The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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                                                  [Page 181]
   3. The Austrian "Anschluss"
- "Anschluss" means a locking on to, I think; they  "locked
on" to Austria - in its turn not only brought with it the
fulfilment of an old national aim but has also had the
effect both of reinforcing our fighting strength and of
materially improving our strategic position. Whereas up till
then the territory of Czechoslovakia had projected in a most
menacing way right into Germany (a wasp waist in the
direction of France and an air base for the Allies, in
particular Russia), Czechoslovakia herself is now enclosed
by pincers.

I wish the Tribunal would contemplate the chart a moment and
see that worm-like form of Czechoslovakia, which General
Jodl calls a  "wasp waist in the direction of France," and
then he very accurately described what happened when Austria
was taken by the Anschluss, that the wasp waist was "now
enclosed in the pincers."

I resume reading:

   "Her own strategic position had now become so
   unfavourable that she was bound to fall a victim to any
   attack pressed home with rigour before effective aid
   from the West could be expected to arrive. This
   possibility of aid was furthermore made more difficult
   by the construction of the West-Wall, which, in contra-
   distinction to the Maginot line, was not a measure based
   on debility and resignation but one intended to afford
   rear cover for an active policy in the East.
   4. The bloodless solution of the Czech conflict in the
   autumn Of 1938 and spring of 1939 - that is - the two
   phases in Czechoslovakia - and the annexation of
   Slovakia, rounded off the territory of Greater Germany
   in such a way that it now became possible to consider
   the Polish problem on the basis of more or less
   favourable strategic premises."

I think it needs nothing more than a glance at the
progressive chart to see what those favourable strategic
premises were.

   "5. This brings me, said General Jodl, to the actual
   outbreak of the present War, and the question which next
   arises is whether the moment for the struggle with
   Poland, in itself unavoidable, was favourably selected
   or not. The answer to this question is all the less in
   doubt since the opponent who was, after all, no
   inconsiderable one, collapsed unexpectedly quickly, and
   the Western Powers who were his friends, while they did
   declare war on us and form a Second Front, yet, for the
   rest, made no use of the possibilities open to them of
   snatching the initiative from our hands. Concerning the
   course of the Polish campaign, nothing further need be
   said beyond that it proved in a way which made the whole
   world sit up and take
                                                  [Page 186]
   notice, what up till then had not been certain by any
   means; that is, what a high state of efficiency the
   young armed forces of Greater Germany had achieved."

If the Court please, there is a long review by General Jodl
in this document. I can read on with interest and some
enthusiasm, but I believe I have read enough to show that
General Jodl by this document identifies himself fully with
the Nazi movement. This document shows that he was not a
mere soldier. In so far as he is concerned, it identifies
the military with the political, and the immediate point on
which I had offered the document was to show the
deliberation with which the Treaty of Versailles was
abrogated by Germany, and the demilitarised zone of the
Rhineland was militarised and fortified.

In one of Adolf Hitler's reviews of the six year period
between his ascendancy to power and the outbreak of
hostilities, he not only admitted but boasted about the
orderly and co-ordinated long-range planning. I bring up
again, if the Tribunal please, document L-79, which was
offered in evidence yesterday, as exhibit USA 27. That is
the minutes of the conference of the Fuehrer by Schmundt,
his Adjutant. In as large a staff as ours, we inevitably
fall into a kind of patoise or lingo, as Americans say. We
refer to this as "Little Schmundt." The large file that I
offered yesterday, we call "Big Schmundt."

At this point, I merely wish to read two sentences from page
1 of that document which we call  "Little Schmundt. "One
sentence on page 1. It is found below the middle of the
page:  "In the period 1933-1939 progress was made in all
fields. Our military situation improved enormously." And
then, just above the middle of the second page of the
English translation      "The period which lies behind us
has indeed been put to good use. All measures have been
taken in the correct sequence and in harmony with our aims."

One of the most significant direct preparations for
aggressive war is found in the Secret Reich Defence Law of
May 21st, 1935, which I offered in evidence yesterday, as
exhibit USA 24 and commented on sufficiently. I need not
repeat that comment. The law went into effect upon its
passage. It stated at the outset that it was to be made
public immediately, but at the end of it Adolf Hitler signed
the decree ordering that it be kept secret. I commented on
that sufficiently yesterday.

General Thomas, who was in charge of War and Armament
Economy, and for some time a high ranking member of the
German High Council, refers to this law as "the cornerstone
of war preparations." He points out that, although the law
was not made public until the outbreak of war, it was put
into immediate execution as a programme of preparation.
    I ask the Tribunal to take judicial notice of General
Thomas' work, "A History of the German War and Armament
Economy, 1923 -1944," page 25. We have the volume here, in
German, so that anyone may examine it who wishes. I don't
care to offer the entire volume in evidence unless the Court
thinks I should. We do give it an exhibit number, exhibit
USA 35, but I should like to place it in the files merely as
a reference work implementing Judicial notice, if that is

THE PRESIDENT: You want it simply for the purpose of showing
that General Thomas said that that law was the cornerstone
of war


THE PRESIDENT: That has already passed into the record.

