlarge in this circle. I should like however to
     mention at this point how clearly all thoughtful
     regular soldiers realize what an important part has
     been played by the National Socialist movement in re-
     awakening the will to fight [Wehrwillen] in nurturing
     fighting strength [Wehrkraft] and in rearming the
     German people. In spite of all the virtue inherent in
     it, the numerically small Reichswehr would never have
     been able to cope with this task, if only because of
     its own restricted radius of action. Indeed, what the
     Fuehrer aimed at -- and has so happily been successful
     in bringing about -- was the fusion of these two
     "2. The seizure of power in its turn has meant in the
     first place restoration of fighting sovereignty
     [Wehrhoheit] (conscription, occupation of the
     Rhineland) and rearmament with special emphasis being
     laid on the creation of a modern armoured and air arm."

                                                  [Page 334]
Nor were the high-ranking German officers unaware that the
policies and objectives of the Nazis were leading Germany in
the direction of war. Notes made by Admiral Carls of the
German Navy in September 1938 by way of comment on a "Draft
study of Naval Warfare against England," read as follows:

     "A. There is full agreement with the main theme of the
     "1. If according to the Fuehrer's decision Germany is
     to acquire a position as a world power she needs not
     only sufficient colonial possessions but also secure
     naval communications and secure access to the ocean.
     "2. Both requirements can only be fulfilled in
     opposition to Anglo-French interests and would limit -
     their position as world powers. It is unlikely that
     they can be achieved by peaceful means. The decision to
     make Germany a world power therefore forces upon us the
     necessity of making the corresponding preparations for
     "3. War against England means at the same time war
     against the Empire, against France, probably against
     Russia as well and a large number of countries
     overseas, in fact against one-half to one-third of the
     whole world.
     "It can only be justified and have a chance of success
     if it is prepared economically as well as politically
     and militarily and waged with the aim of conquering for
     Germany an outlet to the ocean." (C-23)

The German Air Force, during this prewar period, was
developing even more radically aggressive plans for the
aggrandizement of the Reich. A study prepared by the chief,
Kammhuber, of a branch of the General Staff of the Air Force
called the "Organization Staff", contained recommendations
for the organization of the German Air Force in future years
up to 1950 (L-43). The recommendations are based on certain
assumptions, one of which was that by 190 the frontiers of
Germany would be as shown on the map which is attached as an
inclosure to this study (Chart Number 10). On this map
Austria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, and the Baltic
coast up to the Gulf of Finland are all included within the
borders of the Reich. Kammhuber also envisaged the future
peacetime organization of the German Air Force as comprising
seven "Group Commands." Four of these were to lie within the
borders of Germany proper, at Berlin, Brunswick, Munich, and
Koenigsberg, but the three others are proposed to be at
Vienna, Budapest, and Warsaw.

The basic agreement and harmony between the Nazis and the
German military leaders cannot be overemphasized. Without
this agreement on objectives there might never have been a
war. In

                                                  [Page 335]
this connection, an affidavit (3704-PS) by von Blomberg,
formerly Field Marshall, Reich War Minister, and Commander-
in-Chief of the German Armed Forces until February 1938, is

