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   Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, Volume Two, Chapter XIV

                                                 [Page 1020]

Both as Minister of Foreign Affairs and as one of the inner
circle of the Fuehrer's advisors on foreign political
matters, von Neurath participated in the political planning
and preparation for acts of aggression against Austria,
Czechoslovakia, and other nations.

(1) The von Neurath technique. If von Neurath's policy may
be described in a sentence it may be summarized as breaking
one treaty only at a time. He himself put it slightly more
pompously but to the same effect in a speech before the
Academy of German Law on 30 October 1937:

     " *** Out of the acknowledgment of these elementary
     facts the Reich Cabinet has always interceded in favor
     of treating every concrete international problem within
     methods especially suited for it, not to complicate it
     unnecessarily by amalgamation with other problems, and
     as long as problems between only two powers are
     concerned to choose the way for an immediate
     understanding between these two powers. We are in a
     position to state that this method has fully proved
     itself good not only in the German interest, but also
     in the general interest."

The only countries whose interests von Neurath failed to
mention in that speech are the other parties to the various
treaties that were dealt with in that way. The working out
of that policy can be seen from a brief summary of the
actions of von Neurath when he was Foreign Minister, and
those of his immediate-successor when von Neurath still
purported to have influence.

In 1935 action was directed against the Western Powers, in
the form of the rearmament of Germany. When that was going
on another country had to be reassured. At that time it was
Austria, which still had -- up to 1935 -- the support of
Italy. Hence, the fraudulent and clearly false assurance,
the essence of the technique in that case, given by Hitler,
on 21 May 1935. (TC-26)

Then, in 1936, action was again taken against the Western
Powers in the occupation of the Rhineland. Another
fraudulent assurance was made to Austria in the Treaty of 11
July of that year, (TC-22) the deceitful nature of which is
shown by letters from von Papen. (2246-PS;

Then, in 1937 and 1938, the Nazis moved on a step and action
was directed against Austria. That action was absorption,
finally planned, at the latest, at the meeting on 5 November

                                                 [Page 1021]
(386-PS). The action was taken on 11 March 1938. Reassurance
had to be given to the Western Powers; hence the assurance
to Belgium on 13 October 1937. (TC-34)

Less than a year later the object of the aggressive action
was Czechoslovakia. The Sudetenland was obtained in
September 1938, and the whole of Bohemia and Moravia was
absorbed on 15 March 1939. At that time it was necessary to
reassure Poland; so an assurance to Poland was given by
Hitler on 20 February 1938 (2357-PS), and repeated up to 26
September 1938 (2358-PS). The falsity of that assurance is
shown in Section 8 of Chapter IX on Aggression Against

Finally, when the Nazis decided to take action for the
conquest of Poland in the next year, assurance had to be
given to Russia. Hence, a non-aggression pact was entered
into with the USSR. on 23 August 1939. (TC-25)

With regard to the foregoing summary, the Latin tag, res
ipsa loquitur is apposite. But a frank statement from von
Neurath with regard to the earlier part of it is found in
the account of his conversation with the United States
Ambassador, Mr. Bullitt, on 18 May 1936 (L-150):

     "Von Neurath said that it was the policy of the German
     Government to do nothing active in foreign affairs
     until 'the Rhineland had been digested.' He explained
     that he meant that, until the German fortifications had
     been constructed on the French and Belgian frontiers,
     the German Government would do everything possible to
     prevent rather than encourage an outbreak by the Nazis
     in Austria and would pursue a quiet line with regard to
     Czechoslovakia. 'As soon as our fortifications are
     constructed and the countries of Central Europe realize
     that France cannot enter German territory at will, all
     those countries will begin to feel very differently
     about their foreign policies and a new constellation
     will develop,' he said."

