The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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I offer in evidence Document R-100 as Exhibit USA 121. This
document is a memorandum  of information given by Hitler to
von Brauchitsch on 25th March, 1939. Much of it deals with
problems arising from recently occupied Bohemia and Moravia
and Slovakia. I quote, beginning at the sixth paragraph:

   "Col. Gen. Keitel will inform Slovak Government via
   Foreign Office that it would not be lawful to keep or
   garrison armed Slovak units (Hlinka Guards) on this side
   of the border formed by the river Waag. They shall be
   transferred to the new Slovak territory. Hlinka Guards
   should be disarmed.
   
   Slovakia shall be requested via Foreign Office to
   deliver to us against payment any arms we want and which
   are still kept in Slovakia. This request is to be based
   upon agreement made between army and Czech troops. For
   this payment these millions should be used which we will
   pour anyhow into Slovakia.
   
   Czech Protectorate:
   
   H. Gr." - the translator's note indicates that that
   probably means army groups, but I cannot vouch for it -
   "shall be asked again whether the

                                                  [Page 104]

   request shall be repeated for the delivery of all arms
   within a stated time limit and under the threat of
   severe penalties.
   
   We take former Czechoslovakian war material without
   paying for it. The guns bought by contract before 15th
   February, though, shall be paid for. Bohemia and Moravia
   have to make annual contributions to the German
   Treasury. Their amount shall be fixed on the basis of
   the expenses earmarked formerly for the Czech army."

The German conquest of Czechoslovakia, in direct
contravention of the Munich Agreement, was the occasion for
the formal protests by the British and French Governments.
These Documents, TC-52 and TC-53, dated 17th March, 1939,
will be presented to the Tribunal by the British Prosecutor.

On the same day, 1939, 17th March, the Acting Secretary of
State of the United States Government issued a statement,
which I will offer in evidence, and I invite the Court to
take judicial notice of the entire volume, Document 2862 -
PS-as Exhibit USA 122, which is an excerpt from the official
volume entitled Peace and War: United States Foreign Policy,
1931-1941 issued under the seal of the Department of State
of the United States of America. Incidentally, this volume,
which happens to be my own copy and I hope I can get another
one-I am placing in evidence, because I am quite certain
that in its study of the background of this whole case the
Court will be very much interested in this volume, which is
a detailed chronological history of all the diplomatic
events leading up to and through the Second World War to
1941. But what I am actually offering in evidence at the
moment appears on Pages 454 and 455 of the volume, a
statement by the Acting Secretary of State Sumner Welles,
dated 17th March, 1939:

   "The Government of the United States has on frequent
   occasions stated its conviction that only through
   international support of a programme of order based upon
   law can world peace be assured.
   
   This Government, founded upon and dedicated to the
   principles of human liberty and of democracy, cannot
   refrain from making known this country's condemnation of
   the acts which have resulted in the temporary
   extinguishment of the liberties of a free and
   independent people with whom, from the day when the
   Republic of Czechoslovakia attained its independence,
   the people of the United States have maintained
   specially close and friendly relations.
   
   The position of the Government of the United States has
   been made consistently clear. It has emphasised the need
   for respect for the sanctity of treaties and of the
   pledged word, and for non-intervention by any nation in
   the domestic affairs of other nations; and it has on
   repeated occasions expressed its condemnation of a
   policy of military aggression.
   
   It is manifest that acts of wanton lawlessness and of
   arbitrary force are threatening the world peace and the
   very structure of modern civilisation. The imperative
   need for the observance of the principles advocated by
   this Government has been clearly demonstrated by the
   developments which have taken place during the past
   three days."

With Czechoslovakia in German hands, the Nazi conspirators
had accomplished the programme they had set themselves in
the meeting in Berlin on 5th November, 1938. You will recall
that this programme of conquest was intended to shorten
their frontiers, to increase their industrial and food

                                                  [Page 105]


reserves, and to place them in a position, both industrially
and strategically, from which they could launch more
ambitious and more devastating campaigns of aggression. In
less than a year and a half this programme had been carried
through to the satisfaction of the Nazi leaders, and at that
point I would again invite the Court's attention to the
large chart on the wall. I think it is no mere figure of
speech to make reference to the wolf's head, what is known
in Anglo-American law as caput lupinum.

The lower jaw formed near Austria was taken - the red part
on the first chart - 12th March, 1938. Czechoslovakia
thereby was encircled, and the next step was the absorption
of the mountainous part, the Sudetenland, indicated on the
second chart in red. On 1st October, 1938, Czechoslovakia
was further encircled and its defences weakened, and then
the jaws clamped in, or the pincers, as I believe General
Keitel or General Jodl called them - I believe it was
General Jodl's diary - and you see what they did to
Czechoslovakia. On 15th March, 1939 the borders were
shortened, new bases were acquired, and then Czechoslovakia
was destroyed. Bohemia and Moravia are in black, and
Slovakia in what might be called light tan. But I have read
to you the documents which showed in what condition Slovakia
was left; and with the German military installations in
Slovakia, you see how completely the Southern border of
Poland was flanked, as well as the Western border, the stage
being set for the next aggression, which the British
Prosecutor will describe to you.

