The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1999/09/14

Then there follow other instructions with regard to the
operation.

   Paragraph 5: "Occupation of Norway, Weserubung Nord.
   
   The task of Group XXI: Capture by surprise of the most
   important places on the coast by sea and airborne
   operations.
   
   The Navy will take over the preparation and carrying out
   of the transport by sea of the landing troops."

And there follows a reference to the part of the Air Force,
and I would like particularly to draw the Court's attention
to that reference.

This is Paragraph 5 on Page 3 of Hitler's directive:-

  "The Air Force, after the occupation has been completed,
  will ensure air defence and will make use of Norwegian
  bases for air warfare against Britain."

I am underlining that entry at this stage, because I shall
be referring to it in connection with a later document.

Whilst these preparations were being made and just prior to
the final decision of Hitler -

THE PRESIDENT: Did you draw our attention to the defendant
by whom it was initialled, Fricke, on the first page of that
document.

MAJOR ELWYN JONES: That is an initial by Fricke, who is a
different person altogether from the defendant Frick. This
is a high functionary in the German Admiralty and has no
connection with the defendant who is before the Tribunal.

As I was saying, my Lord, while these decisions were being
made, reports were coming in through Rosenberg's
organisation from Quisling, and if the which is Court will
again turn, for the last time, to Document 007-PS, which is
Rosenberg's report, the Tribunal will observe the kind of
information which Rosenberg's organisation was supplying at
this time. The third paragraph, "Quisling's reports" - that
is in Annex I in Rosenberg's report, the section dealing
with Norway, the paragraph beginning with:-

  "Quisling's reports, transmitted to his representative in
  Germany, Hagelin, and dealing with the possibility of
  intervention by the Western Powers in Norway with tacit
  consent of the Norwegian Government, became more urgent
  by January.  These increasingly better substantiated
  communications were in the sharpest contrast to the views
  of the German Legation in Oslo, which relied on the
  desire for neutrality of the then Norwegian Nygaardsvold
  Cabinet and was convinced of that Government's intention
  and readiness to defend Norway's neutrality. No one in
  Norway knew that Quisling's representative for Germany
  maintained the closest relations to him; he therefore
  succeeded in gaining a foothold within governmental
  circles of the Nygaardsvold Cabinet and in listening to
  the Cabinet members' views. Hagelin transmitted what he
  had heard to the Bureau" - Rosenberg's bureau - "which
  conveyed the news to the Fuehrer through Reichsleiter
  Rosenberg. During the night of 16th to 17th February,
  English destroyers attacked the German steamer 'Altmark'
  in Josingfjord."

                                                  [Page 191]

The Tribunal will remember that that is a reference to the
action by the British destroyer "Cossack" against the German
naval auxiliary vessel "Altmark", which was carrying three
hundred British prisoners, captured on the high seas, to
Germany through Norwegian territorial waters. The position
of the British delegation with regard to that episode is
that the use that was being made by the "Altmark" of
Norwegian territorial waters was in fact a flagrant abuse in
itself of Norwegian neutrality, and the action taken by
H.M.S. "Cossack", which was restricted to rescuing the three
hundred British prisoners on board-no attempt being made to
destroy the "Altmark" or to capture the armed guards on
board her - was fully justified under International Law.

Now the Rosenberg report, the reading of which I interrupted
to give that statement of the British view on the "Altmark"
episode - the Rosenberg report continues:

  "The Norwegian Government's reaction to this question
  permitted the conclusion that certain agreements had been
  covertly arrived at between the Norwegian Government and
  the Allies. Such assumption was confirmed by reports of
  Section Leader Scheidt, who in turn derived his
  information from Hagelin and Quisling. But even after
  this incident the German Legation in Oslo championed the
  opposite view, and went on record as believing in the
  good intentions of the Norwegians."

So the Tribunal will see that the Nazi Government preferred
the reports of the traitor Quisling to the considered
judgement of German diplomatic representatives in Norway.
The result of the receipt of reports of that kind was the
Hitler decision to invade Norway and Denmark. The
culminating details in the preparations for the invasion are
again found in Jodl's diary, which is the last document in
the document book. I will refer the Court to the entry of
the 3rd March:

  "The Fuehrer expressed himself very sharply on the
  necessity of a swift entry into N" - which is Norway -
  "with strong forces.
  
  No delay by any branch of the Armed Forces. Very rapid
  acceleration of the attack necessary".

Then the last entry on 3rd March:

  "Fuehrer decides to carry out 'Weser Exercise' before
  case 'Yellow' with a few days interval."

So that the important issue of strategy, which had been
concerning the German High Command for some time, had been
decided by this date, and the fate of Scandinavia was to be
sealed before the fate of the Low Countries; and the Court
will observe from those entries Of 3rd March, that, by that
date, Hitler had become an enthusiastic convert to the idea
of a Norwegian aggression.

