The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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There is attached thereto, if the Tribunal please, the

statute referred to as the Reich Defence Law of 21st May,

1935, or rather it was enacted by the Reich Cabinet, and it

starts with the statement:

   "The Reich Cabinet has enacted the following law that is

   hereby made public."

There follows a law in detail covering preparations for

state of defence, mobilisation, appointment of this

plenipotentiary-general for war economy, with

plenipotentiary authority for the economic preparation of

the war, and a Part III providing for setting of penalties.

The law is signed "The Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor, Adolf

Hitler; the Reich Minister of War, von Blomberg; the Reich

Minister of the Interior,

                                                  [Page 156]

Frick," one of the defendants. And at the bottom of it there

is this note. That is on Sheet 4 of the original German, I



   "Note on the law for the Defence of the Reich of 21st

   May, 1935.


   The publication of the Law for the Defence of the Reich

   on 21st May, 1935, will be suspended. The law became

   effective 21st May, 1935.

   The Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor, Adolf Hitler."

So that although the publication itself stated the law was

made public, the publication was suspended by Adolf Hitler;

although the law became effective immediately.

There is further attached a copy of the decision of the

Reich Cabinet Of 21st May, 1935, on the Council for the

Defence of the Realm which deals largely with organisation

for economic preparation for the war and which I think was

disclosed by my colleague, Mr. Dodd, last week.

There can be no question that this law Of 21st May, 1935,

was the corner-stone of war preparations of the Nazi

conspirators. The relationship of the defendant Schacht to

this preparation is made transparently clear by this

captured document.

So much, for the time being, on the preparatory phase of the

conspiracy, 1933 to 1936.

As indicated earlier, the next phase of aggression was the

formulation and execution of plans to attack Austria and

Czechoslovakia, in that order. This is the phase of the

aggression covered by paragraphs 3(a), (b), and (c) of

Section IV (F) of the Indictment appearing at pages seven to

eight of the printed English Text.

One of the most striking and revealing of all the captured

documents which have come to hand is a document which we

have come to know as the Hoszbach notes of a conference in

the Reich Chancellery On 5th November, 1937, from 16.15 to

20-30 hours, in the course of which Hitler outlined to those

present the possibilities and necessities of expanding their

foreign policy, and requested - I quote, - "That his

statements be looked upon in the case of his death as his

last will and testament." And so with this document we shall

present to the Tribunal and to the public the last will and

testament of Adolf Hitler as he contemplated that last will

and testament on 5th November, 1937. The document comes to

hand through the United States Department of State of the

United States. It is numbered document 386-PS in our series

of numbered documents. I offer it in evidence as exhibit USA


Before reading it, I note at the start that the recorder of

the minutes of this meeting, then Colonel Hoszbach, was the

Fuehrer's adjutant. I note also the presence in this

conspiratorial meeting of the defendant Erich Raeder. The

defendant Constantin von Neurath was present. The defendant

Hermann Wilhelm Goering was present. The minutes of this

meeting reveal a crystallisation towards the end of 1937 in

the policy of the Nazi regime. Austria and Czechoslovakia

were to be acquired by force. They would provide Lebensraum

(living space) and improve Germany's military position for

further operations. While it is true that actual events

unfolded themselves in a somewhat different manner than that

outlined at this meeting, in essence the purposes stated at

the meeting were carried out. The document destroys any

possible doubt concerning the Nazis' premeditation of their

crimes against peace. This document is of such tremendous

importance that I feel obliged to read it in full into the


"Berlin, 10th November, 1937. Notes on the conference in the

Reichrkanzlei on 5th November, 1937, from 16.15 to 20.30


Present: The Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor;

The Reich Minister for War, Generalfeldmarschall v.


The C.-in-C. Army, Generaloberst Freiherr von Fritsch;

The C.-in-C. Navy, Generaladmiral Dr. H. C. Raeder;

The C.-in-C. Luftwaffe, Generaloberst Goering;

The Reich Minister for Foreign Affairs Freiherr v. Neurath;

Oberst Hoszbach (the adjutant who took the minutes)."

                                                  [Page 157]

The Fuehrer stated initially that the subject matter of

today's conference was of such high importance that its

detailed discussion would certainly in other States take

place before the Cabinet in full session. However, he, the

Fuehrer, had decided not to discuss this matter in the

larger circle of the Reich Cabinet, because of its

importance. His subsequent statements were the result of

detailed deliberations and of the experiences of his four

and a half years in government; he desired to explain to

those present his fundamental ideas on the possibilities and

necessities of expanding their foreign policy, and in the

interests of a far-sighted policy he requested that his

statements be looked upon, in the case of his death, as his

last will and testament.

