The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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I suppose that is the French "force motrice."

   "Her strength lies in the following:-

   (1) The British themselves are proud, courageous,

   tenacious, firm in resistance and gifted as organisers.

   They know how to exploit every new development. They

   have the love of adventure and bravery of the Nordic

   race. Quality is lowered by dispersal. The German

   average is higher.

   (2) World power in itself. It has been constant for 300

   years. Extended by the acquisition of allies, this power

   is not merely something concrete, but must also be

   considered as a psychological force embracing the entire

   world. Add to tills immeasurable wealth, with

   consequential financial credit.

   (3) Geopolitical safety and protection by strong sea

   power and a courageous air force.


   England's weakness.


   If in the World War 1 we had had two battleships and two

   cruisers more, and if the battle of Jutland had been

   begun in the morning, the British Fleet would have been

   defeated and England brought to her knees. It would have

   meant the end of this war" - that war, I take it - " It

   was formerly not sufficient to defeat the

                                                  [Page 169]


   Fleet. Landings had to be made in order to defeat

   England. England could provide her own food supplies.

   Today that is no longer possible.


   The moment England's food supply routes are cut, she is

   forced to capitulate in one day. But if the Fleet is

   destroyed; immediate capitulation will be the result.


   There is no doubt that a surprise attack can lead to a

   quick decision. It would be criminal, however, for the

   government to rely entirely on the element of surprise.


   Experience has shown that surprise may be nullified by:

   (1) Disclosure outside the limit of the military circles


   (2) Mere chance, which may cause the collapse of the

   whole enterprise.

   (3) Human failings.

   (4) Weather conditions.


   The final date for striking must be fixed well in

   advance. Beyond that time, the tension cannot be endured

   for long. It must be home in mind that weather

   conditions can render any surprise intervention by Navy

   and Air Force impossible.


   This must be regarded as a most unfavourable basis of



   (1) An effort must be made to deal the enemy a

   significant or the final decisive blow. Consideration of

   right and wrong or treaties do not enter into the

   matter. This will only be possible if we are not

   involved in a war with England on account of Poland.

   (2) In addition to the surprise attack, preparations for

   a long war must be made while opportunities on the on

   the Continent for England are eliminated.


   The army will have to hold positions essential to the

   Navy and Air Force. If Holland and Belgium are

   successfully occupied and held, and if France is also

   defeated, the fundamental conditions for a successful

   war against England will have been secured.


   England can then be blockaded from Western France at

   close quarters by the Air Force, while the Navy with its

   submarines can extend the range of the blockade.




   England will not be able to fight on the Continent.

   Daily attacks by the Air Force and Navy will cut all her


   Time will not be on England's side.

   Germany will not bleed to death on land.


   Such strategy has been shown to be necessary by World

   War I and subsequent military operations. World War I is

   responsible for the following strategic considerations

   which are imperative:-


   (1)With a more powerful Navy at the outbreak of the War,

   or a wheeling movement by the Army towards the Channel

   ports, the end would have been different.

   (2) A country cannot be brought to defeat by an air

   force. It is impossible to attack all objectives

   simultaneously, and the lapse of time of a few minutes

   would evoke defence countermeasures.

   (3) The unrestricted use of all resources is essential.

   (4) Once the Army, in co-operation with the Air Force

   and Navy, has taken the most important positions,

   industrial production will cease to flow into the

   bottomless pit of the Army's battles, and can be

   diverted to benefit the Air Force and Navy.


   The Army must, therefore, be capable of taking these

   positions. Systematic preparations must be made for the



   Study to this end is of the utmost importance.


   The aim will always be to force England to her knees.


   A weapon will only be of decisive importance in winning

   battles, so long as the enemy does not possess it.

                                                  [Page 170]

   This applies to gas, submarines and Air Force. It would

   be true of the latter, for instance, as long as the

   English Fleet had no available countermeasures; it will

   no longer be the case in 1940 and 1941. Against Poland,

   for example, tanks will be effective, as the Polish Army

   possesses no counter-measures.


   Where straightforward pressure is no longer considered

   to be decisive, its place must be taken by the elements

   of surprise and by masterly handling."

The rest of the document, if the Tribunal please, deals more

in detail with military plans and preparations. I think it

unnecessary to read further.

