The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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On 1st October, 1938, German troops began the occupation of the
Sudetenland. During the conclusion of the Munich Pact the
Wehrmacht had been fully deployed for the attack, awaiting only
the word of Hitler to begin the assault.

With the cession of the Sudetenland new orders were issued. On
30th September the defendant Keitel promulgated Directive No. 1 on
occupation of territory separated from Czechoslovakia. This is
Item 39 at Page 64 Of the Schmundt file. This directive contained
a timetable for the occupation of sectors of former Czech
territory between 1st and 10th October and specified the tasks of
the German Armed Forces.

I read now the fourth and fifth paragraphs of that document:

   "2. The present degree of mobilised preparedness is to be
   maintained completely, for the time being in the West, also
   order for the rescinding of measures taken is held over.
   The entry is to be planned in such a way that it can easily be
   converted into operation 'Grun'."

It contains one other important provision about the Henlein forces
and I quote from the l1st under the heading "A. Army: Henlein Free
Corps. All combat action on the part of the Volunteer Corps must
cease as from 1st October."

The Schmundt file contains a number of additional secret O.K.W.
directives, giving instructions for the occupation of the
Sudetenland. I think I need not read them, as they are not
essential to the proof of our case. They merely indicate the scope
of the preparations of the O.K.W.

Directives specifying the occupational area of the army, the units
under its command, arranging for communication facilities, supply
and propaganda, and giving instructions to the various departments
of the Government, were

                                                         [Page 40]

issued over defendant Keitel's signature on 30th September. These
are Items 40, 41 and 42 in the Schmundt file. I think it is
sufficient to read the caption and the signature.THE PRESIDENT:
What page?

MR. ALDERMAN: Page 66 of the English version.

   "Special Orders No. 1." This is the Supreme Commander of the
   Armed Forces, Most Secret." Special Orders No. 1 to Directive
   No. 1. Subject: Occupation of territory ceded by
   Czechoslovakia. Signature: Keitel."

Item 41 is on Page 70 of the Schmundt file.

   "Supreme Command of the Armed Forces. Most Secret IVa. MOST
   SECRET. Subject: Occupation of Sudeten-German Territory,
   signed Keitel."

Item 42 in the Schmundt file is on Page 75, again "most secret".

   "Subject: Occupation of the Sudeten-German area, signed

By 10th October von Brauchitsch was able to report to Hitler that
German troops had reached the demarcation line and that the order
for the occupation of the Sudetenland had been fulfilled. The
O.K.W. requested Hitler's permission to rescind Case Green, to
withdraw troops from the occupied area, and to relieve the 0.K.H.
of executive powers in the Sudeten-German area as on 15th October.
These are Items 45, 47 and 48 in the Schmundt file.

Item 46, which appears at Page 77, is a letter from Berlin, dated
10th October, 1938, signed by von Brauchitsch:

   "My Fuehrer:
   I have to report that the troops will reach the demarcation
   line as ordered, by this evening. In so far as further
   military operations are not required, the order for the
   occupation of the country which was given to me will thus have
   been fulfilled. The guarding of the new frontier line will be
   taken over by the reinforced frontier supervision in the next
   few days.
   It is thus no longer a military necessity to combine the
   admin1stration of the Sudetenland with the command of the
   troops of the Army under the control of one person.
   I therefore ask you, my Fuehrer, to relieve me, with effect
   from 15th October, 1938, of the charge assigned to me: that of
   exercising executive powers in Sudeten-German territory.
   Heil, my Fuehrer, von Brauchitsch."

Item 47 of the Schmundt file, appearing on Page 78, is a secret
telegram from the 0.K.W. to the Fuehrer's train, for Lt. -Col.

   "If evening report shows that occupation of Zone Five has been
   completed without incident, O.K.W. intends to order further
   Principle: (1) To suspend operation 'Grun' but maintain a
   sufficient state of preparedness on part of Army and Luftwaffe
   to make intervention possible if necessary.
   (2) All units not needed to be withdrawn from the occupied
   area and reduced to peacetime status, as population of
   occupied area is heavily burdened by the massing of troops."

Skipping to below 0.K.W.'s signature, this appears, at the left:

   "Fuehrer's decision:
                                                         [Page 41]
   1. Agreed
   2. Suggestion to be made on 13th October in Essen by General
   Keitel. Decision will then be reached."
On the same date additional demobilisation of the forces in the
Sudetenland was ordered by Hitler and defendant Keitel. Three days
later the O.K.W. requested Hitler's consent to the reversion of
the R.A.D., Labour Corps, from the control of the Armed Forces.
These are Items 52 and 53 in the Schmundt file.

