The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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                  (b) The Attack on Poland
On 1st September, 1939, the Fascist aggressors invaded
Polish territory in treacherous violation of existing
treaties. The Polish people were subjected to mass
extermination, and their cities and villages were
mercilessly destroyed.

Official documents exposing this aggression have already
been presented to the Tribunal by my colleagues. Among such
documents we must mention in the first place a top-secret
report on a conference, presided over by Hitler, which took
place on 23rd May, 1939, and at which, besides Hitler and
other persons, the Defendants Goering, Raeder and Keitel
were present.

At this conference Hitler made a lengthy statement
concerning "the present situation and the political aims."
Hitler said:

     "The Pole is in no way an additional enemy. Poland will
     always be on the side of our opponents. The matter does
     not concern Danzig only; it is the question of
     `Lebensraum' (living space) in the East, the
     safeguarding of our food supplies, and the solution of
     the Baltic problem.
     Thus, said Hitler, "sparing Poland is out of the
     question, and it remains for us to attack her at the
     first opportunity. We cannot expect the repetition of
     what we achieved in the case of Czechoslovakia. This
     time it means war."
Hitler then said:

     "The important fact in the conflict with Poland, which
     will begin with an attack on Poland, is that it can
     only be successful for us if the West does not
     participate. If this should be impossible, it would be
     better to attack the Western Powers and at the same
     time destroy Poland."
The second part of Hitler's statement was specially devoted
to a number of questions of military strategy connected with
his decision to attack Poland.

                                                  [Page 173]
This is how the gangster assault of Hitler's Germany on
Poland was prepared in advance. It was put into execution in
September, 1939.

We shall present documentary evidence of the monstrous
crimes committed by the Hitlerites in Poland.

                (c) The Attack on Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia was another Slav State which was the subject of a
sudden attack on the part of Hitlerite Germany. It is well
known that, on numerous occasions, Hitler's Government had
given false assurance to the effect that Germany had no
aggressive intentions towards Yugoslavia. Thus, on 28th
April, 1939, Hitler, in his speech to the Reichstag, stated
that Germany was ready to give assurances to a number of
States, and in particular to Yugoslavia, that Germany wished
to maintain with them relations of mutual understanding, as
she was bound to them by alliances and by "close ties of

Even prior to this, on 28th April, 1938, the Berlin News
Agency (D.N.B.) had announced, "Confidential representatives
have informed the Yugoslav Government on Germany's behalf
that Germany's intentions do not extend beyond Austria, and
that the Yugoslav frontier will remain inviolate."

In spite of these repeated and categorical declarations
Hitler's armies invaded Yugoslavia on 6th April, 1941, and
occupied this country. This attack was unexpected only by
the victims, for the Nazi clique had carefully planned this
assault in advance as it had done in the above-mentioned

In a top-secret directive issued from his headquarters on
29th March, 1941, and intended for Higher Commanding
Officers of the German Army, the Fuehrer said:

     "My intention is to invade Yugoslavia by powerful
     thrusts from the area of Fiume-Graz and from Sofia in
     the general direction of Belgrade and further to the
     South, with the objective of inflicting on the Yugoslav
     army a decisive defeat as well as to cut off the
     Southern part of Yugoslavia from the rest of the
     country and to turn it into a base for further
     operations of the German-Italian forces against Greece.
     By proposing the return of Macedonia and Banat,
     attempts will be made to bring about the participation
     of Bulgaria and Hungary in the operations.
     The internal political crisis in Yugoslavia will be
     aggravated by political guarantees promised to the
Further on the directive lays down a detailed strategic plan
for the invasion of Yugoslavia, and provides for actual
participation in this aggression by German Armed Forces,
including the 10th Air Corps, which had to be transferred
from Italy in order to take part in these operations.

Consequently, on the basis of the evidence supplied by
original documents of the Hitlerite Government and High
Command of the German Armed Forces, we can establish that
all attacks by Hitlerite Germany on Slav states were based
on a plan prepared in advance, a plan which was only a part
of a common criminal conspiracy of the predatory German
imperialism against freedom-loving nations.

Yugoslavia as well as Poland became a victim of the German
Fascist aggressors, who covered this flourishing State with
ruins, and its fields, gardens and ploughed land with the
corpses of many thousands of Yugoslav patriots, who fell in
the heroic struggle against the foreign invaders and
enslavers, in the struggle for the freedom and independence
of their native land.

THE PRESIDENT: Would that be a convenient time to break off
for 10 minutes?

                    (A recess was taken.)

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