The document just read is the evidence which specifically

supports the allegations in Paragraph 4(a) of Section IV (F)

of the indictment, appearing on page 9 of the printed

English text, relating to the meeting Of 23rd May, 1939. We

think it leaves nothing unproved in those allegations.

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Alderman, perhaps you ought to read the

last page and the last five lines, because they refer in

terms to one of the defendants.

MR. ALDERMAN: I didn't read these, Mr. President, simply

because I am convinced that they are mistranslated in the

English translation. I will be glad to have them read in the

original German.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well, if you are of that opinion.

MR. ALDERMAN:  We could get it from the original German.

THE PRESIDENT: You mean that the English translation is



THE PRESIDENT: You had better inform us then if it is wrong.

MR. ALDERMAN: Did you have a reference to the last Paragraph

headed "Working principles"?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, the one after that.

MR. ALDERMAN: Yes. Might I ask that the German interpreter

read that, as it can be translated into the other languages.

It is on page 16 of the original.



  (1) Study of the entire problem.

  (2) Study of the events.

  (3) Study of the means needed.

  (4) Study of the necessary training.


  Men with great powers of imagination and high technical

  training must belong to the staff, as well as officers

  with sober and sceptical powers of understanding.


  Working principles:-

  (1) No one is to take part in this who does not have to

  know of it.

  (2) No one can find out more than he must know.

  (3) When must the person in question know it at the very

  latest? No one may know anything before it is necessary

  that he know it.


  On Goering's question, the Fuehrer decided that:-

  (a) The armed forces determine what shall be built.

  (b) In the shipbuilding programme, nothing is to be


  (c) The armament programmes are to be modelled on the

  years 1943 or 1944."


  Schmundt certified this text.

MR. ALDERMAN: Mr. President, the translation was closer than

I had anticipated.


MR. ALDERMAN: We think, as I have just said, that this

document leaves nothing unproved in those allegations in the

indictment. It demonstrates that the Nazi conspirators were

proceeding in accordance with a plan. It demonstrates the

cold-blooded premeditation of the assault on Poland. It

demonstrates that the questions concerning Danzig, which the

Nazis had agitated with Poland as a political pretext, were

not true questions, but were false issues, issues agitated

to conceal their motive of aggressive expansion for food and


In this presentation of condemning documents, concerning the

initiation of war in September 1939, I must bring to the

attention of the Tribunal a group of

                                                  [Page 171]

documents concerning an address by Hitler to his chief

military commanders, at Obersalzburg, on 22nd August, 1939,

just one week prior to the launching of the attack on


We have three of these documents, related and constituting a

single group. The first one, I do not intend to offer as

evidence. The other two, I shall offer.

The reason for that decision is this: The first of the three

documents came into our possession through the medium of an

American newspaperman, and purported to be original minutes

of this meeting at Obersalzberg, transmitted to this

American newspaperman by some other person; and we had no

proof of the actual delivery to the intermediary by the

person who took the notes. That document, therefore, merely

served to keep our prosecution on the alert, to see if it

could find something better. Fortunately, we did get the

other two documents, which indicate that Hitler on that day

made two speeches, perhaps one in the morning, one in the

afternoon, as indicated by the original minutes, which we

captured. By comparison of those two documents with the

first document, we conclude that the first document was a

slightly garbled merger of the two speeches.

On 22nd August, 1939, Hitler had called together at

Obersalzberg the three Supreme Commanders of the three

branches of the Armed Forces, as well as the commanding

generals, bearing the title "Oberbefehlshaber," Commanders-


I have indicated how, upon discovering this first document,

the prosecution set out to find better evidence of what

happened on this day. In this the prosecution succeeded. In

the files of the O.K.W. at Flensburg, the "Oberkommamdo der

Wehrmacht," Chief of the High Command of the Armed Forces,

there were uncovered two speeches delivered, by Hitler at

Obersalzberg, on 22nd August, 1939. These documents are 798

PS and 1014 PS, in our series of documents.

In order to keep serial numbers consecutive, if the Tribunal

please, we have had the first document, which I do not

intend to offer, marked for identification exhibit USA 28.

Accordingly, I offer the second document, 798 PS, in

evidence as exhibit USA 29, and the third document 1014 PS

as exhibit USA 30.

