The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Volume I Chapter IX
Aggression Against Poland, Danzig, England & ; France
(Part 4 of 21)

A memorandum dated 2 May 1938, and entitled, "Organizational Study 1950," originated in the office of the Chief of the Organizational Staff of the General Staff of the Air Force. Its purpose was said to be: "The task is to search, within a framework of very broadly-conceived conditions, for the most suitable type of organization of the Air Force." (L-43). The result gained is termed, Distant Objective." From this is deduced the goal to be reached in the second phase of the process, which is called, "Final Objective 1942." This in turn yields what is considered the most suitable proposal for the reorganization of the staffs of the Air Force Group Commands, Air Gaus, Air Divisions, etc. (L-43)

The Table of Contents is divided into various sections. Section I is entitled, "Assumptions." In connection with the heading "Assumption I, frontier of Germany", a map is enclosed (Chart No. 10). The map shows that on 2 May 1938 the Air Force was

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in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Austria, and Hungary, all of which are shown as within the boundaries of the Reich.

The following is a pertinent extract from the memorandum:

"Consideration of the principles of organization on the basis of the assumptions for war and peace made in Section 1:

"1. Attack Forces: Principal adversaries: England, France, and Russia." (L-43)

The study then goes on to show all the one hundred forty- four Geschwader employed against England, very much concentrated in the Western half of the Reich; that is to say, they must be deployed in such a way that by making full use of their range, they can reach all English territory down to the last corner. Under the paragraph "Assumption" double heading 2, the "Organization of Air Force in peacetime" is shown and seven group commands are indicated: (1) Berlin; (2) Brunswick; (3) Munich; (4) Vienna; (5) Budapest; (6) Warsaw; and (7) Koenigsberg. (L-43)

Finally, the study declares:

"The more the Reich grows in area and the more the Air Force grows in strength, the more imperative it becomes, to have locally bound commands ***" (L-43)

The original of this document is signed by an officer who is not at the top rank in the German Air Force, and the inferences that can be drawn from it should therefore not be over-emphasized. At least, however, it shows the lines upon which the General Staff of the Air Force were thinking at that time.

On the 26 August 1938, when Ribbentrop had become Foreign Minister succeeding von Neurath, a document was addressed to him as "The Reich Minister, via the State Secretary." The document reads as follows:

"The most pressing problem of German policy, the Czech problem, might easily, but must not lead to a conflict with the Entente. Neither France nor England are looking for trouble regarding Czechoslovakia. Both would perhaps leave Czechoslovakia to herself, if she should, without direct foreign interference and through internal signs of disintegration, due to her own faults, suffer the fate she deserves. This process, however, would have to take place step by step and would have to lead to a loss of power in the remaining territory by means of a plebiscite and an annexation of territory.

"The Czech problem is not yet politically acute enough for any immediate action, which the Entente would watch inactively, and not even if this action should come quickly and surprisingly. Germany cannot fix any definite time and this fruit could be plucked without too great a risk. She can only prepare the desired developments.

"For this purpose the slogan emanating from England at present of the right for autonomy of the Sudeten- Germans, which we have intentionally not used up to now, is to be taken up gradually. The international conviction that the choice of nationality was being withheld from these Germans will do useful spadework, notwithstanding the fact that the chemical process of dissolution of the Czech form of states may or may not be finally speeded up by the mechanical means as well. The fate of the actual body of Czechoslovakia, however, would not as yet be clearly decided by this, but would nevertheless be definitely sealed.

"This method of approach towards Czechoslovakia is to be recommended because of our relationship with Poland. It is unavoidable that the German departure from the problems of boundaries in the southeast and their transfer to the east and northeast must make the Poles sit up. The fact [is] that after the liquidation of the Czech question, it will be generally assumed that Poland will be the turn.

"But the later this assumption sinks in in international politics as a firm factor, the better. In this sense, however, it is important for the time being, to carry on the German policy, under the well known and proved slogans of 'the right to autonomy' and 'Racial unity'. Anything else might be interpreted as pure imperialism on our part and create the resistance to our plan by the Entente at an earlier date and more energetically, than our forces could stand up to." (TC-76)

That was on 26 August 1938, just as the Czech crisis was leading up to the Munich settlement. While at Munich, a day or two before the Munich agreement was signed, Herr Hitler made a speech. On 26 September he said:

"I assured him, moreover, and I repeat it here, that when this problem is solved there will be no more territorial problems for Germany in Europe." (TC-29)

A letter from Admiral Carl, dated some time in September, with no precise date, and entitled "Opinion on the 'Draft Study of Naval Warfare against England'," stated as follows:

"There is full agreement with the main theme of the study."


"If according to the Fuehrer's decision Germany is to acquire a position as a world power who needs not only sufficient

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colonial possessions but also secure naval communications and secure access to the ocean." (C-25)

That, then, was the position at the time of the Munich agreement in September 1938. The gains of Munich were not, of course, so great as the Nazi Government had hoped and intended. As a result, the conspirators were not prepared straight away to start any further aggressive action against Poland or elsewhere. But with the advantages that were gained by the seizure of Czechoslovakia, it is obvious now that they intended and had taken the decision to proceed against Poland so soon as Czechoslovakia had been entirely occupied. As Jodl and Hitler said on subsequent occasions, Czechoslovakia was only setting the stage for the attack on Poland.

It is known now from what Hitler said in talking to his military commanders at a later date, that, in his own words, from the first he never intended to abide by the Munich agreement, but that he had to have the whole of Czechoslovakia. As a result, although not ready to proceed in full force against Poland, after September 1938 they did at once begin to approach the Poles on the question of Danzig until the whole of Czechoslovakia had been taken in March. Immediately after the Sudetenland had been occupied, preliminary steps were taken to stir up trouble with Poland, which would and was to eventually lead to the Nazi excuse or justification for their attack on that country.

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

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