The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1999/09/12

Mr. Alderman has dealt with this matter only this morning,
and he has already put in an exhibit giving in detail the
conference between Hitler and President Hacha, and the
Foreign Minister Chvalkowsky, at which the defendants
Goering and Keitel were present. Therefore, I am not going
to put in to the Tribunal the British translation of the
captured foreign office

                                                  [Page 114]

minutes, which occurs in TC-48; but I put it formally, as
Mr. Alderman asked me to this morning, as GB 6, the Document
TC-49, which is the agreement signed by Hitler and the
defendant Ribbentrop for Germany and Dr. Hacha and Dr.
Chvalkowsky for Czechoslovakia. It is an agreement of which
the Tribunal will take judicial notice. I am afraid I cannot
quite remember whether Mr. Alderman read that this morning;
it is Document TC-49. He certainly referred to it.

THE PRESIDENT: No, he did not read it.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: Then perhaps I might read it:
    
    "Text of the Agreement between the Fuehrer and Reich
    Chancellor Adolf Hitler and the President of the
    Czechoslovak State, Dr. Hacha.
    
    The Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor today received in
    Berlin, at their own request, the President of the
    Czechoslovak State, Dr. Hacha, and the Czechoslovak
    Foreign Minister, Dr. Chvalkowsky, in the presence of
    Herr von Ribbentrop, the Foreign Minister of the Reich.
    At this meeting the serious situation which had arisen
    within the previous territory of Czechoslovakia owing
    to the events of recent weeks, was subjected to a
    completely open examination. The conviction was
    unanimously expressed on both sides that the object of
    all their efforts must be to assure quiet, order and
    peace in this part of Central Europe. The President of
    the Czechoslovak State declared that, in order to serve
    this end and to reach a final pacification, he
    confidently placed the fate of the Czech people and of
    their country in the hands of the Fuehrer of the German
    Reich. The Fuehrer accepted this declaration an
    expressed his decision to assure to the Czech people,
    under the protection of the German Reich, the
    autonomous development of their national life, in
    accordance with their special characteristics. In
    witness whereof this document is signed in duplicate."

The signatures I have mentioned appear.

The Tribunal will understand that it is not my province to
make any comment; that has been done by Mr. Alderman, and I
am not putting forward any of the documents I have read as
having my support; they merely put forward factually as part
of the case.

The next document, which I put in as GB 7, is the British
Document TC-50. That is Hitler's proclamation to the German
people, dated 15th March, 1939. Again, I do not think that
Mr. Alderman read that document.

THE PRESIDENT: No, he did not read it.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: Then I shall read it.

    "Proclamation of the Fuehrer to the German people, 15th
    March, 1939.
    To the German People:
    
    Only a few months ago Germany was compelled to protect
    her fellow-countrymen, living in well-defined
    settlements, against the unbearable Czechoslovakian
    terror regime; and during the last weeks the same thing
    has happened on an ever-increasing scale. This is bound
    to create an intolerable state of affairs within an
    area inhabited by citizens of so many nationalities.
    
    These national groups, to counteract the renewed
    attacks against their freedom and life, have now broken
    away from the Prague Government. Czechoslovakia has
    ceased to exist.

                                                  [Page 115]
                                                            
    Since Sunday, at many places, wild excesses have broken
    out, amongst the victims of which are again many
    Germans. Hourly the number of oppressed and persecuted
    people crying for help is increasing. From areas
    thickly populated by German-speaking inhabitants, which
    last autumn Czechoslovakia was allowed by German
    generosity to retain, refugees robbed of their personal
    belongings are streaming into the Reich.
    
    Continuation of such a state of affairs would lead to
    the destruction of every vestige of order in an area in
    which Germany is vitally interested, particularly as
    for over one thousand years it formed a part of the
    German Reich.
    
    In order definitely to remove this menace to peace and
    to create the conditions for a necessary new order in
    this living space, I have today resolved to allow
    German troops to march into Bohemia and Moravia. They
    will disarm the terror gangs and the Czechoslovakian
    forces supporting them, and protect the lives of all
    who are menaced. Thus they will lay the foundations for
    introducing a fundamental reordering of affairs which
    will be in accordance with the thousand-year-old
    history and will satisfy the practical needs of the
    German and Czech peoples.
    
    Signed: Adolf Hitler, Berlin, 15th March, 1939."

Then there is a footnote, which is an order of the Fuehrer
to the German Armed Forces of the same date, in which the
substance is that they are told to march in to safeguard
lives and property of all inhabitants, and not to conduct
themselves as enemies, but as an instrument for carrying out
the German Reich Government's decision.