     "From 1919, and particularly from 1924, three critical
     territorial questions occupied attention in Germany.
     These were the questions of the Polish Corridor, the
     Ruhr and Memel.
     "I myself, as well as the whole group of German staff
     officers, believed that these three questions,
     outstanding among which was the question of the Polish
     Corridor, would have to be settled some day, if
     necessary by force of arms. About ninety percent of the
     German people were of the same mind as the officers on
     the Polish question. A war to wipe out the desecration
     involved in the creation of the Polish Corridor and to
     lessen the threat to separated East Prussia surrounded
     by Poland and Lithuania was regarded as a sacred duty
     though a sad necessity. This was one of the chief
     reasons behind the partially secret rearmament which
     began about ten years before Hitler came to power and
     was accentuated under Nazi rule.
     "Before 1938-1939 the German generals were not opposed
     to Hitler. There was no reason to oppose Hitler since
     he produced the results which they desired. After this
     time some generals began to condemn his methods and
     lost confidence in the power of his judgment. However
     they failed as a group to take any definite stand
     against him, although a few of them tried to do so and
     as a result had to pay for this with their lives or
     their positions.
     "Shortly before my removal from the post of Commander-
     in-Chief of the Armed Forces in January 1938, Hitler
     asked me to recommend a successor. I suggested Goering,
     who was the ranking officer, but Hitler objected
     because of his lack of patience and diligence. I was
     replaced as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces by
     no officer, but Hitler personally took over my function
     as Commander. Keitel was recommended by me as a Chef de
     bureau. As far as I know he was never named Commander
     of the Armed Forces but was always merely a 'Chief of
     Staff' under Hitler and in effect conducted the
     administrative functions of the Ministry of War. At my
     time Keitel was not opposed to Hitler and therefore was
     qualified to bring about a good understanding between
     Hitler and the Armed Forces, a thing which I myself
     desired and had furthered as Reichswehrminister and
     Reichskriegminister. To do the opposite would have led
     to a civil war, for at that
                                                  [Page 336]
     time the mass of the German people supported Hitler.
     Many are no longer willing to admit this. But it is the
     "As I heard, Keitel did not oppose any of Hitler's
     measures. He became a willing tool in Hitler's hands
     for every one of his decisions.
     "He did not measure up to what might have been expected
     of him." (3704-PS)

This statement by von Blomberg is paralleled closely in some
respects by an affidavit by Colonel General Blaskowitz (3706-
PS). Blaskowitz commanded an army in the campaign against
Poland and the campaign against France. He subsequently took
command of Army Group G in southern France, and held command
of Army Group H, which retreated beyond the Rhine at the end
of the war. His statement is as follows:

     "*** After the annexation of Czechoslovakia we hoped
     that the Polish question would be settled in a peaceful
     fashion through diplomatic means, since we believed
     that this time France and England would come to the
     assistance of their ally. As a matter of fact we felt
     that, if political negotiations came to naught, the
     Polish question would unavoidably lead to war, that is,
     not only with Poland herself, but also with the Western
     "When in the middle of June I received an order from
     the OKH to prepare myself for an attack on Poland, I
     knew that this war came even closer to the realm of
     possibility. This conclusion was only strengthened by
     the Fuehrer's speech on 22 August 1939 on the
     Obersalzberg when it clearly seemed to be an actuality.
     Between the middle of June 1939 and 1 September 1939
     the members of my staff who were engaged in
     preparations, participated in various discussions which
     went on between the OKH and the army group. During
     these discussions such matters of a tactical, strategic
     and general nature were discussed as had to do with my
     future position as Commander-in-Chief of the Eighth
     Army during the planned Polish campaign.
     "During the Polish campaign, particularly during the
     Kutno operations, I was repeatedly in communication
     with the Commander-in-Chief of the Army, and he, as
     well as the Fuehrer, visited my headquarters. In fact
     it was common practice for commanders-in-chief of army
     groups and of armies to be asked from time to time for
     estimates of the situation and for their
     recommendations by telephone, teletype or wireless, as
     well as by personal calls. These front commanders-in-
     chief thus actually became advisers to the OKH in their
     own field
                                                  [Page 337]
     so that the positions shown in the attached chart
     embrace that group which was the actual advisory
     council of the High Command of the German Armed
     Forces." (3706-PS)

It should be noted that General Blaskowitz, like Colonel
General Halder and Field Marshall von Brauchitsch, vouches
for the accuracy of the structure and organization of the
General Staff and High Command group as described by the

It is, accordingly, clear beyond dispute that the military
leaders of Germany knew of, approved, supported, and
executed plans for the expansion of the Armed Forces beyond
the limits set by treaties. The objectives they had in mind
are obvious from the affidavits and documents to which
reference has been made. In these documents and affidavits
we see the Nazis and the Generals in agreement upon the
basic objective of aggrandizing Germany by force or threat
of force, and collaborating to build up the armed might of
Germany in order to make possible the subsequent act's of