The next entry in Jodl's diary of 5th March:

  "Big conference with the three Commanders-in-Chief about
  'Weser Exercise'; Field Marshal in a rage because not
  consulted till now. Will not listen to anyone and wants
  to show that all preparations so far made are worthless.
  
  Result:
     (a) Stronger forces to Narvik.
     (b) Navy to leave ships in the ports (Hipper or Lutzow
     in Trondheim).
     (c) Christiansand can be left out at first.
     (d) Six divisions envisaged for Norway.
     (e) A foothold to be gained immediately in
     Copenhagen."

                                                  [Page 192]

Then the next entry to which I desire to draw the Court's
attention is the entry of 13th March, which the Court may
think is one of the most remarkable in the whole
documentation of this case.

  "Fuehrer does not give order yet for 'W'." - Weser
  Exercise - "He is still looking for an excuse."

The entry of the next day, 14th March, shows a similar pre-
occupation on the part of Hitler with seeking an excuse for
the flagrant aggression. It reads:-

  "English keep vigil in the North Sea with fifteen to
  sixteen submarines; doubtful whether reason to safeguard
  own operations or prevent operations by Germans. Fuehrer
  has not yet decided what reason to give for Weser
  Exercise."

Then I would like the Court to look at the entry for 21St
March, which, by inadvertence, has been included in the next
page - the bottom of Page 6.

  "Misgivings of Task Force 21 ."

The Court has seen from documents that I have put in already
that Task Force 21 was Falkenhorst's Force, which was
detailed to conduct this invasion.

  "Misgivings of Task Force 21 about the long interval
  between taking up readiness positions at 0530 hours and
  close of diplomatic negotiations. Fuehrer rejects any
  earlier negotiations, as otherwise calls for help go out
  to England and America. If resistance is put up it must
  be ruthlessly broken. The political plenipotentiaries
  must emphasise the military measures taken, and even
  exaggerate them."

Comment upon that entry is, I think, unnecessary. The next
entry, if the Court will turn to Page 5, of 28th March, the
third sentence:

  "Individual naval officers seem to be lukewarm concerning
  the Weser Exercise and need a stimulus. Also Falkenhorst
  and the other two commanders are worrying about matters
  which are none of their business. Franke sees more
  disadvantages than advantages.
  
  In the evening the Fuehrer visits the map room and
  roundly declares that he will not stand for the Navy
  clearing out of the Norwegian ports right away. Narvik,
  Trondheim and Oslo will have to remain occupied by naval
  forces."

There the Court will observe that Jodl, as ever, is the
faithful collaborator of Hitler.

Then on 2nd April:

"Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force, Commander-in-Chief of
the Navy, and General von Falkenhorst with the Fuehrer. All
confirm preparations completed. Fuehrer orders carrying out
of the Weser Exercise for 9th April."

Then the last entry in the next page, the 4th April.

  "Fuehrer drafts the proclamation. Piepenbrock, Chief of
  Military Intelligence 1, returns with good results from
  the talks with Quisling in Copenhagen."

Until the very last the treachery of Quisling continued to
be most active.

The prosecution has in its possession a large number of
operation orders that were issued in connection with the
aggression against Norway and Denmark, but I propose to draw
the Court's attention to only two of them to illustrate the
extent of the secrecy and the deception that was used by the

                                                  [Page 193]

defendants and their confederates in the course of that
aggression. I would now draw the Court's attention to
Document C-115 which, for the purpose of the record, will be
Exhibit GB 90. First of all I will draw the Court's
attention to the second paragraph, "General Orders", with a
date, "4th April, 1940":

  "The barrage-breaking vessels, Sperrbrecher, will
  penetrate inconspicuously, and with lights on, into Oslo
  Fjord disguised as merchant steamers.
  
  Challenge from coastal signal stations and look-outs are
  to be answered by the deceptive use of the names of
  English steamers. I lay particular stress on the
  importance of not giving away the operation before zero
  hour."

Then the next entry is an order for reconnaissance forces,
dated 24th March, 1940: "Behaviour during entrance into the
harbour." The third paragraph is the part that I wish to
draw the Court's attention to.

  "The disguise as British craft must be kept up as long as
  possible. All challenges in Morse by Norwegian ships will
  be answered in English. In answer to questions a text
  with something like the following content will be chosen:
  
  'Calling at Bergen for a short visit; no hostile intent.'
  
  Challenges to be answered with names of British warships:-
  
      'Koln'  --  H.M.S.'Cairo';
      'Konigsberg' -- H.M.S. 'Calcutta';
      'Bromsoe' -- H.M.S. 'Faulkner';
      'Karl Peters' -- H.M.S. 'Halcyon';
      'Leopard' -- British destroyer;
      'Wolf' -- British destroyer;
      E-boats    -- British motor torpedo boats.
  
  Arrangements are to be made enabling British war flags to
  be illuminated.  Continual readiness for making smoke."

