The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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                                                          [Page 1]


                       ELEVENTH DAY
                 MONDAY, 3rd DECEMBER, 1945

THE PRESIDENT: I call on the Prosecutor for the United States.

MR. ALDERMAN: May it please the
Tribunal, it occurs to me that perhaps the Tribunal might be
interested in a very brief outline of what might be expected to
occur within the next week or two weeks in this trial.

I shall immediately proceed with the aggressive war case, to
present the story of the rape of Czechoslovakia. I perhaps shall
not be able to conclude that today.

Sir Hartley Shawcross, the British Chief Prosecutor, has asked
that he be allowed to proceed tomorrow morning with his opening
statement on Count 2, and I shall be glad to yield for that
purpose, with the understanding that we shall resume on
Czechoslovakia after that.

Accordingly, the British Prosecutor will proceed to present the
aggressive warfare case as to Poland, which brought France and
England into the war. Thereafter, the British Prosecutor will
proceed with the expansion of aggressive war in Europe, the
aggression against Norway and Denmark, against Holland, Belgium,
and Luxembourg, against Yugoslavia and Greece. And in connection
with those aggressions the British Prosecutor will present to the
Tribunal the various treaties involved and the various breaches of
treaties involved in those aggressions.

That, as I understand it, will complete the British case under
Count 2 and will probably take the rest of this week.

Then it will be necessary for the American prosecuting staff to
come back to Count I to cover certain portions which have not been
covered, specifically; persecution of the Jews, concentration
camps, spoliation in occupied territories, the High Command and
other alleged criminal organisations, and particular evidence
dealing with individual responsibility of individual defendants.

Roughly, I would anticipate that that would take up the following
week, or two weeks. However, that is a very rough estimate.

Thereupon, the French Chief Prosecutor will make his opening
statement and will present the evidence as to Crimes against
Humanity and War Crimes, under Counts 3 and 4, as to Western
occupied countries.

Following that, the Russian Chief Prosecutor will make his opening
statement and will present corresponding evidence regarding War
Crimes and Crimes against Humanity in the Eastern countries.

That, in very rough outline, is what we have in mind to present.

I turn now to the third section in the detailed chronological
presentation of the aggressive war case: aggression against
Czechoslovakia. The relevant portions of the Indictment are set
forth in Subsection 3, under Section IV, (F), appearing at Pages 7
and 8 of the printed English text of the Indictment.

                                                          [Page 2]

This portion of the Indictment is divided into three parts
   (a) The 1936-1938 phase of the plan; that is, the planning for
   the assault both on Austria and Czechoslovakia.
   (b) The execution of the plan to invade Austria; November,
   1937, to March, 1938.
   (c) The execution of the plan to invade Czechoslovakia; April,
   1938, to March, 1939.

On Thursday last I completed the presentation of the documents on
the execution of the plan to invade Austria. Those documents are
gathered together in a document book, which was handed to the
Tribunal at the beginning of the Austrian presentation.

The materials relating to the aggression against Czechoslovakia
have been gathered in a separate document book, which I now submit
to the Tribunal and which is marked "Document Book 0".

The Tribunal will recall that in the period 1933 to 1936 the
defendants had initiated a programme of rearmament, designed to
give the Third Reich military strength and political bargaining
power to be used against other nations. You will recall also that
beginning in the year 1936 they had embarked upon a preliminary
programme of expansion which, as it turned out, was to last until
March, 1939. This was intended to shorten their frontiers, to
increase their industrial and food reserves, and to place them in
a position, both industrially and strategically, from which they
could launch a more ambitious and more devastating campaign of

At the moment - in the early spring of 1938 - when the Nazi
conspirators began to lay concrete plans for the conquest of
Czechoslovakia, they had reached approximately the half-way point
in this preliminary programme.

In the preceding autumn, at the conference in the Reich
Chancellery on 5th November, 1937, covered by the Hoszbach
minutes, Hitler had set forth the programme which Germany was to
follow. Those Hoszbach minutes, you will recall, are contained in
Document 386-PS, Exhibit USA 25, which I read to the Tribunal in
my introductory statement a week ago today.