Of all the Nazi conspirators the defendant Goering was the
most aware of the economic and strategic advantages which
would accrue from the possession by Germany of
Czechoslovakia.

I now offer in evidence Document 1301-PS, which is a rather
large file, and we offer particularly Item 10 of the
document, at Page 25 of the English translation. I offer it
as Exhibit USA 123. Page 25 of the English translation
contained the Top Secret minutes of a conference with
Goering in the Luftwaffe Ministry, the Air Ministry. The
meeting which was held on 14th October, 1938, just two weeks
after the occupation of the Sudetenland, was devoted to the
discussion of economic problems. As of that date, the
defendant Goering's remarks were somewhat prophetic. I quote
from the third paragraph, from the bottom of Page 26 of the
English translation:

"The Sudetenland has to be exploited with all the means.
General Field Marshal Goering counts upon a complete
industrial assimilation of Slovakia. Czechoslovakia would
become a German dominion. Everything possible must be taken
out. The Oder-Danube canal has to be speeded up. Searches
for oil and ore have to be conducted in Slovakia, notably by
State Secretary Keppler."

In the summer of 1939, after the incorporation of Bohemia
and Moravia into the German Reich, defendant Goering again
revealed the great interest of the Nazi leaders in Czech
economic Potential.

I offer in evidence Document R-133 as exhibit USA 124. This
document is a minute, dated Berlin - 27th July, 1939 signed
by Muller, of a conference between Goering and a group of
officials from the O.K.W. and from other agencies of the
German Government concerned with war production. This
meeting had been held two days previously, on 25th July. I
read the first part of the account of this meeting.

   "In a rather long statement the Field Marshal explained
   that the incorporation of Bohemia and Moravia into the,
   German economy

                                                  [Page 106]

had taken place, in order among other reasons, to increase
the German war potential, by exploitation of the industry
there. Letters, such as the decree of the Reich Minister for
Economics - S-10 402/39 of 10th July 1939 - as well as a
letter with similar meaning to the Junkers firm, which might
possibly lower the kind and extent of the armament measures
in the Protectorate, are contrary to this principle. If it
is necessary to issue such directives, this should be done
only with his consent. In any case, he insists" - that is
defendant Goering insists - "in agreement with the directive
by Hitler, that the war potential of the Protectorate is
definitely to be exploited in part or in full and is to be
directed towards mobilisation as soon as possible."

In addition to strengthening the Nazi economic potential for
the following wars of aggression, the conquest of
Czechoslovakia provided the Nazis with new bases from which
to wage their next war of aggression, the attack on Poland.

You will recall the minutes of the conference between
Goering and a pro-Nazi Slovak delegation in the winter of
1938-1939. Those minutes are Document 2801-PS, which I
introduced into evidence earlier, as Exhibit USA 109. You
will recall the last, sentence of those minutes, a statement
of defendant Goering's conclusions. I quote this sentence
again:

   "Air bases in Slovakia are of great importance for the
   German Air Force for use against the East."

I now offer in evidence Document 1874-PS, as Exhibit USA
125. This document is the German minutes of a conference
between defendant Goering and Mussolini and Ciano on 15th
April, 1939, one month after the conquest of Czechoslovakia.

In this conference, Goering told his junior partners in the
Axis of the progress of German preparations for war. He
compared the strength of Germany with the strength of
England and France. Not unnaturally, he mentioned the German
occupation of Czechoslovakia, in this connection. I read two
paragraphs of these thoughts, on Page 4, paragraph 2, of the
German minutes.

THE PRESIDENT: Which document is this?

MR. ALDERMAN: It is 1874-PS

   "However, the heavy armament of Czechoslovakia shows, in
   any case, how dangerous it could have been, even after
   Munich, in the event of a serious conflict. By German
   action, the situation of both Axis countries was
   ameliorated because, among other reasons, of the
   economic possibilities which resulted from the transfer
   to Germany of the great production capacity of
   Czechoslovakia. That contributes toward a considerable
   strengthening of the Axis against the Western Powers.
   
   Furthermore, Germany now need not keep ready a single
   division for protection against that country in case of
   bigger conflict. This too, is an advantage by which both
   Axis countries will, in the last analysis, benefit."

Then on Page 5, paragraph 2, of the German version:-

   "The action taken by Germany in Czechoslovakia is to be
   viewed as an advantage for the Axis in case Poland
   should finally join the enemies of the Axis powers.
   Germany could then attack this country from two flanks,
   and would be within only twenty-five minutes flying
   distance from the new Polish industrial centre, which
   had been moved further into the
   
                                                  [Page 107]
   
   interior of the country, nearer to the other Polish
   industrial districts, because of its proximity to the
   border."

Now, by the turn of events, it is located again in the
proximity of the border. And that flanking on two fronts is
illustrated on the four segment chart.

