The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Volume I Chapter IX
The Execution of the Plan to Invade Czechoslovakia<(Part 9 of 29)

Von Weizsacker's memorandum reads as follows:

"Von Ribbentrop inquired what Hungary's attitude would be if the Fuehrer would carry out his decision to answer a new Czech provocation by force. The reply of the Hungarians presented two kinds of obstacles: The Yugoslavian neutrality must be assured if Hungary marches towards the North and perhaps the East. Moreover, the Hungarian rearmament had only been started and 1 or 2 more years' time for its development should be allowed.

"Von Ribbentrop then explained to the Hungarians that the Yugoslavs would not dare to march while they were between the pincers of the Axis Powers. Rumania alone would therefore not move. England and France would also remain tranquil. England would not recklessly risk her Empire. She knew our newly acquired power. In reference to time, however, for the above-mentioned situation, nothing definite could be predicted since it would depend on Czech provocation. Von Ribbentrop repeated that whoever desires revision must exploit the good opportunity and participate.

"The Hungarian reply thus remained a conditional one.

[Page 531]

Upon the question of von Ribbentrop, what purpose the desired General Staff conferences were to have, not much more was brought forward than the Hungarian desire of a mutual inventory of military material and preparedness for the Czech conflict. The clear political basis for such a conferencethe time of Hungarian interventionwas not obtained.

"In the meantime, more positive language was used by von Horthy in his talk with the Fuehrer. He wished not to hide his doubts with regard to the English attitude, but he wished to put Hungary's intention to participate on record. The Hungarian Ministers were and remained, even later, more skeptical since they feel more strongly about the immediate danger for Hungary with its unprotected flanks.

"When von Imredy had a discussion with the Fuehrer in the afternoon, he was very relieved when the Fuehrer explained to him, that, in regard to the situation in question, he demanded nothing of Hungary. He himself would not know the time. Whoever wanted to join the meal would have to participate in the cooking as well. Should Hungary wish conferences of the General Staffs, he would have no objections." (2796-PS)

By the third day of the conference the Germans were able to note that in the event of a German-Czech conflict Hungary would be sufficiently armed for participation on 1 October. Another captured German Foreign Office Memorandum reports a conversation between Ribbentrop and Kanya on 25 August 1938. The last paragraph of this memorandum states:

"Concerning Hungary's military preparedness in case of a German-Czech conflict von Kanya mentioned several days ago that his country would need a period of one to two years in order to develop adequately the armed strength of Hungary. During today's conversation von Kanya corrected this remark and said that Hungary's military situation was much better. His country would be ready, as far as armaments were concerned, to take part in the conflict by October 1st of this year." (2797-PS)

The signature to this document is not clear, but it appears to be that of von Weizsacker.

These accounts of the German-Hungarian conference are corroborated by General Jodls diary. The entry for 21-26 August reads as follows:

"21-26 August:

"Visit to Germany of the Hungarian Regent (Reichsver-

[Page 532]

weser). Accompanied by the Prime Minister, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Honved Minister v. Raatz.

"They arrive with the idea that in the course of a great war, after a few years, and with the help of German troops, the old state of Hungary can be reestablished. They leave with the understanding that we have neither demands from, nor claims against them, but that Germany will not stand for a second provocation by Czechoslovakia, even if it should be tomorrow. If they want to participate at that moment, it is up to them.

"Germany, however, will never play the role of arbitrator between them and Poland. The Hungarians agree; but they believe that, when the issue arises, a period of 48 hours would be indispensable to them to find out Yugoslavia's attitude." (1780-PS)

The upshot of the talks with the Hungarians proved to be a staff conference on 6 September. Jodl's diary entry for that day states:

"6 September:

"Chief of General Staff, General of Artillery Halder, has a conference with the Hungarian Chief of General Staff Fischer.

"Before that he is briefed by me on the political attitude of the Fuehrerespecially his order not to give any hint on the exact moment. The same with Jodl, General v. Stuelpnagel." (1 780-PS)

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

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