The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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In these passages, there is a clear envisagement of United States
involvement, as well as a clear intent to attack. The vital threat
to United States interests, if Japan were to capture Singapore,
was also envisaged by the defendant Raeder in his meeting of 18th
March, 1941, with Hitler and the defendants Keitel and Jodl. These
minutes are contained in our Document C-152, which has already
been put in as Exhibit GB-122. I wish now to repeat the four
sentences of Item 11 of the minutes of that conference, contained
on Page 1 of the English translation, I am quoting the defendant

   "Japan must take steps to seize Singapore as soon as possible,
   since the opportunity will never again be so favourable (the
   whole English fleet busy; unpreparedness of the United States
   of America for war against Japan; inferiority of the United
   States vis-a-vis the Japanese). Japan is indeed making
   preparations for this action, but according to all
   declarations made by Japanese officers, she will carry it out
   only if Germany proceeds to land in England. Germany must,
   therefore, concentrate all her efforts on spurring Japan to
   act immediately. If Japan has Singapore, all other East
   Asiatic questions regarding the U.S.A. and England are thereby
   solved (Guam, the Philippines, Borneo, and the Dutch East
   Indies). Japan wishes, if possible, to avoid war against the
   U.S.A. She can do so if she determinately takes Singapore as
   soon as possible."

The defendant Ribbentrop also recognised the possibility of United
States involvement as a result of the course of aggression that he
was urging on the Japanese. I refer again to his meeting of 23rd
February, 1941, with the Japanese Ambassador, 0shima, the notes of
which are contained in our Document 1834-PS, which is in evidence
as Exhibit USA 129.

The tribunal will recall that in a passage I have already read,
Subparagraph (2), near the bottom of Page 3 of the English
translation, Ribbentrop assured Matsuoka that a surprise by Japan
was bound to keep the United States out of the war, since she was
unarmed and could not risk either her fleet or the possibility of
losing the Philippines as the result of a declaration of war. Two
paragraphs later, Ribbentrop practically dropped the pretence that
the United States would not be involved. I quote here from the
last paragraph, at the bottom of Page 3 of the English

   "The Reich Foreign Minister mentioned further that, if America
   should declare war because of Japan's entry into the war, this
   would mean that America had had the intention to enter the war
   sooner or later anyway. Even though it would be preferable to
   avoid this, her entry into the war would, as explained above,
   be by no means decisive and would not endanger the final
   victory of the countries of the Three-Power Pact. The Foreign
   Minister further expressed his belief that a temporary lift of
   the British morale caused by America's entry into the war
   would be cancelled by Japan's entry into the war. If, however,
   contrary to all expectations, the Americans should be careless
   enough to send their Navy, in spite of everything, beyond
   Hawaii and to the Far East, this would represent the biggest
   chance for the countries of the Three-Power Pact to bring the
   war rapidly to an end. He, the Foreign Minister, was convinced
   that the Japanese fleet would then do
                                                        [Page 280]
   a complete job. Ambassador Oshima replied to this, that
   unfortunately he did not think the Americans would do it, but
   he is convinced of a victory of his fleet in Japanese waters."

In the paragraphs that follow, some of which have already been
read into the record, Ribbentrop again stressed the mutual
interdependence of the Tripartite-Pact Powers and suggested co-
ordinated action.

I want to quote now only the last paragraph on Page 5, a typical
bit of Nazi cynicism which by now is quite familiar.

   "The Reich Foreign Minister then touched upon the question,
   explicitly pointed out as theoretical, that the contracting
   powers might be required, on the basis of new affronts by the
   U.S.A., to break off diplomatic relations. Germany and Italy
   were fundamentally determined on this. After signing the Three-
   Power Pact they should proceed if the occasion arose, jointly
   in this matter, too. Such a lesson should open the eyes of the
   people in the United States, and under certain conditions
   swing public opinion towards isolation. Naturally, a situation
   had to be chosen in which America found herself entirely in
   the wrong. The common step of the signatory powers should be
   exploited correspondingly in propaganda. The question,
   however, was in no way acute at the time."

Again, on 29th March, 1941, Ribbentrop, this time in a conference
with the Japanese Foreign Minister, Matsuoka, discussed the
possible involvement of the United States. Notes of this
conference are contained in our Document 1877-PS, which I have
already introduced as Exhibit USA 152, and I have read it into the
record. The relevant statements appear in the bottom two
paragraphs of Page 1, and the first full paragraph on Page 2 of
the English translation. I shall not take the Tribunal's time to
read them again.