The conversation between von Papen as Ambassador and Mr.
Messersmith is much to the same effect. (1760-PS)

(2) Austria. At the time of the aggression against Austria
von Neurath was Foreign Minister. This included the
preliminary stages, during the early Nazi plottings against
Austria in 1934. In this period occurred the Nazi murder of
Chancellor Dolfuss and the ancillary acts which were
afterwards so strongly approved by the German Government.
(See Section 3 of Chapter IX on Aggression Against Austria.)
Von Neurath was also Foreign Minister when the false
assurance was given to Austria

                                                 [Page 1022]
on 21 May 1935 (TC-26) and the fraudulent treaty was made on
11 July 1936 (TC-22). And von Neurath was Foreign Minister
when his ambassador to Austria, von Papen, was carrying on
his subterranean intrigue in the period from 1935 to 1937.
(2247-PS; 2246-PS)

Von Neurath was present when Hitler declared, in a highly
confidential circle, on 5 November 1937, that the German
question could only be solved by force, and that his plans
were to conquer Austria and Czechoslovakia (386-PS). Hitler
expressed his designs on Austria as follows:

     "*** For the improvement of our military political
     position, it must be our first aim in every case of
     entanglement by war to conquer Czechoslovakia and
     Austria simultaneously, in order to remove any threat
     from the flanks in case of a possible advance
     westwards." (386-PS)

It is impossible for von Neurath, after that meeting, to say
that he was not acting except with his eyes completely open
and with complete comprehension as to what was intended.

During the Anschluss von Neurath received a note from the
British Ambassador dated 11 March 1938 (045-PS). In reply
von Neurath uttered two obvious untruths. The first:

     "*** It is untrue that the Reich used forceful pressure
     to bring about this development, especially the
     assertion, which was spread later by the former
     Chancellor Schuschnigg, that the German Government had
     presented the Federal President with a conditional
     ultimatum. It is a pure invention." (3287-PS)

According to the German ultimatum, Schuschnigg had to
appoint a proposed candidate as Chancellor and form a
Cabinet conforming to the proposals of the German
Government. Otherwise the invasion of Austria by German
troops was held in prospect. (See Section 3 of Chapter IX on
Aggression Against Austria.) The second untruth:

     "The truth of the matter is that the question of
     sending military or police forces from the Reich was
     only brought up when the newly formed Austrian Cabinet
     addressed a telegram, already published by the press,
     to the German Government, urgently asking for the
     dispatch of German troops as soon as possible, in order
     to restore peace and order and to avoid bloodshed.
     Faced with the immediately threatening danger of a
     bloody civil war in Austria the German Government then
     decided to comply with the appeal addressed to it."

                                                 [Page 1023]
(As to the inspired nature of the Austrian telegram, see
Section 3 of Chapter IX on Aggression Against Austria.)

All that can be said is that it must have given von Neurath
a certain macabre sort of humor to write that note (3287-PS)
when the truth was the opposite, as shown by the report of
Gauleiter Rainer to Buerckel (812-PS), the transcripts of
Goering's telephone conversations with Austria (2949-PS),
and the entries in Jodl's diary for 11, 13, and 14 February.

According to Jodl's diary -- the entry for 10 March:

     "At 13.00 hours General Keitel informs Chief of
     Operational Staff and Admiral Canaris. Ribbentrop is
     being detained in London. Neurath takes over the
     Foreign Office." (1780-PS)

It is inconceivable when von Neurath had taken over the
Foreign Office, was dealing with the matter and was co-
operating with Goering to suit the susceptibilities of the
Czechs, that he should have been so ignorant of the truth of
events as to write that letter (3287-PS) in good faith.

