The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Volume I Chapter IX
The Execution of the Plan to Invade Czechoslovakia<(Part 11 of 29)

Five days later General Stulpnagel asked Jodl for written assurance that the OKH would be informed five days in advance about the pending action. In the evening Jodl conferred with Luftwaffe generals about the coordination of ground and air operations at the start of the attack. The 8 September entry in General Jodl's diary states:

"8 September:

"General Stulpnagel OQI asks for written assurance that the Army High Command will be informed five days in advance if the plan is to take place. I agree and add that the overall meteorological situation can be estimated to some extent only for two days in advance, and that therefore the plans may be changed up to this moment (D-day-2) (X-2 TAGE).

"General Stulpnagel mentions that for the first time he wonders whether the previous basis of the plan is not being abandoned. It presupposed that the Western Powers would not interfere decisively. It gradually seems as if the Fuehrer would stick to his decision even though he may no longer be of this opinion. It must be added that Hungary is at least moody and that Italy is reserved.

"I must admit that I am worrying too, when comparing the change of opinion about political and military potentialities, according to directives of 24 June 1937, 5 November 1937, 7 December 1937, 30 May 1938, with the last statements.

"In spite of that one must be aware of the fact that the other nations will do everything they can to apply pressure to us. We must pass this test of nerves, but because only very few people know the art of withstanding this pressure successfully, the only possible solution is to inform only a very small circle of officers of news that causes us anxiety, and

[Page 536]

not to have it circulate through anterooms as heretofore. "1800 hours to 2100 hours: Conference with Chief of Army High Command and Chief of General Staff of the Air Force (present were Jeschonnek, Kammhuber, Sternburg and myself) .

"We agree about the promulgation of the D-Day order (X- Befehl), (X-1, 4 o'clock) and pre-announcement to the Air Force (D-Day-1, X-1 day, 7 o'clock). The 'Y time' has yet to be examined; some formations have an approach flight of one hour." (1780-PS)

Late on the evening of the following day, 9 September, Hitler met with Keitel and Generals von Brauchitsch and Halder at Nurnberg. Dr. Todt, the construction engineer, later joined the conference, which lasted from 10 in the evening until 3:30 the following morning. Schmundt's minutes are Item 19 in his file (388-PS). In this meeting General Halder reviewed the missions assigned to four of the German armies being committed to the attack: the 2d, 10th, 12th, and 14th. With his characteristic enthusiasm for military planning, Hitler then delivered a soliloquy on strategic considerations which should be taken into account as the attack developed. The discussions proceeded as follows:

"General Oberst v. Brauchitsch: Employment of motorized divisions was based on the difficult rail situation in Austria and the difficulties in getting other divisions (ready to march) into the area at the right time. In the West vehicles will have to leave on the 20th of Sept. if X-Day remains as planned. Workers leave on the 23rd, by relays. Specialist workers remain according to decision by Army Command 2.

"The Fuehrer: Doesn't see why workers have to return home as early as X-11. Other workers and people are also on the way on mobilization day. Also the RR cars, they will stand around unnecessarily later on.

"General Keitel: Workers are not under the jurisdiction of district commands (Bezirks Kdos.) in the West. Trains must be assembled.

"v. Brauchitsch: 235,000 men RAD (Labour Service) will be drafted. 96 Construction Bns will be distributed (also in the east). 40,000 trained laborers stay in the West." (388-PS, Item 19)

From this date forward the Nazi conspirators were occupied with the intricate planning required before the attack. On 11 September Jodl conferred with a representative of the Propa-

[Page 537]

ganda Ministry about method of refuting German violations of International Law and exploiting those of the Czechs. The 11 September entry in the Jodl diary reads as follows:

"11 September:

"In the afternoon conference with Secretary of State Jahnke from the Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda on imminent common tasks.

"The joint preparations for refutation (Wiedrlegun) of our own violations of international law, and the exploitation of its violations by the enemy, were considered particularly important." (1780-PS)

This discussion developed into a detailed study compiled by Section L, Jodl's section of the OKW (C-2). Seven copies of this captured document were prepared and distributed on 1 October 1938 to the OKH, the OKM, the Luftaffe, and the Foreign Office. In this study anticipated violations of International Law in the invasion of Czechoslovakia are listed and counter-propaganda suggested for the use of the propaganda agencies. This document is presented in a tabular form, in which possible incidents are listed in the left- hand column. In the second column are given specific examples of the incidents; in the third and fourth columns the position to be taken toward these incidents under International -Law and under the laws of warfare is set forth; the fifth column, which is blank, is reserved for the explanation to be offered by the Propaganda Minister. The first 10 hypothetical incidents, for which justification must be found, and which are listed in column b of the table are as follows:

"la. In an air-raid on Prague the British Embassy is destroyed.

"2. Englishmen or Frenchmen are injured or killed.

"3. The Hradschin is destroyed in an air raid on Prague. "4. On account of a report that the Czechs have used gas, the firing of gas projectiles is ordered.

"5. Czech civilians, not recognizable as soldiers, are caught in the act of sabotage (destruction of important bridges, destruction of foodstuffs and fodder) are discovered looting wounded or dead soldiers and thereupon shot.

"6. Captured Czech soldiers or Czech civilians are detailed to do road work or to load munitions.

"7. For military reasons it is necessary to requisition billets, food stuffs and fodder from the Czech population. As a result the latter suffer from want.

"8. Czech population is, for military reasons, compulsorily evacuated to the rear area.

[Page 538]

"9. Churches are used for military accommodation.

"10. In the course of their duty, German aircraft fly over Polish territory where they are involved in an air battle with Czech aircraft." (C-2)

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

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