The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Volume I Chapter IX
The Execution of the Plan to Invade Czechoslovakia<(Part 19 of 29)

Offensive operations along the Czechoslovak border were not confined to skirmishes carried out by the Free Corps. Two SS Totenkopf battalions were operating across the border in Czech territory near Asch. Item 36 in the Schmundt file (388- PS), an OKW most secret order signed by Jodl and dated 28 September, states:

"Those SS-Totenkopf units now operating in the Asch Promontory (I and II Bn of Oberbayern Regiment) will come under the C in C Army only when they return to German Reich territory, or when the Army crosses the German-Czech frontier." (388-PS, Item 36)

According to the 25 September entry in General Jodl's diary these SS Totenkopf battalions were operating in this area on direct orders from Hitler. (1780-PS)

As the time for X-day approached, the disposition of the Free Corps became a matter of dispute. On 26 September Himmler

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issued an order to the Chief of Staff of the Sudeten German Free CorPs directing that the Free Corps come under control of the Reichsfuehrer SS in the event of German invasion of Czechoslovakia (388-PS, Item 37). On 28 September Keitel directed that as soon as the German Army crosses the Czech border the Free Corps will take orders from the OKH. In this most secret order o the OKW Keitel discloses that Henlein's men are already operating in Czechoslovak territory:

"For the Henlein Free Corps and units subordinate to this the principle remains valid, that they receive instructions direct from the Fuehrer and that they carry out their operations only in conjunction with the competent general staff corps. The advance units of the Free Corps will have to report to the local commander of the frontier guard immediately before crossing the frontier.

"Those units remaining forward of the frontier shouldin their own interestsget into communication with the frontier guard as often as possible.

"As soon as the army crosses the Czech border the Henlein Free Corps will be subordinate to the OKH. Thus it will be expedient to assign a sector to the Free Corps even now which can be fitted into the scheme of army boundaries later." (388-PS, Item 34)

On 30 September, when it became clear that the Munich settlement would result in a peaceful occupation of the Sudetenland, Keitel ordered that the Free Corps Henlein in its present composition be placed under command of Himmler:

"1. Attachment of Henlein Free Corps:

"The Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces has just ordered that the Henlein Free Corps in its present composition be placed under command of Reichsfuehrer-SS and Chief of German Police.

"It is therefore at the immediate disposal of OKH as field unit for the invasion, but is to be later drawn in like the rest of the police forces for police duties in agreement with the Reichsfuehrer SS." (388-PS, Item 38)

J. Occupation of the Sudetenland under the Terms of the Munich Agreement.

Under the threat of war by the Nazi conspirators, and with war in fact about to be launched, the United Kingdom and France concluded a pact with Germany and Italy at Munich on the night of 29 September 1938. This treaty provided for the cession of the

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Sudetenland by Czechoslovakia to Germany. Czechoslovakia was required to acquiesce. (TC-23)

On 1 October 1938 German troops began the occupation of the Sudetenland.

During the conclusion of the Munich Pact the Wehrmacht had been fully deployed for attack, awaiting only the word of Hitler to begin the assault. With the cession of the Sudetenland new orders were issued. On 30 September Keitel promulgated Directive #1 on "Occupation of territory separated from Czechoslovakia" (388-PS, Item 9). This directive contained a time table for the occupation of sectors of former Czech territory between 1 and 10 October and specified the tasks of the German armed forces. The fourth and fifth paragraphs provided:

"2. The Armed Forces will have the following tasks:

"The present degree of mobilized preparedness is to be maintained completely, for the present also in the West. Order for the rescinding of measures taken is held over.

"The entry is to be planned in such a way that it can easily be converted into operation 'Gruen'." (388-PS, Item 9) It contained one further provision about the Henlein forces: "Henlein Free Corps. All combat action on the part of the Volunteer Corps must cease as from 1st October." (388-PS, Item 9)

The Schmundt file contains a number of additional secret OKW directives giving instructions for the occupation of the Sudetenland and showing the scope of the preparations of the OKW. Directives specifying the occupational area of the army and the units under its command; arranging for communications facilities, exchange facilities, supply, and propaganda; and giving instructions to the civil departments of the government were issued over Keitel's signature on 30 September (388-PS, Items 40, 41, 42). By 10 October von Brauchitsch was able to report to Hitler that German troops had reached the demarcation line and that the order for the occupation of the Sudetenland had been fulfilled. The OKW requested Hitler's permission to rescind Case Green, to withdraw troops from the occupied area and to relieve the OKH of executive powers in the Sudeten German area as of 15 October. (388-PS, Items 46, 47, 49)

On 18 October, in a formal letter to the Commander-in-Chief of the Army, Col. Gen. von Brauchitsch, Hitler announced that the civil authorities would take over responsibility for the Sudeten German territory on 21 October and that the OKH would be relieved of executive powers as of that date (388-P, Item 51). On the same date additional demobilization of the forces in the

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Sudetenland was ordered by Hitler and Keitel. Three days later the OKW requested Hitler's consent to the reversion of the RAD from the control of the armed forces. (388-PS, Items 52, 53)

As the German forces entered the Sudetenland Henlein's Sudetendeutsche Parte was merged with the NSDAP of Hitler. The two men who had fled to Hitler's protection in mid- September, Henlein and Karl Hermann Frank, were appointed Gauleiter and Deputy Gauleiter, respectively, of the Sudetengau. In the parts of the Czechoslovak Republic that were still free the Sudetendeutsche Partei constituted itself as the NationalSozialistische Deutsche Arbeiter- Partei in der Tschechoslovake (NSDAP in Czechoslovakia) under the direction of Kundt, another of Henlein's deputies. These events are set forth in the Czechoslovak official report. (998-PS; 3061-PS)

The stage was now prepared for the next move of the Nazi conspirators.

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

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