Von Neurath's position is shown equally clearly by the
account which is given of him in the affidavit of
Messersmith (2385-PS). Von Neurath's style of activity at
this crisis is described as follows:

     "I should emphasize here in this statement that the men
     who made these promises were not only the dyed-in-the-
     wool Nazis, but more conservative Germans who already
     had begun to willingly lend themselves to the Nazi

     "In an official dispatch to the Department of State
     from Vienna, dated 10 October 1935, I wrote as follows:
     " 'Europe will not get away from the myth that Neurath,
     Papen, and Mackensen are not dangerous people and that
     they are diplomats of the old school. They are in fact
     servile instruments of the regime, and just because the
     outside world looks upon them as harmless they are able
     to work more effectively. They are able to sow discord
     just because they propagate the myth that they are not
     in sympathy with the regime'." (2385-PS)

(3) Czechoslovakia. At the time of the occupation of
Austria, von Neurath gave the assurance to M. Mastny, the
Ambassador of Czechoslovakia to Berlin, regarding the
continued independence of Czechoslovakia (TC-27). M. Jan
Masaryk, Czechoslovakian Foreign Minister, describes the
circumstances as follows:

     "I have in consequence been instructed by my Government
     to bring to the official knowledge of His Majesty's
                                                 [Page 1024]
     ment the following facts: Yesterday evening (the 11th
     March) Field-Marshal Goering made two separate
     statements to M. Mastny, the Czechoslovak Minister in
     Berlin, assuring him that the developments in Austria
     will in no way have any detrimental influence on the
     relations between the German Reich and Czechoslovakia,
     and emphasizing the continued earnest endeavor on the
     part of Germany to improve those mutual relations."
     "M. Mastny was in a position to give him [Goering]
     definite and binding assurances on this subject [Czech
     mobilization] and today spoke with Baron von Neurath,
     who, among other things, assured him on behalf of Herr
     Hitler that Germany still considers herself bound by
     the German-Czechoslovak Arbitration Convention
     concluded at Locarno in October 1925." ( TC-27) .

In view of von Neurath's presence at the meeting on 5
November 1937, four months previously, where he had heard
Hitler's views on Czechoslovakia (386-PS), and that it was
only six months before the treaty was disregarded, von
Neurath's assurance is an excellent example of the technique
of diplomacy developed by von Neurath.

On 28 May 1938 Hitler held a conference of important
leaders, including Beck, von Brauchitsch, Raeder, Keitel,
Goering, and Ribbentrop, at which Hitler affirmed that
preparations should be made for military action against
Czechoslovakia by October (388-PS; 2360-PS). It is believed,
although not confirmed, that von Neurath attended.

On 4 September 1938 the Government of which von Neurath was
a member enacted a new Secret Reich Defense Law which
defined various official responsibilities, in clear
anticipation of war. This law provided, as did the previous
Secret Reich Defense Law, for a Reich Defense Council as a
supreme policy board for war preparations (2194-PS). Then
came the Munich agreement of 29 September 1938, in spite of
which, on 14 March 1939, German troops marched into
Czechoslovakia. (TC-50)

On 16 March 1939 the German Government, of which von Neurath
was still a member, promulgated the Decree of the Fuehrer
and Reich Chancellor on the Establishment of the
Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. (TC-51) During the
following week, von Ribbentrop signed a treaty with Slovakia
(1439-PS), Article 2 of which reads as follows:

     "For the purpose of making effective the protection
     undertaken by the German Reich, the German armed forces
                                                 [Page 1025]
     have the right at all times to construct military
     installations and to keep them garrisoned in the
     strength they deem necessary, in an area delimited on
     its western side by the frontiers of the State of
     Slovakia, and on its eastern side by a line formed by
     the eastern rims of the Lower Carpathians, the White
     Carpathians, and the Javornik Mountains.
     "The Government of Slovakia will take the necessary
     steps to assure that the land required for these
     installations shall be conveyed to the German armed
     forces. Furthermore, the Government of Slovakia will
     agree to grant exemption from custom duties for imports
     from the Reich for the maintenance of the German troops
     and the supply of military installations." (1439-PS)

The ultimate objective of Hitler's policies, disclosed at
the meeting at which von Neurath was present on 5 November
1937 (86-PS), is obvious from the terms of this treaty. It
was the resumption of the drang for lebensraum in the East.

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