The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1999/09/23

                                                   [Page 91]



SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: If the Tribunal please, when the
Tribunal adjourned I had just dealt with the last of the two
Norway documents, which I now put in as Exhibits GB 140 and
GB 141. Their numbers were 004-PS and D-629.

My Lord, for convenience, the first document to which I
shall refer in a few minutes will be Document 1871-PS.

THE PRESIDENT: I have that here.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, before I come to that, I
just want to say one word about the aggression against the
Low Countries: Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.

The facts as to the aggression against these countries,
during the period when this defendant was Foreign Minister,
were stated in full by my friend Mr. Roberts, and if I give
the Tribunal the reference (Pages 198 to 211, Part 2) I do
not need to detain the Tribunal on that part of the case.

I only remind the Tribunal that the action of this defendant
as Foreign Minister, to which attention may be called, is
the making of a statement on the 10th May, 1940, to
representatives of the foreign Press with regard to the
reasons for the German invasion of the Low Countries, and
these reasons were, in my respectful submission,
demonstrated to be false by the evidence called by Mr.
Roberts, which appears in that part of the transcript.

My Lord, I then proceed to the aggression in South-eastern
Europe against Greece and Yugoslavia, and the first moment
of time in that regard is the meeting at Salzburg in August,
1939, at which the defendant von Ribbentrop participated,
when Hitler announced that the Axis had decided to liquidate
certain neutrals. That document is 1871-PS, which I now put
in as Exhibit GB 142, and the passage to which I should like
to refer the Tribunal is on Page 2 of the English version,
two-thirds down the page in the middle of the fifth
paragraph, six lines from the top. Your Lordship will find
the words "Generally speaking."


SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: I desire to quote from there:

   "Generally speaking, it would be best to liquidate the
   pseudo-neutrals one after the other. This is fairly
   easily done, if one Axis partner protects the rear of
   the other, who is just finishing off one of the
   uncertain neutrals, and vice versa. Italy may consider
   Yugoslavia such an uncertain neutral. At the visit of
   Prince Regent Paul he (the Fuehrer) suggested,
   particularly in consideration of Italy, that Prince Paul
   clarify his political attitude towards the Axis by a
   gesture. He had thought of a closer connection with the
   Axis, and Yugoslavia's leaving the League of Nations.
   Prince Paul agreed to the latter. Recently the Prince
   Regent was in London and sought reassurance from the
   Western Powers. The same thing was repeated that
   happened in the case of Gafencu, who was also very
   reasonable during his visit to Germany and who denied
   any interest in the aims of the Western democracies.
   Afterwards it was learned that he had later assumed a
   contrary standpoint in England. Among the Balkan
   countries the Axis can completely rely only on Bulgaria,
   which is, in a sense, a natural ally of Italy and

                                                   [Page 92]

Then missing a sentence:

   "At the moment when there was a turn to the worse for
   Germany and Italy, however, Yugoslavia would join the
   other side openly, hoping thereby to give matters a
   final turn to the disadvantage of the Axis."

That demonstrates the policy with regard to uncertain

Then, as early as September, 1940, this defendant reviewed
the war situation with Mussolini. This defendant emphasised
the heavy revenge bombing raids on England and the fact that
London would soon be in ruins. It was agreed between the
parties that only Italian interests were involved in Greece
and Yugoslavia, and that Italy could count on German

Then von Ribbentrop went on further to explain to Mussolini
the Spanish plan for the attack on Gibraltar and Germany's
participation therein, and that he was expecting to sign the
Protocol with Spain bringing the latter country into the war
on his return to Berlin.

This is Document 1842-PS, which is the next document in the
book to the one at which the Tribunal has just been looking,
and the passage with regard to Greece and Yugoslavia occurs
in the middle of the first page, if I might just read a very
short extract:

   "With regard to Greece and Yugoslavia, the Foreign
   Minister stressed that it was exclusively a question of
   Italian interests, the settling of which was a matter
   for Italy alone, and in which Italy would be certain of
   Germany's sympathetic assistance."

I do not think I need trouble the Tribunal with the rest.

The Tribunal (MR. BIDDELL): I think you had better read the
next paragraph.


   "But it seemed to us to be better not to touch on those
   problems for the time being, but to concentrate instead
   on the destruction of England with all our forces. Where
   Germany was concerned, she was interested in the
   Northern German districts (Norway, etc.), and this was
   acknowledged by the Duce."

I am very grateful to you, your Honour.

That I put in as Exhibit GB 143.