(a) Austria. Notes taken by Colonel Hossbach of a conference
held in the Reich Chancellery in Berlin on 5 November 1937
show that this conference, at which Hitler presided, was
small and highly secret (386-PS). The only other
participants were the four principal military leaders, the
Minister of Foreign Affairs (von Neurath), and Hossbach
acting as Secretary. The four chief leaders of the Armed
Forces -- Blomberg, who was then Reich Minister for War, and
the Commanders-in-Chief of the three branches of the Armed
Forces, von Fritsch for the Army, Raeder for the Navy, and
Goering for the Air Force -- were present. Hitler embarked
on a general discussion of Germany's diplomatic and military
policy, and stated that the conquest of Austria and
Czechoslovakia was an essential preliminary "for the
improvement of our military position" and "in order to
remove any threat from the flanks". (386-PS)

The military and political advantages envisaged included the
acquisition of a new source of food, shorter and better
frontiers, the release of troops for other tasks, and the
possibility of forming new divisions from the population of
the conquered territories. Von Blomberg and von Fritsch
joined in the discussion and von Fritsch stated:

     "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" (386-PS).

                                                  [Page 338]

In the following Spring, March 1938, the German plans with
respect to Austria came to fruition. Entries in the diary
kept by Jodl show the participation of the German military
leaders in the absorption of Austria (1780-PS). As is shown
by Jodl's diary entry for 11 February 1938, Keitel and other
generals were present at the Obersalzberg meeting between
Schuschnigg and Hitler:

     "11 February
     "In the evening and on 12 February General K. with
     General V. Reichenau and Sperrle at the Obersalzberg.
     Schuschnigg together with G. Schmidt are again being
     put under heaviest political and military pressure. At
     2300 hours Schuschnigg signs protocol". 1780-PS)

Two days later Keitel and others were preparing proposals to
be submitted to Hitler which would give the Austrian
government the impression that Germany would resort to force
unless the Schuschnigg agreement was ratified in Vienna:

     "13 February
     "In the afternoon General K. asks Admiral C. and myself
     to come to his apartment. He tells us that the Fuehrer
     order is to the effect that military pressure by
     shamming military action should be kept up until the
     15th. Proposals for these deceptive maneuvers are
     drafted and submitted to the Fuehrer by telephone for
     approval". (1780-PS)

These proposals are embodied in a document 14 February 1938
and signed by Keitel (1775-PS). Portions of Keitel's
proposals to the Fuehrer are as follows:

     "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
     "a. through V-men (V-Manner) in Austria,
     "b. through our customs personnel (staff) at the
     "c. through travelling agents."
     "4. Order a very active make-believe wireless exchange
     in Wehrkreis VII and between Berlin and Munich.
     "5. Real maneuvers, training flights, and winter
     maneuvers of the Mountain Troops near the frontier.
     "6. Admiral Canaris has to be ready beginning on
     February 14th in the Service Command Headquarters in
     order to carry out measures given by order of the Chief
     of the OKW." (1775-PS)

As Jodl's diary entry for 14 February shows, these deceptive
maneuvers and threats of force were very effective in

                                                  [Page 339]
     "The effect is quick and strong. In Austria the
     impression is created that Germany is undertaking
     serious military preparations."

About a month later armed intervention was precipitated by
Schuschnigg's decision to hold a plebiscite in Austria.
Hitler ordered mobilization in accordance with the
preexisting plans for the invasion of Austria (these plans
were known as "Case Otto") in order to absorb Austria and
stop the plebiscite. Jodl's diary entry for 10 March 1938

     "By surprise and without consulting the ministers,
     Schuschnigg ordered a plebiscite for Sunday, 13 March,
     which should bring strong majority for the Legitimists
     in the absence of plan or preparation.
     "Fuehrer is determined not to tolerate it. The same
     night, March 9 to 10, he calls for Goering, General V.
     Reichenau is called back from Cairo Olympic Committee.
     General V. Schobert is ordered to come, as well as
     Minister Glaise Horstenau, who is with the District
     Leader [Gauleiter Burckel in the Palatinate. General
     Keitel communicates the facts at 1:45. He drives to the
     Reichskanzlei at 10 o'clock. I follow at 10:15,
     according to the wish of General V. Viebahn, to give
     him the old draft.
     'Prepare case Otto'." (1780-PS)

