The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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                                                  [Page 174]
     (a) Military Preparation for Attack on the U.S.S.R.
GENERAL RUDENKO: May it please the Tribunal, I will now
describe the crimes committed by the Hitlerite aggressors
against my own country, against the Union of Soviet
Socialist Republics. On 22nd June, 1941, the U.S.S.R. was
perfidiously attacked by Hitlerite Germany. However, it is
not this date that should be considered as the actual
beginning of the execution of Hitlerite Germany's plan of
aggression against the Soviet Union. What took place on 22nd
June, 1941, was conceived, prepared, and planned long before

The Hitlerite conspirators pursued these preparations
continuously. All Germany's aggressive actions against a
number of European States, during the period between 1938
and 1941, were actually only preliminary measures for the
main blow in the East.

For Fascist Germany had conceived the criminal design of
seizing the territory of the Soviet Union in order to
plunder and to exploit the peoples of the U.S.S.R.

We need not seek confirmation thereof in Hitler's "Mein
Kampf" or in the writings of the Hitlerite ringleaders,
which, as is known, contained, together with a direct menace
to the U.S.S.R., indications that the aggression of German
imperialism must be directed toward the East in order to
conquer the so-called "living space." This tendency of
predatory German imperialism is expressed in the well-known
formula: "Drang nach Osten."

I revert for evidence to the official documents of the
Hitlerite Government, which fully disclose the defendants'
guilt in committing the criminal actions with which they are
charged under the present Indictment.

I beg to be allowed to refer, in the first case, to the
document entitled, "Report Concerning the Conference of 23rd
May, 1939." As can be seen from this document, this
conference took place in Hitler's study, at the new Reich
Chancellery, and the minutes were taken down by Lieutenant-
Colonel Schmundt of the German General Staff. There were
present at this conference Hitler, Goering, Raeder,
Brauchitsch, Keitel, General Milch, General of the Artillery
Halder, and other representatives of the German High
Command. The report states that the subject of the
conference was, "Instructions concerning the present
situation and the objects of our policy." Speaking at this
conference, Hitler frequently broached the subject of the
seizure of territory in the East. He declared:

     "If fate forces us into a conflict with the West, it
     would be desirable that we possess more extensive space
     in the East."
And further:

     "Our problem is to extend our living space in the East,
     secure our food supplies and solve the Baltic problem.
     As regards food supplies, we can only rely upon the
     thinly populated areas. The thoroughness of German
     agriculture, together with the fertility of the soil,
     will show itself favorably in the manifold increase of
     food production."
In another document known as the "Minutes of the Fuehrer's
Conference with the Commander-in-Chief on 23rd November,
1939," Hitler stressed the necessity of solving the problem
of the struggle for oil, rubber and useful minerals; and at
that conference, Hitler formulated the main tasks as

     "...adapt the living space to the density of the
     This is an eternal problem, to establish the necessary
     balance between the number of Germans and their
     territory, and to secure the necessary living space.
     Sharp ingenuity can be of no avail here. The problem
     can be solved only by the sword."
                                                  [Page 175]

At this conference Hitler, with complete frankness,
disclosed his plans concerning the drive to the East.
Boasting of his successful seizures of Moravia, Bohemia and
Poland he no longer kept secret his intentions of pursuing
his aggression Eastwards:

"I did not resurrect the Armed Forces," said Hitler, "for
the purpose of keeping them inactive. The determination to
act has always been alive in me. I always meant to solve
this problem."

Moreover, the Nazi Government felt itself in no way
restrained by the existence of a non-aggression pact signed
between Germany and U.S.S.R., on 23rd November, 1939.
However, Hitler's cynical declaration that treaties need
only be respected as long as they serve a purpose is now
universally known.

My American colleague has already quoted in his address the
speech made by the Defendant Jodl at the conference held by
the Reich Gauleiter in Munich in January, 1943. In his
speech the Defendant Jodl said: "Hitler informed me, while
we were still fighting in the West, of his plans to fight
the U.S.S.R." In his turn, the Defendant Raeder, at his
preliminary examination, testified that the idea of a
military campaign against the U.S.S.R. had been born in
Hitler's mind long ago, and it grew ever stronger with the
decrease of the probability of an invasion of England in
June, 1940.

According to the Defendant Keitel's statement, Hitler had
decided to attack the U.S.S.R. at the end of 1940. As early
as the spring of 1940, a plan of assault had been worked
out. Conferences on this subject had been held in the
summer. In July, 1940, at a military conference in
Reichenhall, the plan of attack on the U.S.S.R. was
examined. This is also confirmed by the statement of the
defendant Jodl, who at his preliminary examination testified
that the plans of attack on the U.S.S.R. were actually
worked out in the months of November-December, 1940, and
that during that period the first directives were given to
the Army, to the Navy and to the Air Force. Speaking of
these directives, Jodl refers to a document known as the
"Case Barbarossa." This document is signed by Hitler, Jodl
and Keitel.

This directive, intended only for the High Command of the
German Army, contains an elaborate and detailed plan for a
sudden attack on the U.S.S.R.

I quote:

     "The German Armed Forces must be prepared to crush
     Soviet Russia in a quick campaign before the end of the
     war against England.
     For this purpose the Army will have to employ all
     available units with the reservation that the occupied
     territories will have to be safeguarded against any
Directive "Case Barbarossa" emphasizes that "Great caution
has to be exercised that the intention of an attack will not
be recognised."

The directive further states that, if occasion arises, the
order for attack against Soviet Russia will be given eight
weeks in advance of the intended beginning of operations,
and that "preparations requiring more time to start are --
if this has not already been done -- to begin at once and
are to be completed by 15th May, 1941."

And, finally, the same directive contains a detailed
strategic plan of an attack on the U.S.S.R., which plan
already contemplated the actual form of participation on the
part of Roumania and Finland in this aggression. In
particular, the directive says bluntly:

     "Probable Allies and their tasks.
     1. At the flanks of our operations the active
     participation, in the war against Soviet Russia, of
     Roumania and Finland may be counted upon."
                                                  [Page 176]
The directive also states that: "we may rely on the use of
Swedish railroads and highways which will become available
for the transportation of the German Group `North' not later
than the start of actual operations."

Thus, it is incontestable that the Hitlerite Government at
this time had already secured the assent of the Roumanian
and Finnish Governments for the participation of these
countries, together with Germany, in the aggression against
the U.S.S.R.

This situation is apparent not only from the text of the
directive, "Case Barbarossa," but also from the other facts
at our disposal. For example, in a statement by the German
General of the Infantry, Buschenhagen, which we shall
present to the Tribunal the following appears:

     "At the end of December, 1940 (approximately on the
     20th), I, as the Chief of Staff of the German Forces in
     Norway, with the rank of Colonel, was invited to take
     part in a conference of the Chiefs of Staff of the
     Armies at the O.K.H. (High Command of the Army) at
     Zossen (near Berlin) which lasted several days. At this
     meeting the Chief of the General Staff, General Halder,
     expounded the plan `Barbarossa,' which envisaged the
     attack on the Soviet Union. Present at Zossen, at the
     time of the meeting, was the Chief of the General Staff
     of the Finnish Army, General Heinriks, who was
     conferring with General Halder...."

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