A month or two later, in January, 1941, at the meeting
between Hitler and Mussolini, in which this defendant
participated, the Greek operation was discussed. Hitler bad
stated that the "German troops in Roumania were for use in
the planned campaign against Greece. That document is C-134,
which was put in as Exhibit GB 119, and therefore I do not
propose to give it again, but to give the Tribunal the
reference to the points which are mentioned at the foot of
Page 3 of the English text.

With regard to that meeting there is a cross-reference in
Count Ciano's diary, Count Ciano having attended as Italian
Foreign Minister, and he recalls his impression of that
meeting in the diary for the 20th-21st of January by saying:

   "The Duce was, on the whole, pleased with the
   conversation. I am less pleased. Above all, because
   Ribbentrop, who had always been so boastful in the past,
   told us, when I asked him outright how long the war
   last, that he saw no possibility of its ending before

Despite that somewhat pessimistic statement to Count Ciano,
a short time later, three weeks later, when it was a
question of encouraging the Japanese, this defendant took a
more optimistic line.

On the 13th February, 1941, he saw Ambassador Oshima, the
Japanese Ambassador, and that is the conversation that
appears in Document 1834-PS, which is Exhibit USA 129. That
was read previously, and again I simply give the reference
on Page 3 of the English version.

The second and last paragraph dealt with the optimistic
account of the military position and the position of
Bulgaria and Turkey. I do not think I need read it further,
because it gives the Tribunal the reference.

                                                   [Page 93]

Then, after that, in March, this defendant put forth his
efforts to get Yugoslavia to join the Axis, and on the 25th
March the defendant, in a note to the Prime Minister
Ovstkovitch - and this is Document 2450-PS, which is Exhibit
GB 123 - gave the assurance:

   "The Axis power governments, during this war, will not
   direct a demand to Yugoslavia to permit the march or
   transportation of troops through the Yugoslav State or

After that, it is only fair to point out that there was the
coup d'etat in Yugoslavia. General Simovics took over the
Government, and two days after the assurance which I just
read, at the meeting of the 27th March, 1941, at which this
defendant was present, Hitler outlined the military campaign
against Yugoslavia and promised the destruction of
Yugoslavia and the demolition of Belgrade by the German Air
Force. That is contained in Document 1746-PS, which is
Exhibit GB 120, and that was read by my friend Colonel
Phillimore, at an earlier stage, so I don't need to read it

The final action of this defendant with regard to Yugoslavia
was that after the invasion of Yugoslavia, von Ribbentrop
was one of the persons directed by Hitler to draw up the
boundaries for the partition and division of Yugoslavia. The
preliminary directive for that was Document 1195-PS, which I
now put in as Exhibit GB 144.

We now come to the aggression against the Soviet Union, and
the first -

THE PRESIDENT: Has that been read, 1195-PS?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: No, it has not. I am much obliged,
your Lordship. I will now read the relevant sentence with
regard to this.

On Page 2, Section 2, your Lordship will see the words "the
drawing up of boundaries."


SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: And in paragraph 1 it says:

"If the drawing up of boundaries has not been laid down in
the above Part 1, it will be carried out by the Supreme
Command of the Armed Forces in agreement With the Foreign
Office" - that is the defendant - "the Plenipotentiary for
the Four Year Plan" - the defendant Goering - "and the Reich
Minister of the Interior."

THE PRESIDENT: Who is Reich Minister of the Interior?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: I think the defendant Frick.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, I think it was.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, I am grateful to your
Lordship. I had forgotten that had not been read before.

Now then, as I say, we come to the aggression against the
Soviet Union, and the first document which has not been put
in so far, which I now put in as Exhibit GB 145, is TC-25,
the German-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact.

On 23rd August, 1939, this defendant had signed the German-
Soviet Non-Aggression Pact. Now, the first point at which
this defendant seems to have considered special problems of
aggression against the Soviet Union was just after the 20th
April, 1941, when the defendant Rosenberg and this defendant
met or communicated to consider the problems which were
expected to arise in Eastern occupied territory. This
defendant appointed his Counsellor, Grosskopf, to be his
liaison man with Rosenberg and also assigned a Consul
General, called Brautigam, who had many years5 experience in
the U.S.S.R. as collaborator with Rosenberg. That is shown
in Document 1039-PS, which is Exhibit USA 146. I did not
propose to read it again as it had been read. That passage
to which I have referred is the first paragraph on the top
of Page 2, beginning "After notification to the Reich
Foreign Minister." It is that paragraph which I have just

                                                   [Page 94]