In an order 11 March, initialed by Keitel and Jodl, Hitler
laid down the general instructions for the invasion, and
directed that the Army and Air Force be ready for action by
12 March (C-102). On the same evening Hitler ordered the
invasion of Austria to commence at daybreak on 12 March. The
order was initialed by Jodl. (C-182)

The invasion of Austria differs from the other German acts
of aggression in that the invasion was not closely scheduled
and timed in advance. This was so simple because the
invasion was precipitated by an outside event, Schuschnigg's
order for the plebiscite, But although for this reason the
element of deliberately timed planning was lacking, the
foregoing documents make abundantly clear the participation
of the military leaders at all stages. At the small policy
meeting in November 1937, when Hitler's general program for
Austria and Czechoslovakia was outlined, the only others
present were the four principal military leaders and the
Foreign Secretary (386-PS). In February, Keitel, Reichenau,
and Sperrle were present at Obersalzberg to help subject
Schuschnigg to "the heaviest military pressure" (1780-PS).
Keitel and others immediately thereafter worked out and
executed a program of military threat and deception for
frightening the Austrian Government into acceptance of the
Schuschnigg protocol (1775-PS). When the actual invasion
took place it was, of course, directed by the military
leaders and executed by the German Armed Forces. Jodl has
given a clear statement of why the German military leaders
were delighted to join with the Nazis in bringing about the
end of Austrian independence. In his lecture to the
Gauleiters in November 1943 (L-172) Jodl explained:

     "The Austrian 'Anschluss', in its turn, brought with it
     not only fulfilment of an an [sic] old national aim but
     also had the effect both of reinforcing our fighting
     strength and of materially improving our strategic
     position. Whereas up till then the territory of
     Czechoslovakia had projected in a most menacing way
     right into Germany (a wasp waist in the direction of
     France and an air base for the Allies, in particular
     Russia). Czechoslovakia herself was now enclosed by
     pincers. Its own strategic position had now become so
     unfavorable that she was bound to fall a victim to any
     attack pressed home with vigor before effective aid
     from the West could be expected to arrive". (L-172)

(b) Czechoslovakia

The steps in the planning for the invasion of Czechoslovakia
("Case Green" or Fall Gruen) bear the evidence of knowing
and wilful participation by Keitel, Jodl, and other members
of the General Staff and High Command Group.

The Hossbach minutes of the conference between Hitler and
the four principal German military leaders on 5 November
1937 show that Austria and Czechoslovakia were then listed
as the first intended victims of German aggression (386-PS).
After the absorption of Austria in March 1938, Hitler as
head of the State and Keitel as Chief of all the armed
forces lost no time in turning their attention to
Czechoslovakia. In the Hitler-Keitel discussions on 21 April
1938 a nice balance of political and military factors was
worked out (388-PS):

                    "A. Political Aspect

1. Strategic surprise attack out of a clear sky without any
cause or possibility of justification has been turned down.
As 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 mainland.

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 (e.g.
assassination of German ambassador in connection with an
anti-German demonstration).

                                                  [Page 341]

                   B. Military Conclusions

1. The preparations are to be made for the political
possibilities 2 and 3. Case 2 is the undesired one since
"Gruen" will have taken security measures.


4. Politically, the first 4 days of military action are the
decisive ones. If there are no effective military successes,
a European crisis will certainly arise. Accomplished facts
must prove the senselessness of foreign military
intervention, draw Allies into the scheme (division of
spoils!) and demoralize "Gruen".

Therefore: bridging the time gap between first penetration
and employment of the forces to be brought up, by a
determined and ruthless thrust by a motorized army. (e.g.
via Pi past Pr) [Pilsen, Prague]. (388-PS)

From this point on, nearly the whole story is contained in
the Schmundt file (88-PS) and in Jodl's diary (1780-PS).
These two sources of information demolish in advance what
will, no doubt, be urged in defense of the military
defendants and the General Staff and High Command Group.
They will seek to create the impression that the German
generals were pure military technicians; that they were
uninterested and uninformed about political and diplomatic
considerations and events; that they passed their days
mounting mock battles at the Kriegsakadamie; that they
prepared plans for military attack or defense on a purely
hypothetical basis. They will say all this in order to
suggest that they did not share and could not estimate
Hitler's aggressive intentions, and that they carried out
politically conceived orders like military automatons, with
no idea whether the wars they launched and waged were
aggressive or not.