"The question for Germany," the Fuehrer had informed his military
commanders at that meeting, " is where the greatest possible
conquest can be made at the lowest cost."

At the top of his agenda stood two countries, Austria and

On 12th March, 1938, Austria was occupied by the German Army, and
on the following day it was annexed to the Reich. The time had
come for a re-definition of German intentions regarding
Czechoslovakia. A little more than a month later, two of the
conspirators, Hitler and Keitel, met to discuss plans for the
envelopment and conquest of the Czechoslovak State.

Among the selected handful of documents which I read to the
Tribunal in my introduction a week ago, to establish the corpus of
the crime of aggressive war, was the account of this meeting on
21st April, 1938. This account is Item 2 in our Document 388-PS,
Exhibit USA 26.

The Tribunal will recall that Hitler and Keitel discussed the
pretext which Germany might develop to serve as an excuse for a
sudden and overwhelming attack. They considered the provocation of
a period of diplomatic squabbling which, growing more serious,
would lead to an excuse for war.

                                                          [Page 3]

In the alternative - and this alternative they found to be
preferable-they planned to unleash a lightning attack as the
result of an incident of their own creation.

Consideration-as we alleged in the Indictment and as the document
proved-was given to the assassination of the German Ambassador at
Prague to create the requisite incident.

The necessity of propaganda to guide the conduct of Germans in
Czechoslovakia and to intimidate the Czechs was recognised.
Problems of transport and tactics were discussed, with a view to
overcoming all Czechoslovak res1stance within four days, thus
presenting the world with a fait accompli and forestalling outside

Thus, by mid-April, 1938, the designs of the Nazi conspirators to
conquer Czechoslovakia had already reached the stage of practical

Now all of that occurred, if the Tribunal please, against a
background of friendly diplomatic relations. This conspiracy must
be viewed against that background. Although they had, in the fall
Of 1937, determined to destroy the Czechoslovak State, the leaders
of the German Government were bound by a treaty of arbitration and
assurances freely given, to observe the sovereignty of
Czechoslovakia. By a formal treaty signed at Locarno on 16th
October, 1925 - Document TC-4, which will be introduced by the
British Prosecutor-Germany and Czechoslovakia agreed, with certain
exceptions, to refer matters of dispute to an arbitral tribunal or
to the Permanent Court of International justice. I quote, they
would so refer "All disputes of every kind between Germany and
Czechoslovakia with regard to which the parties are in conflict as
to their respective right, and which it may not be possible to
settle amicably by the normal methods of diplomacy."

And the preamble to this treaty stated

   "The German Reich President and the President of the
   Czechoslovak Republic equally resolved to maintain peace
   between Germany and Czechoslovakia by securing the peaceful
   settlement of disputes which might arise between the two
   countries, considering that International Tribunals are bound
   to respect rights established by treaties or resulting from
   International Law, agreeing that the rights of a State cannot
   be altered save with its consent, and considering that sincere
   observance of the methods of peaceful settlement of
   international disputes permits of resolving, without recourse
   to force, questions which may become the cause of divisions
   between States, have decided to embody in a treaty their common
   intention in this respect."

That ends the quotation.

Both formal and categoric assurances of their good will towards
Czechoslovakia were coming from the Nazi conspirators as late as
March, 1938. On 11th and 12th March, 1938, at the time of the
annexation of Austria, Germany had a considerable interest in
inducing Czechoslovakia not to mobilise. At this time the
defendant Goering assured Monsieur Masaryk, the Czechoslovak
Minister in Berlin, on behalf of the German Government, that
German-Czech relations were not adversely affected by the
development in Austria, and that Germany had no hostile intentions
towards Czechoslovakia.  As a token of his sincerity, defendant
Goering accompanied his assurances with the statement: "Ich gebe
Ihnen mein Ehrenwort." I give you my word of honour."