These are, again, especially the first one, rather lengthy

speeches, and I shall not necessarily read the entire


Reading from 798 PS, which is exhibit USA 29, the Fuehrer

speaks to the Commanders-in-Chief on 22nd August, 1939. "I

have called you together."

THE PRESIDENT:  Is there anything to show where the speech

took place?

MR. ALDERMAN: Obersalzberg.

THE PRESIDENT: How do you show that

MR. ALDERMAN: You mean on the document?


MR. ALDERMAN: I am afraid the indication "Obersalzberg" came

from the first document which I have not offered in

evidence. I have no doubt that the defendants will admit

that Obersalzberg was the place of this speech.

The place is not very significant; it is the time.


MR. ALDERMAN: (Reading) "I have called you together to give

you a picture of the political situation, in order that you

may have insight into the individual element on which I base

my decision to act, and in order to strengthen your

confidence. After this, we will discuss military details.

   It was clear to me that a conflict with Poland had to

   come sooner or later. I had already made this decision

   in Spring." (I interpolate, I think he is there

   referring to the May document, which I have already

   read, L-79.) "But I thought I would first turn against

   the West in a few years, and only afterwards against the

   East. But the sequence cannot be fixed. One cannot close

   one's eyes even before a threatening situation. I wanted

   to establish an acceptable relationship with Poland, in

   order to fight first against the West, but this plan,

                                                  [Page 172]

   which was agreeable to me, could not be executed, since

   the essential points have changed.


   It became clear to me that Poland would attack us, in

   case of a conflict with the West.


   Poland wants access to the sea.


   The further development became obvious after the

   occupation of the Memel region, and it became clear to

   me that under the circumstances a conflict with Poland

   could arise at an inopportune moment.


   I enumerate as reasons for this reflection, first of

   all, two personal constitutions" -

I suppose he means "personalities." That probably is an

inept translation -

   "my own personality, and that of Mussolini. Essentially,

   it depends on me, my existence, because of my political


I interpolate to comment on the tremendous significance of

the fact of a war, which engulfed almost the whole world,

depending upon one man's personality.

   "Furthermore, the fact that probably no one will ever

   again have the confidence of the whole German people as

   I do. There will probably never again be a man in the

   future with more authority. My existence is, therefore,

   a factor of great value. But I can be eliminated at any

   time by a criminal or an idiot.


   The second personal factor is Il Duce. His existence is

   also vital. If something happens to him, Italy's loyalty

   to the alliance will no longer be certain. The basic

   attitude of the Italian Court is against the Duce. Above

   all, the Court sees in the expansion of the empire a

   burden. The Duce is the man with the strongest nerves in



   The third factor, favourable for us, is Franco. We can

   ask only benevolent neutrality from Spain, but this

   depends on Franco's personality. He guarantees a certain

   uniformity and steadiness of the present system in

   Spain. We must take into account the fact that Spain has

   not as yet a Fascist Party or our internal unity.


   On the other side, a negative picture, as far as

   decisive personalities are concerned. There is no

   outstanding personality in England or France."


I interpolate: I think Adolf Hitler must have overlooked one

in England, perhaps many.

(Mr. Alderman continues)

   "For us it is easy to make decisions. We have nothing to

   lose - we can only gain. Our economic situation is such,

   because of our restrictions, that we cannot hold out

   more than a few years. Goering can confirm this. We have

   no other choice; we must act. Our opponents risk much

   and can gain only a little. England's stake in a war is

   unimaginably great. Our enemies have men who are below

   average. No personalities, no masters, no men of


I interpolate again. Perhaps that last sentence explains

what he meant by no personalities - no masters having

authority that he had over his nation.

   "Besides the personal favour, the political situation is

   favourable for us;  the Mediterranean rivalry between

   Italy, France, and England; in the Orient tension, which

   leads to the alarming of the Mohammedan world.


   The English Empire did not emerge from the last war

   strengthened. From a maritime point of view, nothing was

   achieved: there was conflict between England and

   Ireland, the South African Union became more

   independent, concessions had to be made to India England

   is in great danger, her industries unhealthy. A British

   statesman can look into the future only with concern.


   France's position has also deteriorated, particularly in

   the Mediterranean.

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