If these arguments are made, the Schmundt file (388-PS) and
Jodl's diary (1780-PS) make it abundantly apparent that
aggressive designs were conceived jointly between the Nazis
and the generals; that the military leaders were fully
posted on the aggressive intentions of the Nazis; that they
were fully informed of political and diplomatic
developments; that indeed German generals had a habit of
turning up at diplomatic gatherings.

If the documents did not show these things so clearly, a
moment's thought must show them to be true. A highly
successful program of conquest depends on armed might, and
cannot be executed with an unprepared, weak, or recalcitrant
military leadership. It has, of course, been said that war
is too important a business to be left to soldiers alone. It
is equally true that aggressive diplomacy is far too
dangerous a business to be conducted without military advice
and military support.

                                                  [Page 342]
No doubt some of the German generals had qualms about
Hitler's timing and the boldness of some of his moves. Some
of these doubts are rather amusingly reflected in an entry
in Jodl's diary for 10 August 1938:

     "The Army chiefs and the chiefs of the Air Force
     groups, Lt. Col. Jeschonnek and myself are ordered to
     the Berghof. After dinner the Fuehrer makes a speech
     lasting for almost three hours, in which he develops
     his political thoughts. The subsequent attempts to draw
     the Fuehrer's attention to the defects of our
     preparation, which are undertaken by a few generals of
     the Army, are rather unfortunate. This applies
     especially to the remark of General Wietersheim, in
     which to top it off he claims to quote from General
     Adams [die er noch dazu dem General Adams in den Mund
     legt] that the western fortifications can only be held
     for three weeks. The Fuehrer becomes very indignant and
     flames up, bursting into the remark that in such a case
     the whole Army would not be good for anything. 'I
     assure you, General, the position will not only be held
     for three weeks, but for three years.' The cause of
     this despondent opinion, which unfortunately enough is
     held very widely within the Army General Staff, is
     based on various reasons. First of all, it [the General
     Staff] is restrained by old memories; political
     considerations play a part as well, instead of obeying
     and executing its military mission. That is certainly
     done with traditional devotion, but the vigor of the
     soul is lacking because in the end they do not believe
     in the genius of the Fuehrer. And one does perhaps
     compare him with Charles XII. And since water flows
     downhill, this defeatism may not only possibly cause
     immense political damage, for the opposition between
     the General's opinion and that of the Fuehrer is common
     talk, but may also constitute a danger for the morale
     of the troops. But I have no doubt that [?] the Fuehrer
     will be able to boost the morale of the people in an
     unexpected way when the right moment comes." (1780-PS)

But if this entry shows that some of the German generals at
that time were cautious with respect to Germany's ability to
take on Poland and the Western Powers simultaneously,
nonetheless the entry shows no lack of sympathy with the
Nazi aims for conquest. And there is no evidence in Jodl's
diary or elsewhere that any substantial number of German
generals lacked sympathy with Hitler's objectives.
Furthermore, the top military leaders always joined with and
supported his decisions, with formidable success in the
years from 1938 to 1942.

                                                  [Page 343]
If it is said that German military leaders did not know that
German general policy toward Czechoslovakia was aggressive
or based on force and threat of force, it may be noted that
on 30 May 1938 Hitler signed a Most Secret directive to
Keitel (388-PS Item 11) in which he said:

     "It is my unalterable decision to smash Czechoslovakia
     by military action in the near future. It is the job of
     the political leaders to await or bring about the
     politically and militarily suitable moment.
     "An inevitable development of conditions inside
     Czechoslovakia or other political events in Europe
     creating a surprisingly favorable opportunity and one
     which may never come again may cause me to take early
     "The proper choice and determined and full utilization
     of a favorable moment is the surest guarantee of
     success. Accordingly the preparations are to be made at
     once." (388-PS Item 11)