MR. ALDERMAN: I want to say to counsel for the defendants
that it is here if they care to consult it any time.


MR. ALDERMAN: I should have identified it by our number,

This secret law remained in effect until September 4th,
1938, at which time it was replaced by another secret
Defence Law, revising the system of defence organisation and
directing more detailed preparations for the approaching
status of mobilisation, which 1 think was the euphemism for

                                                  [Page 187]

These laws will be discussed more extensively in connection
with other sections of our presentation. They have been
discussed by Mr. Dodd in connection with the economic
preparations for the war.

The second Secret Defence Law I offer in evidence as our
document 2194-PS. It will be exhibit USA 36.

As to that document I only intend to read the two covering
letters, "Reich Defence Law, the Ministry for Economy and
Labour, Saxony, Dresden ; and 6th December, 1939, Tel." - I
suppose - "Telegraph, "52051. Long Distance, Top Secret."

THE PRESIDENT: Does this occur at the beginning Of 2194-PS?

MR. ALDERMAN: It should, yes, sir, unless my English
mimeograph is different from yours.

THE PRESIDENT: I don't think I have any letter introducing

MR. ALDERMAN: Does it not start after that,  "To the Reich
Protector in Bohemia and Moravia"?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, that's right. I beg your pardon.


   "Transportation Section, attention of Construction Chief
   Counsellor Hitch, or representative in the office of the
   Reich Protector in Bohemia and Moravia, received Prague,
   5th September, 1939, No. 274. Enclosed please find a
   copy of the Reich Defence Law Of 4th September, 1938,
   and a copy each of the decrees of the Reich Minister of
   Transportation, dated 7th October, 1938, RL 10.2212/38,
   Top Secret, and of 17th July, 1939, RL/VL 1.2173/39, Top
   Secret, for your information and observance, by order,
   signed Kretschmar. 3 enclosures completed to Dresden,
   4th September, 1939, signed Schneider, 3 enclosures.
   Receipt for the letter of 4th September, 1939, with 3
   enclosures, signed 5th September, 1939, and returned to
   Construction Counsellor Kretschmar."

The whole point being that it was enclosing a second secret
Reich Defence Law under Top Secret cover.

I refer next to Indictment, paragraph IV (F) 2A. That
paragraph of the Indictment refers to four points: (1)
Secret rearmament from 1933 to March, 1935; (2) the training
of military personnel (that includes secret or camouflage
training); (3) production of munitions of war; (4) the
building of an air force.

All four of these are included in the general plan for the
breach of the Treaty of Versailles and for the ensuing
aggressions. The facts of rearmament and of its secrecy are
self-evident from the events that followed. The significant
phase of this activity in so far as the Indictment is
concerned, lies in the fact that all this was necessary in
order to break the barriers of the Versailles Treaty and of
the Locarno Pact and to wage the aggressive wars which were
to follow. The extent and nature of those activities could
only have been for aggressive purposes, and the highest
importance which the Government attached to the secrecy of
the programme is emphasised by the disguised financing, both
before and after the announcement of conscription, and the
rebuilding of the army, 16th March, 1935.

I have, if the Court please, an unsigned memorandum by the
defendant Schacht dated 3rd May, 1935, entitled  "The
Financing of the Armament Programme (Finanzierting der
Ruestung). "As I say, it is not signed by the defendant
Schacht, but he identified it as being his memorandum, in an
interrogation on the 16th October, 1945. I would assume that
lie would still admit that it is his memorandum. That
memorandum has been referred to but I believe not introduced
or accepted in evidence. I identify it by our No. 1168-PS,
and I offer it in evidence as exhibit USA 37.

I think it is quite significant, and with the permission of
the Court, I shall read the entire memorandum, reminding you
that the German interpreter has the original German before
him to read it to the transcript.

