The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Volume I Chapter IX
Treaty Violations
(Part 1 of 11)

[Page 651]

It might be thought, from the melancholy story of broken treaties and violated assurances, that Hitler and the Nazi Government did not even profess that it is necessary or desirable to keep the pledged word. Outwardly, however, the professions were very different. With regard to treaties, on the 18 October 1933, Hitler said, "Whatever we have signed we will fulfill to the best of our ability."

The reservation is significant -- "Whatever we have signed."

But, on 21 May 1935, Hitler said, "The German Government will scrupulously maintain every treaty voluntarily signed. even though it was concluded before their accession to power and office."

On assurances Hitler was even more emphatic. In the same speech, the Reichstag Speech of 21 May 1935, Hitler accepted assurances as being of equal obligation, and the world at that time could not know that that meant of no obligation at all. What he actually said was,

"And when I now hear from the lips of a British statesman that such assurances are nothing and that the only proof of sincerity is the signature appended to collective pacts, I must ask Mr. Eden to be good enough to remember that it is a question of assurance in any case. It is sometimes much easier to sign treaties with the mental reservations that one will consider one's attitude at the decisive hour than to declare before an entire nation and with full opportunity one's adherence to a policy which serves the course of peace because it rejects anything which leads to war."

And then he proceeded with the illustration of his assurance to France.

In this connection the position of a treaty in German law should not be forgotten. The appearance of a treaty in the Reichsgesetzblatt makes it part of the statute law of Germany, so that a breach thereof is also a violation of German domestic law.

(This section deals with fifteen only of the treaties which Hitler and the Nazis broke. The remainder of the 69 treaties which the German Reich violated between 1933 and 1941 are dealt with in other sections of this chapter.)

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