Jodl was in no doubt what this meant. He noted in his diary
that same day:

"The Fuehrer signs directive 'Green', where he states his
final decision to destroy Czechoslovakia soon and thereby
initiates military preparation all along the line". (1780-

The succeeding evidence in the Schmundt file (388-PS Items
14, 16, 17) and in the Jodl diary (1780-PS) shows how those
military preparations went forward "all along the line."
Numerous examples of discussions, planning, and preparation
during the last few weeks before the Munich Pact, including
discussions with Hungary and the Hungarian General Staff in
which General Halder participated, are contained in the Jodl
diary (1780-PS) and the later items in the Schmundt file
(388-PS Items 18 to 22, 24, 26 to 28, 31 to 34, 36 to 54-
PS). The day the Munich Pact was signed, Jodl noted in his

     "The Munich Pact is signed. Czechoslovakia as a power
     is out. Four zones as set forth will be occupied
     between the 2nd and 7th of October. The remaining part
     of mainly German character will be occupied by the 10th
     of October. The genius of the Fuehrer and his
     determination not to shun even a World War have again
     won the victory without the use of force. The hope
     remains that the incredulous, the weak and the doubtful
     people have been converted and will remain that way."

Plans for the "liquidation" of the remainder of
Czechoslovakia were made soon after Munich (388-PS Item 40;
C-136; C-138). Ultimately the absorption was accomplished by
diplomatic bullying

                                                  [Page 344]
in which Keitel participated for the usual purposes of
demonstrating that German armed
might was ready to enforce the threats (2802-PS). Once
again, Jodl in his 1943 lecture (L-172) explained clearly
why the objective of eliminating Czechoslovakia lay as close
to the hearts of the German military leaders as to the
hearts of the Nazis:

     "The bloodless solution of the Czech conflict in the
     autumn of 1938 and spring of 1939 and the annexation of
     Slovakia rounded off the territory of Greater Germany
     in such a way that it then became possible to consider
     the Polish problem on the basis of more or less
     favorable strategic premises." (L-172)

This serves to recall the affidavits by Blomberg (3704-PS)
and Blaskowitz (3706-PS) already quoted:

     "The whole group of German staff and front officers
     believed that the question of the Polish Corridor would
     have to be settled some day, if necessary by force of
     "A war to wipe out the political and economic losses
     resulting from the creation of the Polish Corridor was
     regarded as a sacred duty though a sad necessity."
     "Before 1938-39, the German generals were not opposed
     to Hitler."

     "Hitler produced the results which all of us warmly

(c) Poland. The story of the German attack on Poland
furnishes an excellent case study of the functioning of the
General Staff and High Command Group.

Reference is made to the series of directives from Hitler
and Keitel involving "Fall Weiss" (C-120). The series starts
with a re-issuance of the "Directive for the Uniform
Preparation for War by the Armed Forces". This periodically
re-issued directive was encountered previously in the case
of Czechoslovakia.

In essence these directives are (a) statements of what the
Armed Forces must be prepared to accomplish in view of
political and diplomatic policies and developments, and (b)
indications of what should be accomplished diplomatically in
order to make the military tasks easier and the chances of
success greater. They constitute, in fact, a fusion of
diplomatic and military thought and strongly demonstrate the
mutual inter-dependence of aggressive diplomacy and military
planning. The distribution of these documents early in April
1939, in which the preparations of plans for the Polish war
is ordered, was limited. Five copies only are distributed by
Keitel: one to Brauchitsch (OKH), one to Raeder (OKM), one
to Goering (OKL), and two to Warlimont in the Planning
Branch of OKW. Hitler lays down that the plan must

                                                  [Page 345]

be susceptible of execution by 1 September 1939, and that
target date was adhered to. The fusion of military and
diplomatic thought is clearly brought out by the following
part of one of those documents:

     "1. Political Requirements and Aims. German relations
     with Poland continue to be based on the principle of
     avoiding any quarrels. Should Poland, however, change
     her policy towards Germany, based up to now on the same
     principles as our own, and adopt a threatening attitude
     towards Germany, a final settlement might become
     necessary, notwithstanding the pact in effect with
     "The aim then will be to destroy Polish military
     strength, and create in the East a situation which
     satisfies the requirements of national defense. The
     Free State of Danzig will be proclaimed a part of the
     Reich-territory at the outbreak of the conflict, at the
     "The political leadership considers it its task in this
     case to isolate Poland if possible, that is to say, to
     limit the war to Poland only.
     "The development of increasing internal crises in
     France and the resulting British cautiousness might
     produce such a situation in the not too distant future.
     "Intervention by Russia so far as she would be able to
     do this cannot be expected to be of any use for Poland,
     because this would imply Poland's destruction by
     "The attitudes of the Baltic States will be determined
     wholly by German military exigencies.
     "On the German side, Hungary cannot be considered a
     certain German ally. Italy's attitude is determined by
     the Berlin-Rome Axis.
     "2. Military Conclusions. The great objectives in the
     building up of the German Armed Forces will continue to
     be determined by the antagonism of the 'Western
     Democracies'. 'Fall Weiss' constitutes only a
     precautionary complement to these preparations. It is
     not to be looked upon in any way, however, as the
     necessary prerequisite for a military settlement with
     the Western opponents.
     "The isolation of Poland will be more easily
     maintained, even after the beginning of operations, if
     we succeed in starting the war with heavy, sudden blows
     and in gaining rapid successes.
     "The entire situation will require, however, that
     precautions be taken to safeguard the western boundary
     and the German North Sea coast, as well as the air over
     them." (C-120)

                                                  [Page 346]
It cannot be suggested that these are hypothetical plans, or
that the General Staff and High Command Group did not know
what was in prospect. The plans show on their face that they
are in earnest and no war game. The point is reinforced by
Schmundt's notes on the conference in Hitler's study at the
Reich Chancellery, Berlin, on 23 May 1939 (L-79). At this
conference Hitler announced:

     "There is, therefore, no. question of sparing Poland,
     and we are left with the decision: to attack Poland at
     the first suitable opportunity". (L-79)

Besides Hitler and a few military aides and adjutants, the
following were present: Goering (C-in-C Luftwaffe); Raeder
(C-in-C Navy); Keitel (Chief, OKW); von Brauchitsch (C-in-C
Army); Col. General Milch (Inspector General of the
Luftwaffe); Gen. Bodenschatz (Goering's personal assistant);
Rear Admiral Schnievindt (Chief of the Naval War Staff);
Col. Jeschonnek (Chief of the Air Staff); Col. Warlimont
(Planning Staff of OKW). All except Milch, Bodenschatz, and
the adjutants are members of the Group as defined in the

The initial and general planning of the attack on Poland,
however, had to be examined, checked, corrected, and
perfected by the field commanders who were to carry out the
attack. In a document issued in the middle of June 1939 (C-
142), von Brauchitsch as C-in-C of the Army passed on the
general outlines of the plan to the field commanders-in-
chief (the Oberbefehlshaber of Army Groups and Armies) so
that they could work out the actual preparation and
deployments in accordance with the general plan:

     "The object of the operation is to destroy the Polish
     Armed Forces. High policy demands that the war should
     be begun by heavy surprise blows in order to achieve
     quick results. The intention of the Army High Command
     is to prevent a regular mobilization and concentration
     of the Polish Army by a surprise invasion of Polish
     territory and to destroy the mass of the Polish Army
     which is to be expected to be west of the Vistula-Narve
     line. This is to be achieved by a concentric attack
     from Silesia on one side and Pomerania-East Prussia on
     the other side. The possible influence from Galicia
     against this operation must be eliminated. The main
     idea of the destruction of the Polish Army west of the
     Vistula-Narve Line with the elimination of the possible
     influence from Galicia remains unchanged even if
     advanced preparedness for defense on the part of the
     Polish Army, caused by previous political tension,
     should have to be taken into consideration. In such a
     case it may be a question of not making the first
                                                  [Page 347]
     mainly with mechanized and motorized forces but of
     waiting for the arrival of stronger, non-motorized
     units. The Army High Command will then give the
     correspondingly later time for the crossing of the
     frontier. The endeavour to obtain a quick success will
     be maintained.