  "Memorandum from Schacht to Hitler," identified by
  Schacht as exhibit A, interrogation 16th October, 1945,
  page 40. 3rd May, 1935 is the date of the memorandum.
                                                  [Page 188]
  Financing of Armament. The following explanations are
  based upon the thought that the accomplishment of the
  armament programme with speed and in quantity is the
  problem of German politics, that everything else
  therefore should be subordinated to this purpose as long
  as the main purpose is not imperilled by neglecting all
  other questions. Even after 16th March, 1935, the
  difficulty remains that one cannot undertake the open
  propagandistic treatment of the German people for support
  of armament without endangering our position
  internationally (without loss to our foreign trade). The
  already nearly impossible financing of the armament
  programme is rendered hereby exceptionally difficult.
  Another supposition must also be emphasised. The printing
  press can only be used for the financing of armament to
  such a degree, as permitted by maintaining the money
  value. Every inflation increases the prices of foreign
  raw materials as well as the domestic prices, and is
  therefore like a snake biting its own tail. Our armament
  had to be camouflaged completely till 16th March, 1935,
  and even after that date the camouflage had to be
  continued to a larger extent, making it necessary to use
  the printing press (bank note press) from the very
  beginning of the whole armament programme, though it
  would have been natural to start it (i.e., the printing
  process0 at the final point of finance. In the
  portefeuille of the Reichsbank are segregated notes for
  this purpose, that is, armament, of R.M. 3,775 millions
  and 866 millions, altogether 4,641 millions out of which
  the armament notes amount to 2,374 million, that is, of
  issue 30th April, 1935. The Reichsbank has invested the
  amount of marks under its jurisdiction, but belonging to
  foreigners, in blank notes of armament. Our armaments are
  also financed partly with the credits of our political
  opponents. Furthermore, 500 million Reichsmark were used
  for financing of armaments which originated out of
  Reichsanleithe, the Federal Loans placed with the savings
  banks. In the regular budget the following amounts were
  provided: for the budget period 1933-34 -R.M. 750
  millions; for the budget period 1934-35-R.M. 1,100
  millions and for the budget period 1935-36-R.M. 2,500
  The amount of deficits of the budget since 1928 increases
  after the budget 1935-36 to 5 to 6 millions of
  Reichsmark. This total deficit is already financed at the
  present time by short-term credits of the money market.
  It therefore reduces in advance the possibilities of
  utilisation of the public market for the armament. The
  Reichsfinanzminister (Minister of Finance) correctly
  points out in his defence of the budget: "As a permanent
  yearly deficit is an impossibility, as we cannot count
  with security on increased tax revenues to balance such
  deficit and any other previous debits, and as, on the
  other hand, a balanced budget is the only secure basis
  for the impending great task of military policy" - I
  interpolate that evidently the defendant Schacht knew
  about the impending great military task to be faced by
  Germany - "for all these reasons we have to put in motion
  a fundamental and conscious budget policy which solves
  the problem of armament financing by organic and planned
  reduction of other expenditures not only from the point
  of receipt, but also from the point of expenditure, that
  is, by saving.
  How urgent this question is, can be deduced from the
  following, that a large amount of cash has been started
  by the State and Party" - it isn't just the State it is
  the State and the Party - "and which is now in process,
  all of which is not covered by the budget, but from
  contributions and credits, which have to be raised by
  industry in addition to the regular taxes. The existing
  of various budgets side by side, which serve more or less
  public tasks, is the greatest impediment for gaining a
  clear view about the possibilities of financing the
  armaments. A whole number of ministries and various
  branches of the party have their own budget, and for this
  reason have possibilities of incomes and expenses, though
  based on the sovereignty of finance of the State, but not
  subject to the control of the Finanzminister (Minister of
  Finance) and therefore also not subject to the control of
  the cabinet. Just as on the sphere of politics the much
  too far-reaching delegation of legislative powers to
  individuals brought about various states within the
                                                  [Page 189]
  exactly in the same way the condition of various branches
  of State and Party, working side by side and against each
  other, has a devastating effect on the possibility of
  finance. If on this territory concentration and unified
  control is not introduced very soon, the solution of the
  already impossible task of armament finance is
  We have the following tasks:
     1) A deputy is entrusted with, I suppose, finding all
     sources and revenues, which have origin in
     contributions to the Federal Government, to the State
     and Party and in profits of public and party
     (2) Furthermore experts entrusted by the Fuehrer have
     to examine how these amounts were used and which of
     these amounts in the future can be withdrawn from
     their previous purpose.
     (3) The same experts have to examine the investments
     of all public and party organisations, so as to
     determine to what extent this property can be used for
     the purpose of armament financing.
     (4) The Federal Ministry of Finances is to be
     entrusted to examine the possibilities of increased
     revenues by way of new taxes or increasing of existing
  The up-to-date financing of armaments by the Reichsbank,
  under existing political conditions, was a necessity, and
  the political success proved the correctness of this
  action. The other possibilities of armament financing
  have to be started now under any circumstances. For this
  purpose all absolutely nonessential expenditure for other
  purposes must cease and the total financial strength of
  Germany, limited as it is, must be concentrated for the
  one purpose of armament financing. Whether the problem of
  financing, as outlined in this programme, succeeds,
  remains to be seen, but without such concentration it
  will fail with absolute certainty."

Being a sort of a hand in finance himself, I can feel some
sympathy with the defendant Schacht as he was wrestling with
these problems.

May 21st, 1935, was a very important date in the Nazi

THE PRESIDENT: Would that be a convenient time to adjourn
for ten minutes


(A recess was taken)

MR. ALDERMAN: 21st May, 1935, was a very important date in
the Nazi calendar. As I have already indicated, it was on
that date that they passed the secret Reich Defence Law,
which is our document 2261-PS. The secrecy of their armament
operations had already reached the point beyond which they
could no longer maintain successful camouflage and since
their programme called for still further expansion, they
made the unilateral renunciation of the armament provisions
of the Versailles Treaty on the same date, 21st May, 1935.

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