That was in April, 1941. The following month, on 18th May,
1941, the German Foreign Office prepared a declaration
setting forth operational zones in the Arctic Ocean, the
Baltic and Black Seas, to be used by the German Navy and the
Air Force, in the coming invasion of the Soviet Union. That
is the next document, C-77, which I now put in as Exhibit GB
146, and it is very short. Therefore, I think I should quote
it; it has not been read before:

   "The Foreign Office has prepared for the use in
   Barbarossa the attached draft of a declaration of
   operational zones. The Foreign Office has, however,
   reserved its decision as to the date when the
   declaration will be issued as well as the discussion of

These last two documents show quite clearly that this
defendant was again implicated in the preparation for this
act of aggression. Then, on the 22nd June, 1941, this
defendant announced to the world that the German armies were
invading the U.S.S.R., as was seen by the Tribunal in the
film shown on the 11th December. And how untrue were the
reasons given, is shown by the report of his own Ambassador
in Moscow who said that everything was being done to avoid a
conflict. The Tribunal will find the reference to that in my
learned friend, the Attorney General's speech (Page 84, Part

We now come to the aggression which involved Japan and was
directed against the United States of America. And there the
initial document is 2508-PS, which I now put in as Exhibit
GB 147. That shows that on the 25th November, 1936, as a
result of negotiations of this defendant as Ambassador at
Large, Germany and Japan had signed the Anti-Comintern Pact.
I do not think that has been read, but if I may, I will just
read the introduction, the recital that gives the purposes
of the agreement:

   "The Government of the German Reich and the Imperial
   Japanese Government, recognising that the aim of the
   Communist Internationale, known as the Comintern, is to
   disintegrate and subdue existing States by all the means
   at its command; convinced that the toleration of
   interference by the Communist Internationale in the
   internal affairs of the nations not only endangers their
   internal peace and social well-being, but is also a
   menace to the peace of the world; desirous of co-
   operating in the defence against Communist subversive
   activities, have agreed as follows."

And then there follow the effective terms of the agreement
under which they will act together for five years. It is
signed by this defendant.

On the 27th September, 1940, this defendant, as Foreign
Minister, signed the Tripartite Pact with Japan and Italy,
thereby bring about a full-scale military and economic
alliance for the creation of a new order in Europe and East
Asia. That is 2643-PS; Exhibit USA 149, and it has been

Then, on the 13th February, 1941 - that is, a month or two
later - this defendant was urging the Japanese to attack
British possessions in the Far East. And that is shown in
Document 1834-PS, which is Exhibit USA 129, and which has
already been read by my friend, Mr. Alderman. That was in

Then, in April, 1941, at a meeting between Hitler and
Matsuoka, representing Japan, at which this defendant was
present, Hitler promised that Germany would declare war on
the United States in the event of war occurring between
Japan and the United States as a result of Japanese
aggression in the Pacific. That is shown in Document 1831-
PS, Exhibit USA 33, which has already been read and which I
did not intend to read again.

Then, the next document which reinforces that point is 1882-
PS, which is Exhibit USA 153. If I might trouble the
Tribunal with just two short paragraphs of that; it is
interesting, showing the psychological development of this
defendant and his views at that time. It is the first two
paragraphs in the document that are quoted, under the
heading "Pages 2 and 3 it is on the first page of the

                                                   [Page 95]

   "Matsuoka then spoke of the general high morale in
   Germany, referring to the happy faces he had seen
   everywhere among the workers during his recent visit to
   the Borsig Works. He expressed his regret that
   developments in Japan had not as yet advanced as far as
   in Germany and that in his country the intellectuals
   still exercised considerable influence.
   The Reich Foreign Minister replied that at best a nation
   which had realised its every ambition could afford the
   luxury of intellectuals, most of whom are parasites,
   A nation, however, which has to fight for a place in the
   sun must give them up. The intellectuals ruined France;
   in Germany they had already started their pernicious
   activities when National Socialism put a stop to these
   doings; they will surely be the cause of the downfall of
   Britain, which is to be expected with certainty."

Then, it continues on the usual lines. That was on the 5th

Then, the next stage; within a month after the German Armies
invaded the Soviet Union, the 22nd June, 1941, Ribbentrop
was urging his Ambassador in Tokyo to do his utmost to cause
the Japanese Government to attack the Soviet in Siberia, and
that is proved by two documents which have already been put
in: 2896-PS, which is Exhibit USA 155, a telegram to the
German Ambassador in Tokyo, one Ott; and 2897-PS, Exhibit
156, which is the reply from Ambassador Ott. Both of these
were read by my friend, Mr. Alderman, and I won't trouble
the Tribunal again.

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