The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Volume I Chapter IX
Launching of Wars of Aggression
(Part 9 of 14)

"This applies to gas, submarines and the Air Force. It would be true of the latter, for instance, as long as the English Fleet had no available countermeasures; it will no longer be the case in 1940 and 1941. Against Poland, for example, tanks will be effective, as the Polish Army possesses no counter-measures.

"Where straightforward pressure is no longer considered to be decisive, its place must be taken by the elements of surprise and by masterly handling. ***"


"1. Study of the entire problem.
"2. Study of the events.
"3. Study of the means needed.
"4. Study of the necessary training.

"Men with great powers of imagination and high technical training must belong to the staff, as well as officers with sober sceptic powers of understanding.

"Working principles:

"1. No one is to take part in this who does not have to know of it.
"2. No one can find out more than he must know.
"3. When must the person in question know it at the very latest? No one may know anything before it is necessary that he know it.

"On Goering's question, the Fuehrer decided that:

"a. The armed forces determine what shall be built.

[Page 397]

"b. In the shipbuilding program, nothing is to be changed.
"c. The armament programs are to be modeled on the years 1943 or 1944.

[Schmundt certified this text.]" (L-79)

These minutes demonstrate that the Nazi conspirators were proceeding in accordance with a plan. They demonstrate the cold-blooded premeditation of the assault on Poland. They demonstrate that the questions concerning Danzig, which the Nazis had agitated with Poland as a political pretext, were not true questions, but were false issues, issues agitated to conceal their motive of aggressive, expansion for food, and Lebensraum.

Just one week prior to the launching of the attack on Poland, Hitler made an address to his chief military commanders, at Obersalzberg, on 22 August 1939. [Three reports of this meeting are available: (L-3; 798-PS; and 1014-PS). The first of the three documents (L-3) was obtained through an American newspaperman, and purported to be original minutes of the Obersalzberg meeting, transmitted to the newspaperman by some other person. There was no proof of actual delivery to the intermediary by the person who took the notes. That document (L-3) therefore, merely served as an incentive to search for something better The result was that two other documents (798-PS) and (1014-PS) were discovered in the OKW files at Flensberg. These two documents indicate that Hitler on that day made two speeches, one apparently in the morning and one in the afternoon. Comparison of those two documents with the first document (L-3) led to the conclusion that the first document was a lightly garbled merger of the two speeches, and therefore was not relied upon.]

On this day of 22 August 1939, Hitler addressed the supreme commanders of the-three branches of the armed forces, as well as the commanding generals, (Oberbefehlshabers) as follows:

"I have called you together to give you a picture of the political situation, in order that you may have insight into the individual element on which I base my decision to act, and in order to strengthen your confidence. After this, we will discuss military details.

"It was clear to me that a conflict with Poland had to come sooner or later. I had already made this decision in Spring. [Apparently this referred to (L-79).] But I thought I would first turn against the West in a few years, and only afterwards against the East. But the sequence cannot be fixed. One cannot close one's eyes even before a threatening situation. I wanted to establish an acceptable relationship with

[Page 398]

Poland, in order to fight first against the West, but this plan which was agreeable to me could not be executed, since essential points have changed.

"It became clear to me that Poland would attack us, in case of a conflict in the West.

"Poland wants access to the sea.

"The further development became obvious after the occupation of the Memel region, and it became clear to me that under the circumstances a conflict with Poland could arise at an unopportune moment.

"I enumerate as reasons for this reflection, first of all, two personal constitutions, my own personality, and that of Mussolini. Essentially, it depends on me, my existence, because of my political activity.

"Furthermore, the fact that probably no one will ever again have the confidence of the whole German people as I do. There will probably never again be a man in the future with more authority. My existence is, therefore, a factor of great value. But I can be eliminated at any time by a criminal or an idiot.

"The second personal factor is Il Duce. His existence is also decisive. If something happens to him, Italy's loyalty to the alliance will no longer be certain. The basic attitude of the Italian Court is against the Duce. Above all, the Court sees in the expansion of the empire a burden. The Duce is the man with the strongest nerves in Italy.

"The third factor, favorable for us is Franco. We can only ask benevolent neutrality from Spain, but this depends on Franco's personality. He guarantees a certain uniformity and steadiness of the present system in Spain. We must take into account the fact that Spain does not as yet have a Fascist Party of our internal unity.

"On the other side, a negative picture, as far as decisive personalities are concerned. There is no outstanding personality in England or France.

"For us it is easy to make decisions. We have nothing to lose: we can only gain. Our economic situation is such, because of our restrictions, that we cannot hold out more than a few years. Goering can confirm this. We have no other choice; we must act. Our opponents risk much and gain only little. England's stake in a war is unimaginably great. Our enemies have men who are below average. No personalities, no masters, no men of action.

The original plaintext version of this file is available via ftp.

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