The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Volume I Chapter IX
Aggression Against Poland, Danzig, England & ; France
(Part 12 of 21)

(2) Economic Preparations. If the military preparations were throughout this period nearing their completion, at the same the economists had not been idle. A letter dated 25 August from Funk to the Fuehrer, reads:

"My Fuehrer!

"I thank you sincerely and heartily for your most friendly and kind wishes on the occasion of my birthday. How happy and how grateful to you we ought to be for being granted the favor of experiencing these overwhelmingly great and world-changing times and taking part in the mighty events of these days.

"The information given to me by Field Marshal Goering, that you, my Fuehrer, yesterday evening approved in principle the measures prepared by me for financing the war and for shaping the relationship between wages and prices and for carrying through emergency sacrifices, made me deeply happy. I hereby report to you with all respect that I have succeeded by means of precautions taken during the last few months, in making the Reichsbank internally so strong and externally so unassailable, that even the most serious shocks the international money and credit market cannot affect us in the least. In the meantime I have quite inconspicuously changed into gold all the assets of the Reichsbank and of the whole of German economy abroad which it was possible to lay hands on. Under the proposals I have prepared for a ruthless elimination of all consumption which is not of vital importance and of all public expenditure and public works which are not of importance for the war effort, we will be in a position to cope with all demands on finance and economy, without any serious shocks. I have considered it my duty as the General Plenipotentiary for Economy appointed by you to make this report and solemn promise to you, my Fuehrer.

"Heil my Fuehrer /signed/ Walter Funk." (699-PS)

It is difficult in view of that letter to see how Funk can claim that he did not know of the preparations and of the intentions of the German government to wage war.

(3) The Obersalzburg Speech. On 22 August 1939, Hitler addressed his commanders in chief at Obersalzburg. (1014- PS). At the date preparations were complete. In the course of his speech Hitler declared:

[Page 702]

"Everybody shall have to make a point of it that we were determined from the beginning to fight the Western powers."


"Destruction of Poland in the foreground. The aim is elimination of living forces, not the arrival at a certain line. Even if war should break out in the West, the destruction of Poland shall be the primary objective."


"I shall give a propagandistic cause for starting the war never mind whether it be plausible or not. The victor shall not be asked later on whether we told the truth or not. In starting and making a war, not the Right is what matters but Victory."


"It was clear to me that a conflict with Poland had to come sooner or later. I had already made this decision in spring, but I thought that I would first turn against the West in a few years, and only afterwards against the East." (1014-PS)

These passages emphasize the intention of he Nazi government not only to conquer Poland but ultimately, in any event, to wage aggressive war against the Western Democracies.

In another significant passage, Hitler stated:

"We need not be afraid of a blockade. The East will supply us with grain, cattle, coal, lead and zinc. It is a big arm, which demands great efforts. I am only afraid that at the last minute some Schweinehund will make a proposal for mediation.

"The political arm is set farther. A beginning has been made for the destruction of England's hegemony. The way is open for the soldier, after I have made the political preparations."

"Goering answers with thanks to the Fuehrer and the assurance that the armed forces will do their duty." (798-PS)

(4) Diplomatic Preparations: Provoking the Crisis. On 23 August 1939, the Danzig Senate passed a decree whereby Gauleiter Forster was appointed head of the State of the Free City of Danzig, a position which did not exist under the statute setting up the constitution of the Free City. (TC-72 No. 62). That event was, of course, aimed at stirring up feeling in the Free City at that time.

At the same time, frontier incidents were being manufactured by the Nazi Government with the aid of the SS. The affidavit of General Lahousen (Affidavit A) refers to the provision of

[Page 703]

Polish uniforms to the SS Forces for these purposes, so that dead Poles could be found lying about on the German side of the frontier. Three short reports found in the British Blue Book corroborate this affidavit. They are reports from the British ambassador in Warsaw.

The first of them is dated 26 August, and reads:

"Series of incidents again occurred yesterday on German frontier.

"Polish patrol met party Germans one kilometre from East Prussian frontier near Pelta. Germans opened fire. Polish patrol replied, killing leader, whose body is being returned.

"German bands also crossed Silesian frontier near Szczyglo, twice near Rybnik and twice elsewhere, firing shots and attacking blockhouses and customs posts with machine guns and hand grenades. Poles have protested vigorously to Berlin.

"Gazeta Polska, in inspired leader, today says these are more than incidents. They are clearly prepared acts of aggression of para-military disciplined detachments supplied with regular army's arms, and in one case it was a regular army detachment. Attacks more or less continuous.

"These incidents did not cause Poland to forsake calm and strong attitude of defence. Facts spoke for themselves and acts of aggression came from German side. This was best answer to ravings of German press.

"Ministry for Foreign Affairs state uniformed German detachment has since shot Pole across frontier and wounded another." (TC-72 No. 53)

The next report is dated the same date, 26 August and reads:

"Ministry for Foreign Affairs categorically deny story recounted by Herr Hitler to French Ambassador that twenty-four Germans were recently killed at Lodz and eight at Bielsko. Story is without any foundation whatever." (TC-72 No. 54)

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