The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Volume I Chapter IX
The Execution of the Plan to Invade Czechoslovakia<(Part 28 of 29)

N. The Importance of Czechoslovakia in Future Aggressions.

With Czechoslovakia in German hands, the Nazi conspirators had accomplished the program they had set for themselves in the meeting in Berlin on 5 November 1937 (386-PS). This program of conquest had been intended to shorten Germany's frontiers, to increase its industrial and food reserves, and to place it in a position, both industrially and strategically, from which the Nazis could launch more ambitious and more devastating campaigns of aggression. In less than a year and a half this program had beer carried through to the satisfaction of the Nazi leaders.

Of all the Nazi conspirators perhaps Goering was the most aware of the economic and strategic advantages which would accrue from the possession of Czechoslovakia. The Top Secret minutes of a conference with Goering in the Air Ministry, held on 14 October 1938 -- just two weeks after the occupation of the Sudetenlandreports a discussion of economic problems. At this date Goering's remarks were somewhat prophetic:

"The Sudetenland has to be exploited with all the means. General Field Marshal Goering counts upon a complete industrial assimilation of the Slovakia. Czechia and Slovakia would become German dominions. Everything possible must be taken out. The Oder-Danube Canal has to be speeded up. Searches for oil and ore have to be conducted in Slovakia, notably by State Secretary Keppler." (1301-PS, Item 10)

In the summer of 1939, after the incorporation of Bohemia and Moravia into the Reich, Goering again revealed the great interest of the Nazi leaders in the Czechoslovak economic potential. The

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minutes dated Berlin, 27 July 1939, and signed Mueller, of a conference two days earlier between Goering and a group of officials from the OKW and from other agencies of the German government concerned with war production, read as follows:

"1. In a rather long statement the Field Marshal explained that the incorporation of Bohemia and Moravia into the German economy had taken place, among other reasons, to increase the German war potential by exploitation of the industry there. Letters, such as the decree of the Reich Minister for Economics -- S 10 402/39 of 10 July 1939 -- as well as -a letter with similar meaning to the JUNKERS firm, which might possibly lower the kind and extent of the armament measures in the Protectorate, are contrary to this principle. If it is necessary to issue such directives, this should be done only with his consent. In any case, he insists, in agreement with the directive by Hitler, that the war potential of the Protectorate is definitely to be exploited in part or in full and is to be directed towards mobilization as soon as possible.***" (R-133)

In addition to strengthening the Nazi-economic potential for war, the conquest of Czechoslovakia provided the Nazis with new bases from which to wage their next war of aggression, the attack on Poland. It will be recalled that the minutes of the conference between Goering and a pro-Nazi Slovak delegation in the winter of 1938-39 state Goering's conclusions as follows:

"Air bases in Slovakia are of great importance for the German Air Force for use against the East." (2801-PS)

In a conference between Goering, Mussolini, and Ciano on 15 April 1939, one month after the conquest of Czechoslovakia, Goering told his junior partners in the Axis of the progress of German preparations for war. He compared the strength of Germany with the strength of England and France. He mentioned the German occupation of Czechoslovakia in these words:

"However, the heavy armament of Czechoslovakia shows, in any case, how dangerous this country could have been, even after Munich, in the event of a serious conflict. Because of Germany's action the situation of both Axis countries was ameliorated, among other reasons because of the economic possibilities which result from the transfer to Germany of the great production capacity (armament potential) of Czechoslovakia. That contributes toward a considerable strengthening of the axis against the Western powers. Furthermore, Germany now need not keep ready a single division for protection against that country in case of a big-

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ger conflict. This, too, is an advantage by which both axis countries will, in the last analysis, benefit."


"** the action taken by Germany in Czechoslovakia is to be viewed as an advantage for the axis in case Poland should finally join the enemies of the axis powers. Germany could then attack this country from 2 flanks and would be within only 25 minutes flying distance from the new Polish industrial center which had been moved further into the interior of the country, nearer to the other Polish industrial districts, because of its proximity to the border. Now by the turn of events it is located again in the proximity of the border." (1874-PS)

The absorption of the Sudetenland, effected on 1 October 1938, in practical effect destroyed Czechoslovakia as a military power. The final conquest of Czechoslovakia came on 15 March 1939. This conquest had been the intention and aim of the Nazi leaders during the preparations for Case Green in the summer of 1938, and had been forestalled only by the Munich agreement. With Czechoslovakia, less than six months after the Munich agreement, securely in German hands, the Nazi conspirators had achieved their objective. Bohemia and Moravia were incorporated into the Reich, shortening German frontiers and adding the Czech manufacturing plant to the German war potential. The puppet state of Slovakia, conceived in Berlin and independent only in name, had been set up to the east of Moravia. In this state, which outflanked Poland to the south, the Nazi army, under the terms of the treaty drafted by Ribbentrop, took upon itself the establishment of bases and extensive military installations. From this state in September 1939 units of the German Army did, in fact, carry out the attack on Poland.

Logic and premeditation are patent in each step of the German aggression. Each conquest of the Nazi conspirators was deliberately planned as a stepping stone to new and more ambitious aggression. The words of Hitler in the conference in the Reichs Chancellery on 23 May 1939, when he was planning the Polish campaign, are significant:

"The period which lies behind us has indeed been put to good use. All measures have been taken in the correct sequence and in harmony with our aims." (L-79)

It is appropriate to refer to two other speeches of the Nazi leaders. In his lecture at Munich on 7 November 1943 Jodl spoke as follows:

"The bloodless solution of the Czech conflict in the autumn

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of 1938 and spring of 1939 and the annexation of Slovakia rounded off the territory of Greater Germany in such a way that it now became possible to consider the Polish problem on the basis of more or less favourable strategic premises." (L-172)

In the speech to his military commanders on 23 November 1939, Hitler described the process by which he had rebuilt the military power of the Reich:

"The next step was Bohemia, Moravia and Poland. This step also was not possible to accomplish in one campaign. First of all, the western fortifications had to be finished. It was not possible to reach the goal in one effort. It was clear to me from the first moment that I could not be satisfied with the Sudeten-German territory. That was only a partial solution. The decision to march into Bohemia was made. Then followed the erection of the Protectorate and with that the basis for the action against Poland was laid." (789-PS)

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