     "The Army Group Commands and the Army Commands (A.O.K.)
     will make their preparations on the basis of surprise
     of the enemy. There will be alterations necessary if
     surprise should have to be abandoned: these will have
     to be developed simply and quickly on the same basis:
     they are to be prepared mentally to such an extent,
     that in case of an order from the Army High Command
     they can be carried out quickly."

A document of approximately the same date reveals an
Oberbefehlshaber at work in the field planning the attack
(2327-PS). This document, signed by Blaskowitz, at the time
the commander-in-Chief of the Third Army Area Command and
commander-in-chief of the 8th Army during the Polish
campaign, states in part: 'The commander-in-chief of the
army has ordered the working out of a plan of deployment
against Poland which takes in account the demands of the
political leadership for the opening of war by surprise and
for quick success.

     "The order of deployment by the High Command, 'Fall
     Weiss' authorizes the Third Army Group [in Fall Weiss,
     8th Army Headquarters] to give necessary directions and
     orders to all commands subordinated to it for 'Fall
     "The whole correspondence on 'Fall Weiss' has to be
     conducted under the classification Top Secret
     [Chefsache]. This is to be disregarded only if the
     content of a document, in the judgment of the chief of
     the responsible command is harmless in every way --
     even in connection with other documents.
     "For the middle of July a conference is planned where
     details on the execution will be discussed. Time and
     place will be ordered later on. Special requests are to
     be communicated to Third Army Group before 10 July.
     "I declare it the duty of the Commanding Generals, the
     divisional commanders and the commandants to limit as
     much as possible the number of persons who will be
     informed, and to limit the extent of the information
     and ask that all suitable measures be taken to prevent
     persons not concerned from getting information.
     "The Commander-in-Chief of Army Area Command
                  "(signed) F. Blaskowitz."
                                                  [Page 348]
     "Aims of Operation 'Fall Weiss'
     "1. a. The operation, in order to forestall an orderly
     Polish mobilization and concentration, is to be opened
     by surprise with forces which are for the most part
     armored and motorized, placed on alert in the
     neighborhood of the border. The initial superiority
     over the Polish frontier-guards and surprise that can
     be expected with certainty are to be maintained by
     quickly bringing up other parts of the army as well to
     counteract the marching up of the Polish Army.
     "Accordingly all units have to keep the initiative
     against the foe by quick action and ruthless attacks."

Finally, a week before the actual onslaught, when all the
military plans have been laid, The General Staff and High
Command Group all gathered in one place, in fact all in one
room. On 23 August 1939 the Oberbefehlshaber assembled at
Obersalzberg to hear Hitler's explanation of the timing of
the attack, and to receive political and diplomatic
orientation from the head of the State (798-PS). This
speech, the second of the two examples referred to in the
initial affidavits by Halder (3702-PS) and Brauchitsch (703-
PS), was addressed to the very group defined in the
indictment as the General Staff and High Command Group.

(d) The War Period, September 1939-June 1941: Norway
Denmark, Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Yugoslavia, Greece.
On 1 September 1939 Germany launched the war. Within a few
weeks, and before any important action on the western front,
Poland was overrun and conquered. German losses were

The "three principal territorial questions" mentioned in the
Blomberg (3704-PS) and Blaskowitz (3706-PS) affidavits had
all been solved. The Rhineland had been reoccupied and
fortified, Memel annexed, and the Polish Corridor annexed.
And much more too. Austria had become a part of the Reich,
and Czechoslovakia was occupied and a Protectorate of
Germany. All of western Poland was in German hands. Germany
was superior in arms, and in experience in their use, to her
western enemies, France and England.

Then came the three years of the war1939, 1940, 1941 when
German armed might swung like a great scythe from north to
south to east. Italy, Rumania, Hungary, and Bulgaria had
become German allies. Norway and Denmark; the Low Countries;
France; Tripoli and Egypt; Yugoslavia and Greece; the
western part of the Soviet Union -- all this territory was
invaded and overrun.

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