The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Volume I Chapter IX
Treaty Violations
(Part 4 of 11)

D. Convention 5, Respecting the Rights and Duties of Neutral Powers and Persons in Case of War on Land, signed at the Hague on 18 October 1907.

Germany was an original signatory to this Convention (TC-4), and the treaty is in force as a result of ratification or adherence between Germany and Norway, Denmark, Belgium, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, the USSR, and the United States.

Article 1 reads:

"The territory of neutral powers is inviolable." (TC-4)

A point arises on this Convention. Under Article 20, the provisions of the present Convention do not apply except between the contracting powers, and then only if all the belligerents are parties to the Convention.

As Great Britain and France entered the war within two days of the outbreak of the war between Germany and Poland, and one of these powers had not ratified the Convention, it is arguable that its provisions did not apply to the Second World War.

Since there are many more important treaties to be considered, the charge will not be pressed that this treaty was likewise breached. The terms of Article 1 are cited merely as showing the state of International opinion at the time, and as an element in the aggressive character of the war.

E. Treaty of Peace between the Allies and the Associated Powers of Germany, signed at Versailles on 18 June 1919.

Part I of this treaty (TC- 5 thru TC-10) contains the Covenant of the League of Nations, and Part II sets the boundaries of Germany in Europe. These boundaries are described in detail. Part II makes no provision for guaranteeing these boundaries. Part III, Articles 31 to 117, contains the political clauses for Europe. In it, Germany guarantees certain territorial boundaries in Belgium, Luxembourg, Austria, Czechoslovakia, France, Poland, Memel, Danzig, etc.

This treaty is interwoven with the next, which is the Treaty

[Page 655]

of Restoration of Friendly Relations between the United States and Germany. Parts I, II, and III of the Versailles Treaty are not included in the United States Treaty. Parts IV, V, VI, VIII, IX, X, XI, XII, XIV, and XV are all repeated verbatim in the United States Treaty from the Treaty of Versailles. This case is concerned with Part V, which are the military, naval, and air clauses. Parts VII and XIII are not included in the United States Treaty.

(1) Territorial Guarantees.

(a) The Rhineland. The first part with which this case is concerned is Articles 42 to 44 dealing with the Rhineland (TC-5). These are repeated in the Locarno Treaty. They read as follows:

"Article 42: Germany is forbidden to maintain or construct any fortifications either on the left bank of the Rhine or on the right bank to the west of a line drawn 50 kilometers to the east of the Rhine.

"Article 43: In the area defined above the maintenance and the assembly of armed forces, either permanently or temporarily, and military maneuvers of any kind, as well as- the upkeep of all permanent works for mobilization, are in the same way forbidden.

"Article 44: In case Germany violates in any manner whatever the provisions of Articles 42 and 43, she shall be regarded as committing a hostile act against the powers signatory of the present treaty and as calculated to disturb the peace of the world."

(The speech by Hitler on 7 March 1936, giving his account of the breach of this treaty (2289-PS), is discussed in Section 2, supra.)

(b) Austria. The next part of the Treaty deals with Austria: "Article 80: Germany acknowledges and will respect strictly the independence of Austria within the frontiers which may be fixed in a treaty between that State and the principal Allied and Associated powers; she agrees that this independence shall be inalienable, except with the consent of the Council of the League of Nations." (TC-6)

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