The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Volume I Chapter IX
Aggression Against Norway & Denmark
(Part 1 of 10)

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In the early hours of the morning of 9 April 1940 Nazi Germany invaded Norway and Denmark. Those invasions constituted wars of aggression, and also wars in violation of international treaties, agreements, and assurances.

A. Treaties and Assurances Violated.

The invasions constituted violations of the Hague Convention and of the Kellogg-Briand Pact. In addition there were specific agreements between Germany and Norway and Denmark. There was the Treaty of Arbitration and Conciliation between Germany and Denmark, which was signed at Berlin on 2 June 1926 (TC-17). The first Article of that Treaty is in these terms:

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"The Contracting Parties undertake to submit to the procedure of arbitration or conciliation, in conformity with the present Treaty, all disputes of any nature whatsoever which may arise between Germany and Denmark and which it has not been possible to settle within a reasonable period by diplomacy or to bring with the consent of both Parties before the Permanent Court of International Justice.

"Disputes for the solution of which a special procedure has been laid down in other Conventions in force between the Contracting Parties shall be settled in accordance with the provisions of such Conventions." (TC-17)

The remaining Articles deal with the machinery for arbitration. There was also the treaty of nonaggression between Germany and Denmark which was signed by Ribbentrop on 31 May 1939, ten weeks after the Nazi seizure of Czechoslovakia (TC-24). The preamble and Articles 1 and 2 read as follows:

"His Majesty the King of Denmark and Iceland and the Chancellor of the German Reich,

"Being firmly resolved to maintain peace between Denmark and Germany in all circumstances, have agreed to confirm this resolve by means of a treaty and have appointed as their Plenipotentiaries: His Majesty the King of Denmark and Iceland and the Chancellor of the German Reich.

"Article I: The Kingdom of Denmark and the German Reich shall in no case resort to war or to any other use of force one against the other.

"Should action of the kind referred to in Paragraph 1 be taken by a third Power against- one of the Contracting Parties, the other Contracting Party shall not support such action in any way.

"Article II: The Treaty shall come into force on the exchange of the instruments of ratification and shall remain in force for a period of ten years from that date." (TC-24) The Treaty is dated 31 May 1939. At the bottom of the page there appears the signature of Ribbentrop. The invasion of Denmark by the Nazi forces less than a year after the signature of this treaty showed the utter worthlessness of treaties to which Ribbentrop put his signature.

With regard to Norway, Ribbentrop and the Nazi conspirators were party to a similar perfidy. Hitler gave an assurance to Denmark, Norway, and the Netherlands on 28 April 1939 (TC- 30. That, of course, was after the annexation of Czechoslovakia had

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shaken the confidence of the world, and was presumably an attempt to try to reassure the Scandinavian States. Hitler said:

"I have given binding declarations to a large number of States. None of these States can complain that even a trace of a demand contrary thereto has ever been made to them by Germany. None of the Scandinavian statesmen, for example, can contend that a request has ever been put to them by the German Government or by the German public opinion which was incompatible with the sovereignty and integrity of their State.

"I was pleased that a number of European States availed -themselves of these declarations by the German Government to express and emphasize their desire too for absolute neutrality. This applies to Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, Denmark, etc." (TC-30)

A further assurance was given by the Nazi Government on 2 September 1939, the day after the Nazi invasion of Poland. On that day an aide memoire was handed to the Norwegian Foreign Minister by the German Minister in Oslo. It reads:

"The German Reich Government is determined, in view of the friendly relations which exist between Norway and Germany, under no circumstances to prejudice the inviolability and integrity of Norway and to respect the territory of the Norwegian State. In making this declaration the Reich Government naturally expects, on its side, that Norway will observe an unimpeachable neutrality towards the Reich and will not tolerate any breaches of Norwegian neutrality by any third party which might occur. Should the attitude of the Royal Norwegian Government differ from this so that any such breach of neutrality by a third party recurs, the Reich Government would then obviously be compelled to safeguard the interests of the Reich in such a way as the resulting situation might dictate." (TC-31)

There followed a further German assurance to Norway in a speech by Hitler on 6 October 1939 in which he said:

"Germany has never had any conflicts of interest or even points of controversy with the Northern States; neither has she any today. 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." (TC-32)

These treaties and assurances were the diplomatic background -to the Nazi aggression on Norway and Denmark. These assur-

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ances were simply given to lull suspicion and cause the intended victims of Nazi aggression to be unprepared to meet the Nazi attack. For it is now known that as early as October 1939 the conspirators were plotting the invasion of Norway, and that the most active conspirators in that plot were Raeder and Rosenberg.

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