As the German forces entered the Sudetenland, Henlein's
Sudetendeutsche Partei was merged with the N.S.D.A.P. of Hitler.
The two men who had fled to Hitler's protection in mid-September,
Henlein and Karl Hermann Frank, were appointed Gauleiter and
Deputy Gauleiter, respectively, of the Sudetengau. In the parts of
the Czechoslovak Republic that were still free the Sudetendeutsche
Partei constituted itself as the National Socialistic German
Worker Party in Czechoslovakia, N.S.D.A.P. in Czechoslovakia,
under the direction of Kundt, another of Henlein's deputies.

The Tribunal will find these events set forth in the Czechoslovak
official report, Document 998-PS.

The stage was now prepared for the next move of the Nazi
conspirators, the plan for the conquest of the remainder of
Czechoslovakia. With the occupation of the Sudetenland and the
inclusion of German-speaking Czechs within the greater Reich, it
might have been expected that the Nazi conspirators would be
satisfied. Thus far in their programme of aggression the
defendants had used as a pretext for their conquests the union of
the Volksdeutsche, the people of German descent, with the Reich.
Now, after Munich, the Volksdeutsche in Czechoslovakia had been
substantially all returned to German rule.

On 26th September, at the Sportspalast in Berlin, Hitler spoke to
the world. I now refer and invite the notice of the Tribunal to
the Volkischer Beobachter Munich edition, special edition for 27th
September, 1938, in which this speech is quoted. I read from Page
2, Column 1, quoting from Hitler:

    "And now we are confronted with the last problem which must be
    solved and will be solved. It is the last territorial claim--"

THE PRESIDENT: Is this document in our document book?

MR. ALDERMAN: No. I am asking the Court to take judicial notice of


MR. ALDERMAN: It is a well-known German publication.

    "It is the last territorial claim I have to make in Europe,
    but it is a claim from which I will not swerve and which I
    will satisfy, God willing."

And further

   "I have little to explain. I am grateful to Mr. Chamberlain
   for all his efforts, and I have assured him that the German
   people want nothing but peace; but I have also told him that I
   cannot go back beyond the limits of our patience." This is
   Page 3, Column 1.
   "I assured him, moreover, and I repeat it here, that when this
   problem is solved there will be no more territorial problems
   for Germany in Europe. And I further assured him that from the
   moment when

                                                         [Page 42]

   Czechoslovakia solves its other problems - that is to say,
   when the Czechs have come to an arrangement with their other
   minorities peacefully and without oppression - I will no
   longer be interested in the Czech State. And that, as far as I
   am concerned, I will guarantee it. We do not want any Czechs!"

The major portion of this passage I have quoted will be contained
in Document TC-28, which, I think, will be offered by the British

Nevertheless two weeks later Hitler and defendant Keitel were
preparing estimates of the military force required to break
Czechoslovak resistance in Bohemia and Moravia.

I now read from Item 48, at Page 82, of the Schmundt file. This is
a top secret telegram sent by Keitel to Hitler's headquarters on
11th October, 1938 in answer to four questions which Hitler had
propounded to the 0.K.W. I think it is sufficient merely to read
the questions which Hitler propounded.

   "Question 1: What reinforcements are necessary in the present
   situation to break all Czech resistance in Bohemia and
   Question 2: How much time is requested for the regrouping or
   moving up of new forces.
   Question 3: How much time will be required for the same
   purpose if it executed after the intended demobilisation and
   return measures?
   Question 4: How much time would be required to achieve the
   state of readiness of 1st October?"

THE PRESIDENT: Sent on 11th October?

MR. ALDERMAN: Yes, 11th October.

On 21st October, the same day on which the administration of the
Sudetenland was handed over to civilian authorities, a directive
outlining plans for the conquest of the remainder of
Czechoslovakia was signed by Hitler and initialled by defendant

I now offer into evidence Document C-136, which will be Exhibit
USA 104, a top secret order of which ten copies were made, this
being the first copy, signed in ink by Keitel.

In this order, issued only three weeks after the winning of the
Sudetenland, the Nazi conspirators are already looking forward to
new conquests. I quote the first part of the body of the document:

   "The future tasks for the Armed Forces and the preparations
   for the conduct of war resulting from these tasks will be laid
   down by me in a later directive. Until this directive comes
   into force the Armed Forces must be prepared at all times for
   following eventualities:
   (1)  The securing of the frontiers of Germany and protection
   against surprise air attacks.
   (2) The liquidation of the remainder of Czechoslovakia.
   (3) The occupation of the Memelland.