And then finally the next order dated the 24th March, 1940,
Annex 3 "To Flag Officer Reconnaissance Forces; most
secret."

Next page, Page 2:-

  "Following is laid down as guiding principle should one
  of our own units find itself compelled to answer the
  challenge of passing craft; to challenge in case of the
  'Koln': H.M.S. 'Cairo'; then to order to stop; (1) Please
  repeat last signal; (2) Impossible to understand your
  signal; in case of a warning shot: Stop firing. British
  ship. Good friend. In case of an inquiry as to
  destination and purpose: Going Bergen. Chasing German
  steamers."

Then I would draw the Court's attention to Document C-151,
which for the purposes of the record will be Exhibit GB 91,
which is a Donitz; order in connection with this operation.
If the Court will observe, it is headed:

  "Top Secret, Operation Order' Hartmut'. Occupation of
  Denmark and Norway.
  This
  order comes into force on the code word 'Hartmut'. With
  its coming into force the orders hitherto valid for the
  boats taking part lose their validity.
  
  The day and hour are designated as 'Weser-Day' and
  'WeserHour', and the whole operation is known as
  'Weserubung'.
  
  The operation ordered by the code word has as its
  objective the rapid surprise-landing of troops in Norway.
  Simultaneously Denmark will be occupied from the Baltic
  and from the land side."

                                                  [Page 194]

There is at the end of that paragraph another contribution
by Donitz to this process of deception:

  "The naval force will, as they enter the harbour, fly the
  British flag until the troops have landed, except
  presumably at Narvik."

The Tribunal now knows as a matter of history that on 9th
April, 1940, the Nazi onslaught on the unsuspecting and
almost unarmed people of Norway and Denmark was launched.
When the invasions had already begun a German memorandum was
handed to the Governments of Norway and Denmark attempting
to justify the German action, and I would like to draw the
Court's attention to Document TC-55, Exhibit GB 92. That is
at the beginning of the book of documents, the sixth
document of the book. I am not proposing to read the whole
of that memorandum. I have no doubt the defending counsel
will deal with any parts which they consider relevant to the
defence. The Court will observe that it is alleged that
Britain and France were guilty in their maritime warfare of
breaches of International Law, and that Britain and France
were making plans themselves to invade and occupy Norway,
and that the Government of Norway was prepared to acquiesce
in such a situation.

The memorandum states -and I would now draw the Court's
attention to Page 3 of the memorandum, to the paragraph just
below the middle of the page beginning "The German Troops":-

  "The German troops, therefore, do not set foot on
  Norwegian soil as enemies. The German High Command does
  not intend to make use of the points occupied by German
  troops as bases for operations against England, as long
  as it is not forced to do so by measures taken by England
  and France. German military operations aim much more
  exclusively at protecting the North against proposed
  occupation of Norwegian strong points by English-French
  forces."

In connection with that statement I would remind the Court
that in his operation order of 1st March, Hitler had then
given orders to the Air Force to make use of Norwegian bases
for air warfare against Britain. That is 1st March. And this
is the memorandum which was produced as an excuse on 9th
April. The last two paragraphs of the German memorandum to
Norway and Denmark, the Court may think, are a classic Nazi
combination of diplomatic hypocrisy and military threat.
They read:-

  "The Reich Government thus expects that the Royal
  Norwegian Government and the Norwegian people will
  respond with understanding to the German measures, and
  offer no resistance to it. Any resistance would have to
  be and would be broken by all possible means by the
  German forces employed, and would therefore lead only to
  absolutely useless bloodshed. The Royal Norwegian
  Government is therefore requested to take all measures
  with the greatest speed to ensure that the advance of the
  German troops can take place without friction and
  difficulty. In the spirit of the good German-Norwegian
  relations that have always existed, the Reich Government
  declares to the Royal Norwegian Government that Germany
  has no intention of infringing by her measures the
  territorial integrity and political independence of the
  Kingdom of Norway, now or in the future."

What the Nazis meant by the protection of the Kingdom of
Norway was shown by their conduct on 9th April. I now refer
the Court to Document

                                                  [Page 195]

TC-56, which will be Exhibit GB 93, which is a report by the
Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Norwegian Forces. It is at
the beginning of the document book, the last of the TC.
documents.

I will not trouble the Court with the first page of the
report. If the Tribunal will turn to the second page, it
reads:-

  "The Germans, considering the long lines of
  communications and the threat of the British Navy,
  clearly understood the necessity of complete surprise and
  speed in the attack. In order to paralyse the will of the
  Norwegian people to defend their country and, at the same
  time, to prevent Allied intervention, it was planned to
  capture all the more important towns along the coast
  simultaneously. Members of the Government and Parliament
  and other military and civilian people occupying
  important positions were to be arrested before organised
  resistance could be put into effect, and the King was to
  be forced to form a new government with Quisling as its
  head."


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