The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Volume I Chapter IX
Opening Address for the United Kingdom
(Part 12 of 17)

On the 2d September, the day after he had invaded Poland and seized Danzig, he again expressed his determination to observe the inviolability and integrity of Norway in an aide memoire which was handed to the Norwegian Foreign Minister by the German Minister in Oslo on that day. (TC-31 )

A month later, on 6 October 1939, he said in a public speech:

"Germany has never had any conflicts of interest or even points of controversy with the Northern States, neither has she any to-day. Sweden and Norway have both been offered nonaggression pacts by Germany and have both refused them solely because they do not feel themselves threatened in any way."

When the invasion of Norway and Denmark had already begun in the early morning of the 9th April, a German memorandum was handed to the Governments of those countries attempting to justify the German action. Various allegations against the Governments of the invaded countries were made. It was said that Norway had been guilty of breaches of neutrality. It was said that she had allowed and tolerated the use of her territorial waters by Great Britain. It was said that Britain and France were making plans themselves to invade and occupy Norway

[Page 629]

and that the Government of that country was prepared to acquiesce in such an event.

I do not propose to argue the question whether or not those actions were true or false. That question is irrelevant to the issue before this Court. Even if the allegations were true (and they were patently false), they would afford no conceivable justification for the action of invading without warning, without declaration of war and without any attempt at mediation or conciliation. Aggressive war is none the less aggressive war because the State which wages it believes that other states may take similar action. The rape of a nation is not justified because it is thought she may be raped by another. Nor even in self-defense are warlike measures justified except after all means of mediation have failed and force is actually being exercised against the State concerned.

In actual fact, with the evidence which we now possess it is clear that the invasion of these countries was undertaken for quite different purposes, that it had been planned long before any question of breach of neutrality or occupation of Norway by England could ever have occurred. It is clear also that the assurances repeated again and again throughout the year 1939 were made for no other purpose than to lull suspicion in those countries and to prevent them taking steps to resist the attack against them which was under active preparation.

For some years, Rosenberg, in his capacity of Chief of the Foreign Affairs Bureau (APA) of the NSDAP, had interested himself in the promotion of fifth column activities in Norway, and close relationship was established with the "Nasjonal Samling", a political group headed by the now notorious traitor, Vidkun Quisling (007-PS). During the winter of 1938/39, APA was in contact with Quisling and later Quisling conferred with Hitler, Raeder, and Rosenberg. In August 1939 a special 14 day course was held at the school of the office of Foreign Relations in Berlin for 25 followers whom Quisling had selected to attend. The plan was to send a number of selected and "reliable" men to Germany for a brief military training in an isolated camp. These were to be area and language specialists to German special troops who were taken to Oslo on coal barges to undertake political action in Norway. The object was a coup in which Quisling would seize his leading opponents in Norway, including the King, and prevent all military resistance from the beginning. Simultaneously Germany was making military preparations. On 2d September 1939, Hitler had assured Norway of his intention to respect her neutrality, and on 6th October he said that the

[Page 630]

Scandinavian States were not menaced in any way, yet on 3d October 1939 Raeder was pointing out that the occupation of bases, if necessary by force, would greatly improve the strategic and economic position (1546-PS). On the 9th October Doenitz was recommending Trondheim as the main base with Narvik as an alternative base for fuel supplies. Rosenberg was reporting shortly afterwards on the possibility of a coup d'etat by Quisling immediately supported by German military and naval forces. On the 12th December 1939 Raeder advised Hitler, in the presence of Keitel and Jodl, that if Hitler was favourably impressed by Quisling, OKW should prepare for the occupation of Norway, if possible with Quisling's assistance, but if necessary entirely by force. Hitler agreed but there was a doubt whether action should be taken against the Low Countries or Scandinavia first. Weather conditions delayed the march against the Low Countries. In January instructions were given to the Germany Navy for the attack on Norway, and on 1 March 1940, a Directive for the occupation was issued by Hitler. The general objective was not said to be to prevent occupation by English Forces but in vague and general terms to prevent British encroachment in Scandinavia and the Baltic and "to guarantee our ore bases in Sweden and give our Navy and Air Force a wider start line against Britain." But the Directive went on:

"** on principle we will do our utmost to make the operation appear as a peaceful occupation the object of which is the military protection of the Scandinavian States *** it is important that the Scandinavian States as well as the Western opponents should be taken by surprise by our measures. *** In case the preparations for embarkation can no longer be kept secret the leader and the troops will be deceived with fictitious objectives."

The form and success of the invasion are well known. In the early hours of the 9th April 7 cruisers, 14 destroyers, and several torpedo boats and other small craft carried advance elements of 6 divisions totalling about 10,000 men, forced an entry and landed troops in the outer Oslo Fjord, Kristiansand, Stavanger, Bergen, Trondheim, and Narvik. A small number of troops were also landed at Arendal and Egersund on the southern coast. In addition airborne troops were landed on aerodromes near Oslo and Stavanger. The German attack came as a surprise and all the invaded towns along the coast were captured according to plan with only slight losses. Only the plan to capture the Ring and members of the Government and the Parliament failed. Brave as the resistance was that was hurriedly organized throughout

[Page 631]

the country, nothing could be done in the face of the long- planned surprise attack and on 10 June military resistance ceased. So was another act of aggression brought to completion.

Almost exactly a month after the attack on Norway, on 10 May 1940 the German Armed Forces, repeating what had been done 25 years before, streamed into Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg according to plan -- the plan that is, of invading without warning and without declaration of War.

What was done was of course a breach of the Hague Convention of 1907, and is so charged. It was a violation of the Locarno Agreement and Arbitration Convention with Belgium of 1925 which the Nazi Government affirmed in 1935, only illegally to repudiate it two years later. By that agreement all questions incapable of settlement by ordinary diplomatic means were to be settled by arbitration. You will see the comprehensive terms of these agreements. It was a breach of the Treaty of Arbitration and Conciliation signed between Germany and the Netherlands on 20 May 1926; it was a violation of the similar Treaty with Luxembourg on 11 September 1929. It was a breach of the Briand-Kellogg Pact. But those Treaties had not perhaps derived in the minds of the Nazi Rulers of Germany any added sanctity from the fact that-they had been solemnly concluded by the Governments of pre-Nazi Germany.

Let us consider the specific assurances and undertakings which the Nazi Rulers themselves gave to the States which lay in the way of their plans against France and England and which they always intended to attack. Not once, not twice, but eleven times the clearest assurances were given to Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. On those assurances solemnly and formally expressed, those countries were entitled to rely. In respect of their breach these Defendants are charged. On 30 January 1937 Hitler said:

"As for the rest, I have more than once expressed the desire and the hope of entering into similar good and cordial relations with our neighbours. Germany h-as, and here I repeat this solemnly, given the assurance time and time again, that, for instance, between her and France there cannot be any humanly conceivable points of controversy. The German Government has further given the assurance to Belgium and Holland that it is prepared to recognize and to guarantee the inviolability and neutrality of these territories."

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.