I think the chart itself demonstrates, better than any oral
argument, the logic, the cold calculation, the deliberation
of each step to this point of the German aggression. More
than that, it demonstrates what I might call the master
stroke of the aggressive war case, that is that each
conquest of the Nazi conspirators was deliberately planned
as a stepping-stone to new and more ambitious aggression.

You will recall the words of Hitler, at the conference in
the Reich Chancellery on 23rd May, 1939, when he was
planning the Polish campaign, Document L-79, Exhibit USA 27.
I quote from it.

   "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."

It is appropriate to refer to two other speeches of the Nazi
leaders. In his lecture in Munich on 7th November, 1943, the
defendant Jodl spoke as follows, and I quote from Page 5 of
Document L-172, already received in evidence as Exhibit USA
34; on Page 8 of the German text:

    "The bloodless solution of the Czech conflict in the
    autumn of 1938 and spring of 1939, 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."

In the speech to his military commanders on 23rd November,
1939, Hitler described the process by which he had rebuilt
the military power of the Reich; this is our Document 789-
PS, Exhibit USA 23. I quote one passage from the second
paragraph:

    "The next step was Bohemia, Moravia and Poland. This
    step too it was not possible to accomplish in one
    campaign. First of all, the Western fortifications had
    to be finished. It was not possible to reach the goal
    in one effort. It was clear to me, from the first
    moment, that I could not be satisfied with the Sudeten-
    German territory. That was only a partial solution. The
    decision to march into Bohemia was made. Then followed
    the erection of the Protectorate and with that, the
    basis for the action against Poland was laid."

Before I leave the subject of the aggression against
Czechoslovakia, I should like to submit to the Court a
document which became available to us too late to be
included in our document book. It reached me on Saturday,
late in the afternoon or late at night. This is an official
document, again from the Czechoslovakian Government, a
supplement to the Czechoslovakian report, which I had
previously offered in evidence. I now offer it, identified
as Document 3061-PS, as Exhibit USA 126.

The document was furnished us, if the Court please, in the
German text with an English translation, which did not seem
to us quite adequate, and we have had it re-translated into
English, and the translation has just been passed up, I
believe, to the Tribunal. That mimeographed translation
should be appended to our document book "O".

                                                  [Page 108]

I shall not read the report; it is about twelve pages long.
The Court will take judicial notice of it, under the
Provisions of the Charter. I merely summarise. This document
gives confirmation and corroboration to the other evidence
which I presented to the Tribunal. In particular, it offers
support to the following allegations:

First, the close working relationship between Henlein and
the S.D.P., on the one hand, and Hitler and defendants, Hess
and Ribbentrop, on the other.

Second, the use of the German Legation in Prague to direct
the German Fifth Column activities.

Third, the financing of the Henlein Movement by agencies of
the German Government, including the German diplomatic
representatives at Prague.

Fourth, the use of the Henlein Movement to conduct espionage
on direct orders from the Reich.

In addition, this document gives further details of the
circumstances of the visit of President Hacha to Berlin on
the night of 14th March. It substantiates the fact that
President Hacha required the medical attention of Hitler's
physician and it supports the threat, which the defendant
Goering made to the Czech delegation.

Now, if it please the Tribunal, that concludes my
presentation of what, to me, has always seemed one of the
saddest chapters in human history, the rape and destruction
of the frail little nation of Czechoslovakia.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: May it please the Tribunal: Before I
tender the evidence which I desire to place before the
Tribunal, it might be convenient if I explained how the
British case is to be divided up and who will present the
different parts.

I shall deal with the general treaties. After that, my
learned friend, Colonel Griffith-Jones, will deal with
Poland. Thirdly, Major Elwyn Jones will deal with Norway and
Denmark. Fourthly, Mr. Roberts will deal with Belgium,
Holland, and Luxembourg. Fifthly, Colonel Phillimore will
deal with Greece and Yugoslavia. After that, my friend, Mr.
Alderman, of the American Delegation, will deal on behalf of
both delegations with the aggression against the U.S.S.R.
and the U.S.A.

May I also, with the Tribunal's permission, say one word
about the arrangements that we have made as to documents.
Each of the defendants' counsel will have a copy of the
document book, of the different document books, in English.
In fact, 30 copies of the first four of our document books
have already been placed in the defendants' Information
Centre. We hope that the last document book, dealing with
Greece and Yugoslavia, will have the 30 copies placed there
today.

In addition, the defendants' counsel have at least six
copies in German of every document.

With regard to my own part of the case, the first section on
general treaties, all the documents on this phase are in the
Reichsgesetzblatt or Die dokumente der Deutschen Politik, of
which ten copies have been made available to the defendants'
counsel, so that with regard to the portion with which the
Tribunal is immediately concerned, the defendants' counsel
will have at least 16 copies in German of every document
referred to.

Finally, there is a copy of the Reichsgesetzblatt and Die
dokumente available for the Tribunal, other copies if they
so desire, but one is placed ready for the Tribunal if any
member wishes to refer to a German text.


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