                                                          [Page 4]

At the same time, the defendant von Neurath, who was handling
German foreign affairs during Ribbentrop's stay in London, assured
Monsieur Masaryk, on behalf of Hitler and the German Government,
that Germany still considered herself bound by the Arbitration
Convention of 1925.

These assurances are contained in Document TC-27, another of the
series of documents which will be presented to the Tribunal by the
British Prosecutor under Count 2 of the Indictment.

Behind the screen of these assurances the Nazi conspirators
proceeded with their military and political plan for aggression.
Ever since the preceding fall it had been established that the
immediate aim of German policy was the elimination of both Austria
and Czechoslovakia. In both countries the conspirators planned to
undermine the will to res1st, by propaganda and by fifth column
activities, while the actual military preparations were being

The Austrian operation, which received priority for political and
strategic reasons, was carried out in February and March, 1938.
Thenceforth the Wehrmacht-planning was devoted to "Fall Grun,"
Case Green, the designation given to the proposed operation
against Czechoslovakia.

The military plans for Case Green had been drafted in outline form
as early as June, 1937. The O.K.W. top secret directive for the
unified preparation of the armed forces for war - signed by von
Blomberg on 24th June, 1937, and promulgated to the Army, Navy,
and Luftwaffe for the year beginning on 1st July, 1937 - included,
as a probable warlike eventuality for which a concentrated plan
was to be drafted, Case Green, "War on two fronts, with the main
struggle in the South-east".

This document-our number C-175, Exhibit USA 69-was introduced in
evidence as part of the Austrian presentation and is an original
carbon copy, signed in ink by von Blomberg. The original section
of this directive dealing with the probable war against
Czechoslovakia - it was later revised - opens with this
supposition. I am reading, following the Heading 11, and
Subparagraph (1) headed "Suppositions":

The war in the East can begin with a surprise German operation
against Czechoslovakia in order to parry the imminent attack of a
superior enemy coalition. The necessary conditions justify such an
action politically, and in the eyes of International Law must be
created beforehand."

After detailing possible enemies and neutrals in the event of such
action, the directive continues as follows:

   "(2)The task of the German Armed Forces" - and that much is
   underscored - "is to make their preparations in such a way that
   the bulk of all forces can break into Czechoslovakia quickly,
   by surprise, and with the greatest force, while in the West the
   minimum strength is provided as rear-cover for this attack.
   The aim and object of this surprise attack by the German Armed
   Forces should be to eliminate from the very beginning and for
   the duration of the war, the threat by Czechoslovakia to the
   rear of the operations in the West, and to take from the
   Russian Air Force the most substantial portion of its
   operational base in Czechoslovakia. This must be done by the
   defeat of the enemy armed forces and the occupation of Bohemia
   and Moravia."

                                                          [Page 5]
The introduction to this directive sets forth as one of its
guiding principles the following statement - and I now read from
Page 1 of the English translation, that is, the third paragraph
following figure 1:

   "Nevertheless, the politically fluid world situation, which
   does not preclude surprising incidents, demands constant
   preparedness for war on the part of the German Armed Forces."

And then

   "(a) To counter attack at any time.
   (b) To make possible the military exploitation of politically
   favourable opportunities, should they occur."

This directive ordered further work on the plan for mobilisation,
without public announcement. I quote: "In order to put the armed
forces in a position to be able to begin a war suddenly, which
will take the enemy by surprise, both as regards strength and time
of attack."

This directive is, of course, a directive for staff planning, but
the nature of the planning and the very tangible and ominous
developments which resulted from it, give it a significance that
it would not have had in another setting.

Planning along the lines of this directive was carried forward
during the fall of 1937 and the winter of 1937-1938. On the
political level, this planning for the conquest of Czechoslovakia
received the approval and support of Hitler in the conference with
his military commanders on 5th November, 1937, reported in the
Hoszbach minutes, to which I have frequently heretofore referred.