And then proceeding, the statement following number (2):

    "Liquidation of the remainder of Czechoslovakia: It must be
    possible to smash at any time the remainder of Czechoslovakia
    if her policy should become hostile towards Germany.
    The preparations to be made by the Armed Forces for this
    contingency will be considerably smaller in  extent than those
    for 'Grun'; they must, however, guarantee a continuous and
    considerably higher state

                                                         [Page 43]
of preparedness, since planned mobilisation measures have been
dispensed with. The organisation, order of battle and state of
readiness of the units earmarked for that purpose are in peace-
time to be so arranged for a surprise assault that Czechoslovakia
herself will be deprived of all possibility of organised
res1stance. The object is the swift occupation of Bohemia and
Moravia and the cutting off of Slovakia. The preparations should
be such that at the same time 'Grenzsicherung West' - the measures
of frontier defence in the West - can be carried out.

The detailed mission of Army and Air Force is as follows:

(a) Army: The units stationed in the vicinity of Bohemia-Moravia
and several motorised divisions are to be earmarked for a surprise
type of attack. Their number will be determined by the forces
remaining in Czechoslovakia; a quick and decisive success must be
assured. The assembly and preparations for the attack must be
worked out. Forces not needed will be kept in readiness in such a
manner that they may be either committed to secure the frontiers
or sent after the attack army.

(b) Air Force: The quick advance of the German Army is to be
assured by early elimination of the Czech Air Force.

For this purpose the commitment to a surprise attack from
peacetime bases has to be prepared. Whether for this purpose still
stronger forces may be required can only be determined from the
development of the military situation in Czechoslovakia. At the
same time a simultaneous assembly of the remainder of the
offensive forces against the West must be prepared."

And then number (3) goes on under the heading "Annexation of the
Memel D1strict."

It is signed by Adolf Hitler and authenticated by defendant
Keitel. It was distributed to the O.K.H., to defendant Goering's
Luftwaffe, and to defendant Raeder at Navy Headquarters.

Two months later, on 17th December, 1938, defendant Keitel issued
an appendix to the original order, stating that by command of the
Fuehrer preparations for the liquidation of Czechoslovakia were to

I offer in evidence Document C-138 as Exhibit USA105, and other
captured O.K.W. documents classified  "Top Secret".

Distribution of this order was the same as for the 21st October
order. I shall read the body of this order.

"Corollary to Directive of 21st October, 1938.

Reference 'Liquidation of the Rest of Czechoslovakia'. The Fuehrer
has given the following additional order:

The preparations for this eventuality are to continue on the
assumption that no res1stance worth mentioning is to be expected.

To the outside world too, it must clearly appear that it is merely
an action of pacification and not a warlike undertaking.

The action must therefore be carried out by the peace-time Armed
Forces only, without reinforcements from mobilisation. The
necessary readiness for action, especially the ensuring that the
most necessary supplies are brought up, must be effected by
adjustment within the units.

                                                         [Page 44]
   Similarly the units of the Army detailed for the march in must,
   as a general rule, leave their stations only during the night
   prior to the crossing of the frontier, and will not previously
   form up systematically on the frontier. The transport necessary
   for previous organisation should be limited to the minimum and
   will be camouflaged as much as possible. Necessary movements,
   if any, of single units and particularly of motorised forces,
   to the troop-training areas situated near the frontier, must
   have the approval of the Fuehrer.
   The Air Force should take action in accordance with the similar
   general directives.
   For the same reasons the exercise of executive power by the
   Supreme Command of the Army is laid down only for the newly
   occupied territory and only for a short period." Signed:

I invite the attention of the Tribunal to the fact that this
particular copy of this order, an original carbon signed in ink by
Keitel, was the one sent to the 0.K.M., the German Naval
Headquarters. It bears the initials of Fricke, Head of the
Operation Division of the Naval War Staff, Schneewind, Chief of
Staff, and of defendant Raeder.

As the Wehrmacht moved forward with plans for what it clearly
considered would be an easy victory, the Foreign Office played its
part. In a discussion of means of improving German-Czech relations
with the Slovakian Foreign Minister Chvalkovsky in Berlin, on 21St
January, 1939, defendant Ribbentrop urged upon the Czech
Government a quick reduction in the size of the Czech Army. I
offer in evidence Document 2795-PS as Exhibit USA 106, captured
German Foreign Office notes of this discussion. I will read only
the footnote, which is in Ribbentrop's handwriting.

   "I mentioned to Chvalkovsky especially that a quick reduction
   in the Czech Army would be decisive in our judgement."

Does the Court propose sitting beyond 4.30?

THE PRESIDENT: No, I think not. The Tribunal will adjourn,

(The Tribunal adjourned until 1000 hours 4th December, 1945.)

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