I should like to refer to one more document to show that the Nazi
conspirators knew that the aggressive war they were urging the
Japanese to undertake, both threatened the vital interests of the
United States, and could lead to the United States' involvement in
contemplated Far Eastern conflict. This Document is our 1881-PS,
report of the conference between Hitler and the Japanese Foreign
Minister, Matsuoka, in Berlin On 4th April, 1941. I have already
offered, in my opening statement to the Tribunal two weeks ago,
Document 1881-PS as Exhibit USA 33, and I read at that time a
considerable portion of it into the record. Unless the Court
prefers that I do not do so, it seems to me desirable at this
point to re-read a few brief passages.

THE PRESIDENT: I think we might treat it as being in evidence.

MR. ALDERMAN: I wish to emphasise, however, that the passages
which I read two weeks ago, and which I had expected to re-read at
this point, show not only a realisation of the probable
involvement of the United States in the Far Eastern conflict that
the Nazis were urging, but also a knowledge on their part, that
the Japanese Army and Navy were actually preparing war plans
against the United States. Furthermore, we have a document that
shows that the Nazis knew at least a part of what those war plans

I now refer again to Document 1538-PS, which has been offered in
evidence as Exhibit USA 154, the secret telegram from the German

                                                        [Page 281]

Attache in Tokyo, dated 24th May, 1941. He talks about the
conferences he has had regarding Japan's entry in the war, in the
event of Germany becoming involved in war with the United States.

In Paragraph 1, this sentence also appears - I quote the last
sentence in Paragraph 1:-

   "Preparations for attack on Singapore and Manila stand."

May I at this point review the Nazi position with regard to the
United States at this time, the spring of 1941. In view of their
pressing commitments elsewhere, and their aggressive plans against
the U.S.S.R., set for execution in June, 1941, their temporary
strategy naturally showed a preference that the United States
should not be involved in the war at that time. Nevertheless, they
had been considering their own preliminary plan against the United
States, as seen in the Atlantic Island document which I offered.

They were repeatedly urging the Japanese to aggression against the
British Commonwealth, just as they would urge them to attack the
U.S.S.R., soon after the launching of the Nazi invasion of the
Soviet Union. They were aware that the course along which they
were pushing the Japanese in the Far East, would probably lead to
involvement of the United States. Indeed, the Japanese Foreign
Minister had told Hitler this in so many words, and their own
military men had fully realised the implications of the move
against Singapore. They also knew that the Japanese Army and Navy
were preparing operation plans against the U.S. They knew at least
part of those plans.

The Nazi conspirators not only knew all these things ; they
accepted the risk of the aggressive course they were urging on the
Japanese, and pushed their Eastern allies still further along that

In April, 1941, Hitler told the Japanese Foreign Minister that in
the event of Japan becoming involved in the war with the United
States, Germany would immediately take the consequences and strike
without delay.

I refer to our Document 1881-PS, the notes of the Hitler-Matsuoka
conference in Berlin on 4th April, 1941, which has already been
introduced as Exhibit USA 33, I refer particularly to the first
four paragraphs on Page 2 of the English translation. I think that
has been read to you at least twice, and I perhaps need not repeat

Then, omitting two paragraphs, we see Hitler then encouraging
Matsuoka in his decision to strike against the United States, and
I invite your attention to the fourth paragraph on Page 2, which
you have heard several times and which I shall not re-read.

Here in these passages were assurance, encouragement and abetment
by the head of the German State, the leading Nazi co-conspirator,
in April, 1941. But the Nazi encouragement and promise of support
did not end there.

I now offer our Document 2898-PS as Exhibit USA 163. This is
another telegram from the German Ambassador in Tokyo, regarding
his conversation with the Japanese Foreign Minister. It is dated
30th November, 1941, exactly one week before Pearl Harbour. I will
read from the first four paragraphs on Page 2 of the German text,
which is the first paragraph of the English translation, and this
passage, I am sure, has not been read to the Tribunal. No part of
this document has been read:

                                                        [Page 282]

