The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Volume I Chapter IX
The Execution of the Plan to Invade Czechoslovakia<(Part 21 of 29)

"The detailed mission of Army and Air Force is as follows:

"The units stationed in the vicinity of Bohemia-Moravia and several motorized divisions are to be earmarked for a surprise type of attack. Their number will be determined by the forces remaining in Czechoslovakia; a quick and decisive success must be assured. The assembly and preparations for the attack must be worked out. Forces not needed will b kept in readiness in such a manner that they may be either committed in securing the frontiers or sent after the attack army.

"b. Air Force

"The quick advance of the German Army is to be assured by an early elimination of the Czech Air Force.

"For this purpose the commitment in a surprise attack from peace-time bases has to be prepared. Whether for this purpose still stronger forces may be required can only be determined from the development of the military situation in Czechoslovakia. At the same time a simultaneous assembly of the remainder of the offensive forces against the West must be prepared." (C-136)

This order was signed by Hitler and authenticated by Keitel. It was distributed to the OKH, to Goering's Luftwaffe, and to Raeder at Navy headquarters.

Two months later, on 17 December 1938, Keitel issued an appendix to the original order stating that by command of the Fuehrer preparations for the liquidation of Czechoslovakia are to continue. Distribution of this Top Secret order was the same as or the 21 October order. The order provides:


"Reference 'Liquidation of the Rest of Czechoslovakia' the Fuehrer has given the following additional order:

"The preparations for this eventuality are to continue on the

[Page 562]

assumption that no resistance worth mentioning is to be expected.

"To the outside world too it must clearly appear that it is merely an action of pacification and not a warlike undertaking.

"The action must therefore be carried out by the peace time Armed Forces only, without reinforcements from mobilization. The necessary readiness for action, especially the ensuring that the most necessary supplies are brought up, must be effected by adjustment within the units.

"Similarly the units of the Army detailed for the march must, as a general rule, leave their stations only during the night prior to the crossing of the frontier, and will not previously form up systematically on the frontier. The transport necessary for previous organization should be limited to the minimum and will be camouflaged as much as possible. Necessary movements, if any, of single units and particularly of motorized forces, to the troop-training areas situated near the frontier, must have the approval of the Fuehrer.

"The Air Force should take action in accordance with the similar general directives.

"For the same reasons the exercise of executive power by the Supreme Command of the Army is laid down only for the newly occupied territory and only for a short period.

"Chief of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces. "KEITEL" (C-138)

This particular copy of the order, an original carbon signed in ink by Keitel, was the one sent to the OKM, the German naval headquarters. It bears the initials of Fricke, head of the Operational Division of the Naval War Staff, of Schniewind, Chief of Staff of the Naval War Staff, and of Raeder.

As the Wehrmacht moved forward with plans for what it clearly considered would be an easy victory, the Foreign Office played its part. In a discussion of means of improving German-Czech relations with the Czechoslovak Foreign Minister, Chvalkovsky, in Berlin on 21 January 1939, Ribbentrop urged upon the Czech government a "quick reduction" in the size of the Czech army. The captured German Foreign Office notes of this discussion bear the following footnote, in Ribbentrop's handwriting:

"I mentioned to Chvalkovsky especially that a quick reduction in the Czech army would be decisive in our judgment." (2795-PS)

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

[ Previous | Index | Next ]

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.