The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Volume I Chapter IX
Preparation for Aggression
(Part 10 of 14)

At this point, on 14 October 1933, Germany withdrew from the International Disarmament Conference and from the League of Nations. The Nazis took this opportunity to break away from the international negotiations and to take an aggressive position on an issue which would not be serious enough to provoke reprisal from other countries. At the same time, Germany attached so much importance to this action that it considered the possibility of the application of sanctions by other countries. In anticipation of the probable nature of such sanctions and the countries which might apply them, plans were made.for armed resistance on land, at sea, and in the air. Military preparations

[Page 437]

were ordered in a directive from the Reichsminister for Defense (von Blomberg) to the head of the Army High Gommand (Fritsch), the head of the Navy High Command, Raeder), and the Reichsminister for Air, (Goering) (C-140). This directive, dated 25 October 1933, 11 days after the withdrawal from the Disarmament Conference and the League of Nations, provides:

"1. The enclosed directive gives the basis for preparation of the armed forces in the case of sanctions being applied against Germany.

"2. I request the chiefs of the Army and Navy High Command and the Reichsminister for Air to carry out the preparations in accordance with the following points:

"(a) Strictest secrecy. It is of the utmost importance that no facts become known to the outside world from which preparation for resistance against sanctions can be inferred or- which is incompatible with Germany's existing obligations n the sphere of foreign policy regarding the demilitarized zone. If necessary, the preparations must take second place to this necessity." (C-140)

One of the immediate consequences of this action was that following the withdrawal from the League of Nations, Germany's armament program was still further increased. As it was ordered on 12 May 1934:

"6. Owing to the speed of military political development since Germany quitted Geneva and based on the progress of the army, the new A-Plan will only be drawn up for a period of two years. The third A phase lasts accordingly from 1 April 1934 to 31 March 1936." (C-153)

On 10 March 1935, Goering announced that Germany was building a military air force. At page 1830 of Das Archiv it is stated:

"The Reich Minister for Aviation, General of the Airmen, Goering, in his talk with the special correspondent of the Daily Mail, Ward Price, expressed himself on the subject of the German Air Force.

"General Goering said:

"In the extension of our national defense [Scherhet], it was necessary, as we repeatedly told the world, to take care of defense in the air. As far as that is concerned, I restricted myself to those measures absolutely necessary. The guiding-line of my actions was, not the creation of an aggressive force which would threaten other nations, but merely the

[Page 438]

completion of a military aviation which would be strong enough to repel, at any time, attacks on Germany."

"In conclusion, the correspondent asked whether the German Air Force will be capable of repelling attacks on Germany. General Goering replied to that exactly as follows:

"The German Air Force is just as passionately permeated with the will to defend the Fatherland to the last as it is convinced, on the other hand, that it will never be employed to threaten the peace of other nations." (2292-PS)

Since they had gone as far as they could on rearmament and the secret training of personnel, the next step necessary to the conspirators' program for aggressive war was a large- scale increase in military strength. This could no longer be done under disguise and camouflage, and would have to be known to the world. Accordingly, on 16 March 1935, there was promulgated a law for universal military service, in violation of Article 173 of the Versailles Treaty. That law appeared in the Reichsgesetzblatt, Title I, Vol. I, 1935, page 369. The text of the law itself provides:

"In this spirit the German Reich Cabinet has today passed the following law:

"Law for the Organization of the Armed Forces of 16 March 1935.

"The-Reich Cabinet has passed the following law which is herewith promulgated:

"Service in the Armed Forces is based upon compulsory military duty.

"In peace time, the German Army, including the police troops transferred to it, is organized into: 12 Corps and 36 Divisions.

"The Reich Minister of War is charged with the duty of submitting immediately to the Reich Ministry detailed laws on compulsory military duty." (1654-PS)

The law is signed first by the Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor Adolf Hitler, and then by many other officials, including von Neurath, Frick, Schacht, Goering, Hess, and Frank. (1654-PS)

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

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