   "The progress of the negotiations so far confirms his
   viewpoint that the difference of opinion between Japan and the
   U.S. is very great. The Japanese Government, since it sent
   Ambassador Kurusu, has taken a firm stand, as he told me. He
   is convinced that this position is in our favour, and makes
   the United States think that her entry into the European war
   would be risky business. The new American proposal of 25th
   November shows great divergencies in the viewpoints of the two
   nations. These differences of opinion concern, for example,
   the further treatment of the Chinese question. The biggest" -
   and then the German text has the legend "1 group missing",
   indicating that one group of the secret code was garbled on
   transmission. It would appear from the text that the missing
   words are "difference of opinion." "The biggest (1 group
   missing), however, resulted from the U.S. attempt to make the
   Three-Power Agreement ineffective. The U.S. suggested to Japan
   that she conclude treaties of non-aggression with the U.S.,
   the British Empire, the Soviet Union, and other countries, in
   order to prevent Japan's entry into the war on the side of the
   Axis Powers. Japan, however, insisted upon maintaining her
   treaty obligations, and for this reason American demands are
   the greatest obstacles for adjusting Japanese-American
   relations. He avoided discussing concessions promised by the
   U.S. and merely mentioned that grave decisions were at stake.
   The U.S. is seriously preparing for war and is about to
   operate a considerable part of its Navy from Southern Pacific
   bases. The Japanese Government is busy working out an answer
   in order to clarify its viewpoint. But he has no particulars
   at that moment. He thinks the American proposals, as a whole,
   Japan is not afraid of a breakdown of negotiations, and she
   hopes that in that case Germany and Italy, according to the
   Three-Power Pact, will stand at her side. I answered that
   there could be no doubt about Germany's future position. The
   Japanese Foreign Minister thereupon stated that he understood
   from my words that Germany, in such a case, would consider her
   relationship to Japan as that of a union by fate. I answered
   that, according to my opinion, Germany was certainly ready to
   have a mutual agreement between the two countries over this

   The Minister of Foreign Affairs answered that it was possible
   that he would come back to this point soon. The conversation
   with the Minister of Foreign Affairs confirmed the impression
   that the U.S. Note, in fact, was very unsatisfactory, even for
   the compromise-seeking politicians here. For these circles
   America's position, especially in the China question, was very
   disappointing. The emphasis upon the Three-Power Pact as being
   the main obstacle between successful Japanese-U.S.
   negotiations seems to point to the fact that the Japanese
   Government was becoming aware of the necessity of close co-
   operation with the Axis Powers."

The time is now fast approaching for that day of infamy. I offer
our Document 2987-PS as Exhibit USA 166. This document consists of
extracts from the hand-written diary of Count Galeazzo Ciano
during the period 3rd December to 8th December, 1941. It consists
of notes he

                                                        [Page 283]

jotted down in the course of his daily business as Foreign
Minister of Italy. The Italian has been translated into both
English and German, and copies of both, the English and the
German, are in the document books.

I now quote from the beginning of the entry Of 3rd December,

   "Sensational move by Japan. The Ambassador asks for an
   audience with the Duce and reads him a long statement on the
   progress of the negotiations with America, concluding with the
   assertion that they have reached a dead end. Then, invoking
   the appropriate clause in the Tripartite Pact, he asks that
   Italy declare war on America immediately after the outbreak of
   hostilities, and proposes the signature of an agreement not to
   conclude a separate peace. The interpreter translating this
   request was trembling like a leaf. The Duce gave fullest
   assurances, reserving the right to confer with Berlin before
   giving a reply. The Duce was pleased with the communication
   and said: 'We are now on the brink of the inter-continental
   war which I predicted as early as September, 1939.' What does
   this new event mean? In any case it means that Roosevelt has
   succeeded in his manoeuvre. Since he could not enter the war
   immediately and directly, he enters it indirectly, by letting
   himself be attacked by Japan. Furthermore, this event also
   means that every prospect of peace is becoming further and
   further removed, and that it is now easy - much too easy - to
   predict a long war. Who will be able to hold out longest? It
   is on this basis that the problem must be considered. Berlin's
   answer will be somewhat delayed, because Hitler has gone to
   the Southern Front to see General Kleist, whose armies
   continue to give way under pressure of an unexpected Soviet

And then, 4th December, Thursday - that is three days before Pearl

   "Berlin's reaction to the Japanese move is extremely cautious.
   Perhaps they will accept, because they cannot get out of it,
   but the idea of provoking America's intervention pleases the
   Germans less and less. Mussolini, on the other hand, is
   pleased about it."

And 5th December, Friday:

   "A night interrupted by Ribbentrop's restlessness. After
   delaying two days, now he cannot wait a minute to answer the
   Japanese, and at 3 o'clock in the morning, he sends Mackensen
   to my house to submit a plan for a triple agreement relative
   to Japanese intervention and the pledge not to make a separate
   peace. He wants me to awaken the Duce, but I did not do so,
   and the latter is very glad I did not."

It appears from the last entry I have read, that of 5th December,
that some sort of an agreement was reached.

