The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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On 26th September, 1938, Hitler again spoke of Poland in one of his
usual speeches. I consider it essential to quote a short excerpt from
this speech (TC 29):

                                                            [Page 217]
     "The German-Polish relations presented that complicated problem
     which I was forced to encounter. There existed a danger that the
     idea of mutual implacable hostility would completely dominate the
     imagination of our own as well as of the Polish people. I wanted
     to avert it."
I do not consider it necessary to read the entire document, and I
will, therefore, omit a few sentences.

     "Precisely a year later it was possible to reach an agreement
     which, in the first place, definitely eliminated the danger of a
     conflict for a period of ten years.
     We are all convinced that this agreement will lead to a lasting
     peace. We realise that the matter concerns two peoples, which
     have to exist side by side and of which neither can eliminate the
     A State with a 33,000,000 population will always strive for an
     exit to the sea.
     Because of that, a way to a mutual understanding had to be found.
     Now it is found and will be more and more consolidated."

In absolute conformity with this official and, from beginning to end
deceitful, speech of Hitler's, the defendant Ribbentrop, speaking in
Warsaw on 25th January, 1939, stated (this quotation will be found in
Document 2530-PS):

     "It is a fundamental part of German foreign policy that the
     friendly relations between Germany and Poland, based on the
     existing treaty, be strengthened progressively, and deepened in
     accordance with the firm will of the Fuehrer."
Omitting one paragraph of this document, which has already been read
in court and submitted to the Tribunal as the Document  2530-PS, I
wish to repeat only one sentence of it:

     "Thus Poland and Germany can look forward to the future with
     complete confidence upon the solid basis of their mutual
Need I remind the Tribunal that in the Document L 79 already
presented, which is a record of the conference on 23rd May, 1939, at
Hitler's new Reich Chancellery, among the many other openly aggressive
declarations and statements of policy by Hitler, this man uttered the
following sentence:

     "Thus, there is no question of sparing Poland, and the decision
     stands, to attack Poland at the first opportunity. It is
     impossible to expect a repetition of the operation against
     Czechoslovakia. This time it will mean war."
It must be stated in all fairness that this war was a surprise for
Poland only. The Fascist conspirators had, for a long time, carefully
prepared for it. I now turn to Document C 120, a considerable part of
which has already been read into the record. I should like to submit
several excerpts from this document, concerning the conspiracy of the
Hitlerites directed against Poland, excerpts which have not yet been
read into the record. I would like to draw your attention to
individual sentences, which naturally did not attract the attention of
the counsel who offered this document in evidence because they deal
with relatively small details. But now these sentences are decisive
and are of primary importance. They are highly characteristic and
essential to a correct evaluation of the material I am about to

In the Document 120 C, for Commanding Officers only, Top Secret.
Matter for Chief of Staff. Through officer only, General Headquarters
of the Armed Forces WFA 37/39 "Chefsache" (L-a), just preceding the
text of the document, the subject is indicated as follows:

     "Subject: Instructions for the Armed Forces for 1939-40.
     Directive concerning the uniform preparation of the Armed Forces
     for 1939-40 is hereby restated."
                                                            [Page 218]
This sentence clearly and definitely indicates that already
previously, that is, before 3rd April, 1939, there existed some other
directives on this very question.

The following is said in paragraph 3 of the document cited:

     "Opinions of the three branches of the Armed Forces, as well as
     the data for the calendar schedule, will be submitted to the
     O.K.W. on 1st May, 1939."
Already by 1st May, 1939, Germany had a revised, modernised, and
detailed plan for an aggression against Poland. And Hitler, while
playing the part of one insulted by Poland, waited only for a suitable
moment to declare that he had no choice but to destroy the Polish

In one of the appendices to the document quoted -- it is also listed
as Document  C 120 but was not read into the record -- there is one
feature of great importance. The document is signed by Hitler and
bears the date 11th April, 1939. It was prepared in five originals. I
offer in evidence a copy of the second original.

     "Directive concerning the uniform preparation of the Armed Forces
     for 1939-40.
I will expound, at a later date, the future objectives of the Armed
Forces as well as the preparations for war which follow therefrom.

     "Until this directive becomes effective, the Armed Forces must be
     ready to accomplish the following tasks:
     (1) Securing the frontiers of the German Reich and protection
     from sudden air offensive.
     (2) Fall `Weiss.'
     (3) Occupation of Danzig.
I will now read into the record the first paragraph of Appendix 3,
entitled "The Occupation of Danzig."

     "In the event of a favourable political condition, the question
     of a surprise occupation of the Free City of Danzig may arise
     independently of the Plan `Weiss.'"
I think that we can dispense with the reading of the remaining text of
the document.

If it please the Tribunal, it is worthy of note that, according to
German plans, the occupation of Danzig was regarded either as an
integral part of the aggression against Poland, or, in case of a
different political situation, as a completely independent operation,
but in both cases it was planned well in advance.

The same set of documents, listed as C 120, includes a top-secret
directive intended exclusively for commanding officers and was to be
transmitted through officers only. It is important to note
that the subject of this document, which I submit to the Tribunal, is
indicated as follows: "Instructions concerning the uniform preparation
for war of the Armed Forces for the years 1939-40." Just as the
previous ones, this document was not intended for a wide circle of
readers. It was typed in seven originals only. The Fascist
conspirators were not very anxious to popularize their planned
preparation for war.

And again, in the appendix to directive OKW 37/39, which I have
already submitted to the Tribunal and which is entitled, "Special
Orders for Operation Weiss," there is one very significant sentence.

I shall read into the Record the penultimate sub-paragraph of
paragraph 2:

     "In case of a public announcement of general mobilisation .
     (Mobplan), the mobilisation will automatically cover the entire
     civilian network, including war production. A public announcement
     of mobilisation, however, should not be counted on, should
     military events be confined to Plan `Weiss.'"
                                                            [Page 219]
It seems highly significant to me that the Fascist conspirators,
though fully conscious of the fact that war, and no alternative to
war, was envisaged, had planned the execution of their criminal intent
without announcing any mobilisation.

And finally, I would like to point out that in Keitel's order to the
Armed Forces, No. 37/39, of 3rd April, 1939, issued in connection with
"Operation Weiss," the following directives by Hitler were stated for

     "I. Operation plan `Weiss' must be elaborated with a view to the
     fact that its execution will be possible at any time, as from the
     1st September, 1939."
We know that the invasion of Poland was, in fact, started on 1st
September, 1939 -- in short, on the very first day on which the German
Armed Forces had to be fully ready for action.

Operational Order No. 1, 25039, of 21st August, 1939, issued to the
Command of Naval Group, "OST," on board the battleship Schleswig
Holstein, (this document has already been submitted to the Tribunal as
a German photostatic copy), stated as follows:

     "I. Situation.
     (a) Political: the Armed Forces must be defeated by means of a
     lightning thrust, to enable the creation in the East of a
     situation favourable for the defense of the Reich. The Free City
     of Danzig will be declared a Reich city. "
It is worth while to bear this sentence in mind when speaking of the
"free expression of will by the Danzig population," who are alleged to
have aspired to become part of the Reich. It must not be forgotten
that this free expression of will had been anticipated, by the above
Operational Order No. 1, to the very day.

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