I put in, as GB 8, the decree establishing the Protectorate,
which is TC-51.

I think again, as these are public decrees, the Tribunal can
take judicial notice of them. Their substance has been fully
explained by Mr. Alderman. With the permission of the
Tribunal, I will not read them in full now.

Then again, as Mr. Alderman requested, I put in, as GB 9,
British Document TC-52, the British protest. If I might just
read that to the Tribunal - it is from Lord Halifax to Sir
Neville Henderson, our Ambassador in Berlin:

"Foreign Office, 17th March, 1939
    
    Please inform the German Government that his Majesty's
    Government desires to make it plain to them that they
    cannot but regard the events of the past few days as a
    complete repudiation of the Munich Agreement, and a
    denial of the spirit in which the negotiators of that
    Agreement bound themselves to co-operate for a peaceful
    settlement.
    
    His Majesty's Government must also take this occasion
    to protest against the changes effected in
    Czechoslovakia by German military action, which are, in
    their view, devoid of any basis of legality."

And again at Mr. Alderman's request, I put in as GB 10 the
Document TC-53, which is the French protest of the same
date, and I might read the third paragraph:

    "The French Ambassador has the honour to inform the
    Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Reich, of the
    formal protest made by the Government of the French
    Republic against the measures which the communication
    of Count de Welzeck records.
    
    The Government of the Republic consider, in fact, that
    in face of the

                                                  [Page 116]

    action directed by the German Government against
    Czechoslovakia, they are confronted with a flagrant
    violation of the letter and the spirit of the agreement
    signed at Munich on 9th September, 1938.
    
    The circumstances in which the agreements of March 15th
    have been imposed on the leaders of the Czechoslovak
    Republic do not, in the eyes of the Government of the
    Republic, legalise the situation registered in that
    agreement.
    
    The French Ambassador has the honour to inform His
    Excellency, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the
    Reich, that the Government of the Republic cannot
    recognise under these conditions the legality of the
    new situation created in Czechoslovakia by the action
    of the German Reich."

I now come to Part 5 of the Versailles Treaty, and the
relevant matters are contained in the British Document TC-
10. As considerable discussion is centred around them, I
read the introductory words:

    "Part 5, Military, Naval and Air Clauses:
    
    In order to render possible the initiation of a general
    limitation of the armaments of all nations, Germany
    undertakes strictly to observe the military, naval and
    air clauses which follow.
    
    Section 1. Military Clauses. Effectives and Cadres of
    the German Army.
    
    Article 159. The German military forces shall be
    demobilised and reduced as prescribed hereinafter.
    
    Article 160. By a date which must not be later than
    31st March, 1920, the German Army must not comprise
    more than seven divisions of infantry and three
    divisions of cavalry.
    
    After that date, the total number of effectives in the
    Army of the States constituting Germany must not exceed
    100,000 men, including officers and establishments of
    depots. The army shall be devoted exclusively to the
    maintenance of order within the territory and to the
    control of the frontiers.
    
    The total effective strength of officers, including the
    personnel of staffs, whatever their composition, must
    not exceed 4,000.
    
    Divisions and Army Corps headquarters staffs shall be
    organised in accordance with Table Number 1 annexed to
    this Section. The number and strength of units of
    infantry, artillery, engineers, technical services and
    troops laid down in the aforesaid table constitute
    maxima which must not be exceeded."

Then there is a description of units that can have their own
depots, and the divisions under corps headquarters, and then
the next two provisions are of some importance.

   "The maintenance or formation of forces differently
   grouped, or of other organisations for the command of
   troops or for preparation for war is forbidden.
   
   The great German General Staff and all similar
   organisations shall be dissolved and may not be
   reconstituted in any form."

I do not think I need trouble the Tribunal with Article 161,
which deals with administrative services.

Article 163 provides the steps by which the reduction will
take place, and then we come to Chapter 2, dealing with
armament, and that provides

                                                  [Page 117]

that up till the time at which Germany is admitted as a
member of the League of Nations, the armaments shall not be
greater than the amount fixed in Table Number 11.

If the Tribunal will notice the second part, Germany agrees
that after she has become a member of the League of Nations,
the armaments fixed in the said table shall remain in force
until they are modified by the Council of the League of
Nations. Furthermore, she hereby agrees strictly to observe
the decisions of the Council of the League on this subject.