In early March, 1938, before the march into Austria, we find
defendants Ribbentrop and Keitel concerned over the extent of the
information about war aims against Czechoslovakia to be furnished
to Hungary. On 4th March, 1938, Ribbentrop wrote to Keitel,
enclosing for General Keitel's confidential information the
minutes of a conference with Sztojay, the local Hungarian
Ambassador, who had suggested an interchange of views. This is
Document 2786-PS, a photostat of the original captured letter,
which I now offer in evidence as Exhibit USA 81. In his letter to
Keitel, Ribbentrop said:

   "I have many doubts about such negotiations. In case we should
   discuss with Hungary possible war aims against Czechoslovakia,
   the danger ex1sts that other parties as well would be informed
   about this. I would greatly appreciate it if you would notify
   me briefly whether any commitments were made here in any
   respect. With best regards and Heil Hitler."

At the 21st of April meeting between Hitler and Keitel, the
account of which I read last week and alluded to earlier this
morning, Document 3 88-PS, Item 0, specific plans for the attack
on Czechoslovakia were discussed for the first time. This meeting
was followed, in the late spring and summer Of 1938, by a series
of memoranda and telegrams advancing "Fall Grun" (Case Green).
Those notes and communications were carefully filed at Hitler's
headquarters by the very efficient Colonel Schmundt, the Fuehrer's
military adjutant, and were captured by American troops in a
cellar at Obersalzberg, near Berchtesgaden. This file, which is
preserved intact, bears our number 388-PS, and is Exhibit USA 26,
and we affectionately refer to it as "Big Schmundt" - a large
file. The individual items in this file tell more graphically than
could any narrative the progress of the Nazi conspirators'
planning to launch an unprovoked and brutal war against

                                                          [Page 6]
Czechoslovakia. From the start the Nazi leaders displayed a lively
interest in intelligence data concerning Czechoslovakian armament.
With the leave of the Tribunal I shall refer to some of these
items in the "Big Schmundt" file without reading them. The
documents to which I refer are Item 4 of the Schmundt file, a
telegram from Colonel Zeitzler, in General Jodl's office of the
O.K.W., to Schmundt at Hitler's headquarters.

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Alderman?

MR. ALDERMAN: Yes, sir?

THE PRESIDENT: Are you proposing not to read them?

MR. ALDERMAN: I had not intended to read them in full, unless that
may be necessary.

THE PRESIDENT: I am afraid we must adhere to our decision.

MR. ALDERMAN: If the Tribunal please, I should simply wish to
refer to the title or heading of Item 12, which is headed "Short
Survey of Armament of the Czech Army," dated Berlin, 9th June,
1938, and initialled "Z" for Zeitzler, and Item 13, "Questions of
the Fuehrer," dated Berlin, 9th June, 1938, and classified Most
Secret. I should like to read four of the questions about which
Hitler wanted authoritative information as shown by that document,
and I read the questions indicated on Pages 23, 24, 25, and 26 of
Item 13 of Document 388-PS:

"Question 1: Hitler asked about the armament of the Czech Army." I
don't think it necessary to read the answers. They are detailed
answers giving information in response to these questions Posed by

"Question 2: How many battalions, etc., are employed in the West
for the construction of emplacements?

Question 3: Are the fortifications of Czechoslovakia still
occupied in unreduced strength?

Question 4: Frontier protection in the West."

As I say, those questions were answered in detail by the O.K.W.
and initialled by Colonel Zeitzler of General Jodl's staff.

As a precaution against French and British during the attack on
Czechoslovakia, it was necessary for the Nazi conspirators to rush
the preparation of fortification measures along the Western
frontier in Germany. I refer you to Item 8, at Page 12 of the "Big
Schmundt" file, a telegram presumably sent from Schmundt in
Berchtesgaden to Berlin, and I quote from this telegram. It is, as
I say, Item 8 of the Schmundt file, Page 12 of Document 388-PS:

   "Inform Colonel General von Brauchitsch and General Keitel".

And then, skipping a paragraph:

   "The Fuehrer repeatedly emphasised the necessity of pressing
   forward greatly the fortification work in the West."

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