On Sunday, 7th December, 1941, Japan, without previous warning or
declaration of war, commenced an attack against the United States
at Pearl Harbour and against the British Commonwealth of Nations
in the South-west Pacific. On the morning of 11th December, four
days after the Japanese assault in the Pacific, the German
Government declared war on the United States, committing the last
act of aggression which was to seal its doom. This declaration of
war is contained in Volume IX of the "Dokumente der Deutschen
Politik", of which I now ask the Tribunal to take judicial notice
as Exhibit USA 164. An English translation is contained in our
document book, and for the convenience of the Tribunal is 2507-PS

                                                        [Page 284]

The same day, 11th December, the fourth anniversary of which is
tomorrow, the Congress of the United States resolved that a state
of war between the United States and the Government of Germany,
which has thus been thrust upon the United States, is hereby
formally declared. This declaration is contained as Document 272
in the official publication Peace and War of which the Tribunal
has already taken judicial notice as Exhibit USA 12Z, The
declaration itself has been reproduced for the document books as
our Document 2945-PS.

It thus appears that, apart from their own aggressive intentions
and declaration of war against the United States, the Nazi
conspirators, in their collaboration with Japan, incited and kept
in motion a force reasonably calculated to result in an attack on
the United States. While maintaining their preference that the
United States should not be involved in war at the time, they
nevertheless foresaw the distinct possibility, even probability,
of such involvement as a result of the action they were
encouraging. They were aware that the Japanese had prepared plans
for attack against the United States, and they accepted the
consequences by assuring the Japanese that they would declare war
on the United States, should a United States-Japanese conflict

In dealing with captured documents of the enemy, the completeness
of the plan is necessarily obscured, but those documents which
have been discovered and offered, in evidence before this Tribunal
show that the Japanese attack was the proximate and foreseeable
consequence of the Nazi conspirators' collaboration policy, and
that their exhortations and encouragement of the Japanese as
surely led to Pearl Harbour as though Pearl Harbour itself had
been mentioned.

I should like to read the Ciano diary entry for the 8th December,
the day after Pearl Harbour.

   "A night telephone call from Ribbentrop. He is overjoyed about
   the Japanese attack on America. He is so happy about it that I
   am happy with him, though I am not too sure about the final
   advantages of what has happened. One thing is now certain;
   that America will enter the conflict, and that the conflict
   will be so long that she will be able to release all her
   potential forces. This morning I told this to the King, who
   had been pleased about the event. He ended by admitting that,
   in the long run, I may be right. Mussolini was happy, too. For
   a long time he has favoured a definite clarification of
   relations between America and the Axis."

The final document consists of the Top Secret notes of a
conference between Hitler and Japanese Ambassador Oshima on 14th
December, 1941, from 1300 to 1400 hours, in the presence of the
Reich Foreign Minister Ribbentrop. It is our Document 2932-PS,
which I now offer as Exhibit USA 165. The immediate subject matter
is the Pearl Harbour attack, but the expressions therein typify
Nazi technique. I quote from the second paragraph of the English
translation which has not been previously read:-

"First the Fuehrer presents Ambassador Oshima with the Grand Cross
of the Order of Merit of the German Eagle in gold. With cordial
words he acknowledges his services in the achievement of German-
Japanese co-operation, which has now obtained its culmination in a
close brotherhood of arms.

                                                        [Page 285]

General Oshima expresses his thanks for the great honour and
emphasises how glad he is that this brotherhood of arms has now
come about between Germany and Japan.

The Fuehrer continues: 'You gave the right declaration of war.'
This method is the only proper one. Japan pursued it formerly and
it corresponds with his own system, that is, to negotiate as long
as possible. But if one sees that the other is interested only in
putting one off, in shaming and humiliating one, and is not
willing to come to an agreement, then one should strike as hard as
possible, and not waste time declaring war. It was heart-warming
to him to hear of the first operations of the Japanese. He himself
negotiated with infinite patience, at times; for example, with
Poland and also with Russia. When he then realised that the others
did not want to come to an agreement, he struck suddenly and
without formality. He would continue to go on this way in the

If the Tribunal please, that ends my presentation of the various
phases of aggressive warfare charged as Crimes against Peace in
Count 1 of the Indictment. As I conclude this phase, I hope the
Tribunal will allow me to express my deep sense of obligation to
Commander Sidney J. Kaplan, Section Chief, and to the members of
his staff, who did the yeoman work necessary to assemble and
prepare these materials that I have presented. Those members of
that staff, in the order in which the materials were presented,
are Major Joseph Dainow, Lt. Commander Harold Leventhal, Lt. John
M. Woolsey, Lt. James A. Gorrell, Lt. Roy H. Steyer.

Commander Kaplan and his staff have fully measured up to the
famous motto of his branch of the Armed Services, the United
States Coast Guard, "Semper Paratus" - "Always Prepared."

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will now adjourn.

(The Tribunal adjourned until 11th December, 1945, at 1000 hours.)

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