Then Article 165 deals with guns, machine guns, etc., and
167 deals with notification of guns, and 168, the first
part, says:-

   "The manufacture of arms, munitions or any war material
   shall only be carried out in factories or works, the
   location of which shall be communicated to and approved
   by the governments of the Principal Allied and
   Associated Powers, and the number of which they retain
   the right to restrict."

Article 169 deals with the surrender of material.

Article 170 prohibits importation.

171 prohibits gas, and 172 provides for disclosure. Then
173, under the heading "Recruiting and Military Training,"
deals with one matter, the breach of which is of great
importance:

   "Universal compulsory military service shall be
   abolished in Germany. The German Army may only be
   reconstituted and recruited by means of voluntary
   enlistment."

Then the succeeding articles deal with the method of
enlistment, in order to prevent a quick rush through the
army of men enlisted for a short time.

I think that all I need do is draw the attention of the
Tribunal to the completeness and detail with which all these
points are covered in Articles 174 to 179.

Then, passing on to TC-10, Article 180. That decrees the
prohibition of fortress works beyond a certain line and the
Rhineland. The first sentence is:

   "All fortified works, fortresses and field works
   situated in German territory to the West of a line drawn
   50 kilometres to the East of the Rhine shall be disarmed
   and dismantled."

I shall not trouble the Tribunal with the tables which show
the amounts.

Then we come to the naval clauses, and I am sorry to say
that the pages are out of order. If the Tribunal will go on
four pages, they will come to Article 181, and I will read
just that to show the way in which the naval limitations are
imposed, and refer briefly to the others.

Article 181 says:

   "After a period of two months from the coming into force
   of the present Treaty the German naval forces in
   commission must not exceed:
   Six battleships of the Deutschland or Lothringen type.
   Six light cruisers.
   Twelve destroyers.
   Twelve torpedo boats
   or an equal number of ships constructed to replace them
   as provided in Article 190.
   No submarines are to be included."

                                                  [Page 118]

All other warships, except where there is provision to the
contrary in the present Treaty, must be placed in reserve or
devoted to commercial purposes.

Then 182 simply deals with the mine sweeping necessary to
clean up the mines, and 183 limits the personnel to fifteen
thousand, including officers and men of all grades and
corps, and 184 deals with surface ships not in German ports,
and the succeeding clauses deal with various details, and I
pass at once to Article 191, which says:

   "The construction or acquisition of any submarines, even
   for commercial purposes, shall be forbidden in Germany."

194 makes corresponding obligations of voluntary engagements
for longer service, and 196 and 197 deal with naval
fortifications and wireless stations.

Then, if the Tribunal please, would they pass on to Article
198, the first of the Air Clauses. The essential, important
sentence is the first:

   "The Armed Forces of Germany must not include any
   Military or Naval Air Forces."

I do not think I need trouble the Tribunal with the detailed
provisions which occur in the next four clauses, which are
all consequential.

Then, the next document, which for convenience is put next
to that, is British Document TC-44, which for convenience I
put in as GB 11, but this again is merely auxiliary to Mr.
Alderman's argument. It is the report of the formal
statement made at the German Air Ministry about the
restarting of the Air Corps, and I respectfully suggest that
the Tribunal can take judicial notice of that.

Similarly, without proving formally the long document,TC-45,
the Tribunal can again take judicial notice of the public
proclamation, which is a well-known public document in
Germany, the proclamation of compulsory military service.
Mr. Alderman has again dealt with this fully in his address.

I now come to the sixth treaty, which is the treaty between
the United States and Germany restoring friendly relations,
and I put in a copy as Exhibit GB 12. It is Document TC-11,
and the Tribunal will find it as the second last document in
the document book. The purpose of this Treaty was to
complete the official cessation of hostilities between the
United States of America and Germany, and I have already
explained to the Tribunal that it incorporated certain parts
of the Treaty of Versailles. The relevant portion for the
consideration of the Tribunal is Part 5, and I have just
concluded going through the clauses of the Treaty of
Versailles which are repeated verbatim in this Treaty. I
therefore, with the approval of the Tribunal, will not read
them again, but at Page 11 of my copy, they will see the
clauses are repeated in exactly the same way.

THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): We have not a copy in our book.
We have one with Austria.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: It ought to be the second last
document in the book. May I pass mine up. Does that apply to
other than the American Associate judges? I am so sorry.

Then I pass to the seventh treaty, which is the Treaty of
Mutual Guarantee between Germany, Belgium, France, Great
Britain and Italy, done at Locarno, 16th October, 1925. I
ask the Tribunal to take judicial notice of that, and I put
in as Exhibit GB 13, the British Document TC-12.


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