The Fuehrer then went on: "The aim of German policy is the

security and the preservation of the nation and its

propagation. This is consequently a problem of space. The

German nation comprises eighty-five million people, which,

because of the number of individuals and the compactness of

habitation, form a homogeneous European racial body, the

like of which cannot be found in any other country. On the

other hand it justifies the demand for larger living space

more than for any other nation. If there have been no

political measures to meet the demands of this racial body

for living space, then that is the result of historical

development spread over several centuries, and should this

political condition continue to exist, it will represent the

greatest danger to the preservation of the German nation

(the German word used there is not "nation"; it is "

Volkstum ") at its present high level. An arrest of the

deterioration of the German element in Austria and in

Czechoslovakia is just as little possible as the

preservation of the present state in Germany itself."

I interpolate that I can but think that this is not a good

translation of the German because to me the sentence seems


   "Instead of growth, sterility will be introduced, and as

   a consequence tensions of a social nature will appear

   after a number of years, because political and

   philosophical ideas are of a permanent nature only as

   long as they are able to produce the basis for the

   realisation of the actual claim of the existence of a

   nation. The German future is therefore dependent

   exclusively on the solution of the need for living

   space. Such a solution can be sought naturally only for

   a limited period, about one to three generations.


   Before touching upon the question of solving the need

   for living space, it must be decided whether a solution

   of the German position with a good future can be

   attained, either by way of an autarchy or by way of an

   increased share in universal commerce and industry.


   Autarchy: Execution will be possible only with strict

   National-Socialist State policy, which is the basis;

   (that is the basis of autarchy) assuming this can be

   achieved, the results are as follows:


       A. In the sphere of raw materials, only limited, but

       not total autarchy can be attained:

            1. Wherever coal can be used for the extraction

       of raw materials autarchy is feasible.

            2. In the case of ores the position is much

       more difficult. Requirements in iron and light

       metals can be covered by ourselves. Copper and tin,

       however, cannot.

            3. Cellular materials can be covered by

       ourselves as long as sufficient wood supplies exist.

       A permanent solution is not possible.

            4. Edible fats - possible.


       B. In the case of foods, the question of an autarchy

       must be answered with a definite capital NO.


   The general increase of living standards, compared with

   thirty to forty years ago, brought about a simultaneous

   increase of the demand and an increase of personal

   consumption among the producers, the farmers themselves.

   The proceeds

                                                  [Page 158]

   from the production increases in agriculture have been

   used fore covering the increased demand, therefore they

   represent no absolute increase in production. A further

   increase in production by making greater demands on the

   soil is not possible, because it already shows signs of

   deterioration due to the use of artificial fertilisers,

   and it is therefore certain that, even with the greatest

   possible increase in production, participation in the

   world market could not be avoided."

I interpolate, that if I understand him he means by that "no

autarchy; we must participate in world trade and commerce."

The considerable expenditure Of foreign currency to secure

food by import, even in periods when harvests are good,

increases catastrophically when the harvest is really poor.

The possibility of this catastrophe increases

correspondingly to the increase in population, and the

annual 560,000 excess in births would bring about an

increased consumption in bread, because the child is a

greater bread eater than the adult.

Permanently to counter the difficulties of food supplies by

lowering the standard of living and by rationalisation is

impossible in a continent which has developed an

approximately equivalent standard of living. As the solving

of the unemployment problem has brought into effect the

complete power of consumption, some small corrections in our

agricultural home production will be possible, but not a

wholesale alteration of the standard of food consumption.

Consequently autarchy becomes impossible, specifically in

the sphere of food supplies, as well as generally.

Participation in world economy. There are limits to this

which we are unable to transgress. The market fluctuation

would be an obstacle to a secure foundation of the German

position; international commercial agreements do not offer

any guarantee for practical execution. It must be considered

on principle that since the World War (1914-18), an

industrialisation has taken place in countries which

formerly exported food. We live in a period of economic

empires, in which the tendency to colonies again, approaches

the condition which originally motivated colonisation; in

Japan and Italy economic motives are the basis of their will

to expand, and economic need will also drive Germany to it.

Countries outside the great economic empires have special

difficulties in expanding economically.

The upward tendency, which has been caused in world economy,

due to armament competition, can never form a permanent

basis for an economic settlement, and this latter is also

hampered by the economic disruption caused by Bolshevism.

There is a pronounced military weakness in those States

which base their existence on export. As our exports and

imports are carried out over those sea lanes which are

dominated by Britain, it is rather a question of security of

transport than one of foreign currency and this explains the

great weakness of our food situation in wartime. The only

way out, and one which may appear imaginary, is the securing

of greater living space, an endeavour which at all times has

been the cause of the formation of States and of movements

of nations. It is explicable that this tendency finds no

interest in Geneva and in satisfied States. Should the

security of our food situation be our foremost thought, then

the space required for this can only be sought in Europe,

but we will not copy liberal capitalist policies which rely

on exploiting colonies. It is not a case of conquering

people, but of conquering agriculturally useful space. It

would also be more to the purpose to seek raw material-

producing territory in Europe directly adjoining the Reich

and not overseas, and this solution would have to be brought

into effect for one or two generations. What would be

required at a later date over and above this must be left to

subsequent generations. The development of great world-wide

national bodies is naturally a slow process and the German

people, with its strong racial root" - I interpolate, there

is a German word "Volkstamm", racial root - "has for this

purpose the most favourable foundations in the heart of the

European Continent. The history of all times - Roman Empire,

British Empire - has proved that every space expansion can

only be effected by breaking resistance and taking risks.

Even setbacks are unavoidable; neither formerly nor today


[Page 159]

space been found without an owner; the attacker always comes

up against the proprietor."

(A recess was taken.)

MR. ALDERMAN: May it please the Tribunal, after the somewhat

jumbled discussion, which I have just read, of geopolitical

economic theory and of the need for expansion and

"Lebensraum," Adolf Hitler, in these Hoszbach notes, posed

the question:

    "The question for Germany is where the greatest

    possible conquest could be made at lowest cost.


    German politics must reckon with its two hateful

    enemies, England and France, to whom a strong German

    colossus in the centre of Europe would be intolerable.

    Both these States would oppose a further reinforcement

    of Germany, both in Europe and overseas, and in this

    opposition they would have the support of all parties.


    Both countries would view the building of German

    military strong points overseas as a threat to their

    overseas communications, as a security measure for

    German commerce, and retrospectively a strengthening of

    the German position in Europe.


    England is not in a position to cede any of her

    colonial possessions to us owing to the resistance

    which she experiences in the Dominions. After the loss

    of prestige which England has suffered owing to the

    transfer of Abyssinia to Italian ownership, a return of

    East Africa can no longer be expected. Any resistance

    on England's part would at best consist in the

    readiness to satisfy our colonial claims by taking away

    colonies which at the present moment are not in British

    hands, for example, Angola. French favours would

    probably be of the same nature.


    A serious discussion regarding the return of colonies

    to us could be considered only at a time when England

    is in a state of emergency and the German Reich is

    strong and well armed. The Fuehrer does not share the

    opinion that the Empire is unshakeable."

Meaning, I take it, the British Empire.

    "Resistance against the Empire is to be found less in

    conquered territories than amongst its competitors. The

    British Empire and the Roman Empire cannot be compared

    with one another in regard to durability; after the

    Punic Wars the latter did not have a serious political

    enemy. Only the dissolving effects which originated in

    Christendom, and the signs of age which, creep into all

    States, made it possible for the ancient Germans to

    subjugate ancient Rome.


    Alongside the British Empire today a number of States

    exist which are stronger than it. The British mother

    country is able to defend its colonial possession only

    when allied with other States and not by its own power.

    Now could England alone, for example, defend Canada

    against attack by America, or its Far Eastern interests

    against an attack by Japan?


    The singling out of the British Crown as the bearer of

    Empire unity is in itself an admission that the

    Universal Empire cannot be maintained permanently by

    power politics. The following are significant pointers

    in this respect:

          (a) Ireland's struggle for independence.

          (b) Constitutional disputes in India where

          England, by her half measures, left the door open

          for Indians, at a later date, to utilise the non-

          fulfilment of constitutional promises as a weapon

          against Britain.

          (c) The weakening of the British position in the

          Far East by Japan.

          (d) The opposition in the Mediterranean by Italy

          which - by virtue of its history, driven by

          necessity and led by a genius - expands its power

          position and must consequently infringe British

          interests to an increasing extent. The outcome of

          the Abyssinian War is a loss of prestige for

          Britain which Italy is endeavouring to increase by

          stirring up discontent in the Mohammedan World.


                                                  [Page 160]


    It must be established in conclusion that the Empire

    cannot he held permanently by power politics by 45

    million Britons, in spite of all the solidity of their

    ideals. The proportion of the populations in the

    Empire, compared with that of the motherland, is nine

    to one, and it should act as a warning to us that if we

    expand in space, we must not allow the level of our

    population to become too low."

I take it he meant by that: "Keep the population of occupied

territories low in comparison with ours."

    "France's position is more favourable than that of

    England. The French Empire is better placed

    geographically; the population of its colonial

    possessions represents a potential military increase.

    But France is faced with difficulties of internal

    politics. At the present time only 10 per cent

    approximately of the nations have parliamentary

    governments, whereas 90 per cent of them have

    totalitarian governments. Nevertheless, we have to take

    the following into our political consideration as power


    Britain, France, Russia, and the adjoining smaller



    The German question can be solved only by way of force,

    and this is never without risk. The battles of

    Frederick the Great for Silesia, and Bismarck's wars

    against Austria and France had been a tremendous risk

    and the speed of Prussian action in 1870 had prevented

    Austria from participating in the war. If we place the

    decision to apply force with risk at the head of the

    following expositions, then we are left to reply to the

    questions 'when' and 'how'. In this regard we have to

    decide upon three different cases."

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