The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Volume I Chapter IX
Aggression Against Greece & Yugoslavia
(Part 7 of 8)

F. Summary

To summarize: The invasion of Greece was decided on at least as early as November or December 1940 and was scheduled for the end of March or the beginning of April, 1941. No consideration was at any time given to any obligations under treaties or conventions which might make such invasion a breach of International Law. Care was taken to conceal the preparations so that the German Forces might have an unsuspecting victim.

In the meanwhile, Yugoslavia, although to be liquidated in due course, was clearly better left for a later stage. Every effort was made to secure her cooperation for the offensive against Greece, or at least to ensure that she would abstain from any interference.

The coup d'etat of General Simovic upset this plan and it was

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then decided that, irrespective of whether or not his Government had any hostile intentions towards Germany, or even of supporting the Greeks, Yugoslavia must be liquidated.

It was not worth while to the Nazis to take any steps to ascertain Yugoslavia's intentions, for it would be so little trouble, now that the German troops were deployed, to destroy her militarily and as a national unit. Accordingly, in the early hours of Sunday morning, 6 April 1941, German troops marched into Yugoslavia without warning and into Greece simultaneously. The formality was observed of handing a note to the Greek Minister in Berlin, informing him that the German forces were entering Greece to drive out the British. M. Koryzis, the Greek Minister, in replying to information of the invasion from the German Embassy, replied that history was repeating itself and that Greece was being attacked by Germany in the same way as by Italy. Greece returned, he said, the same reply as it had given to the Italians in the preceding October.

G. The Pattern of Aggression.

There is one common factor which runs through the whole of the Nazi aggressions. It is an element in the diplomatic technique of aggression, which was used with singular consistency, not only by the Nazis themselves, but also by their Italian friends. Their technique was essentially based upon securing the maximum advantage from surprise, even though only a few hours of unopposed military advance into the country of the unsuspecting victim could thus be secured. Thus, there was, of course, no declaration of war in the case of Poland.

The invasion of Norway and of Denmark began in the small hours of the night of 8 April 1940-9 April 1940, and was well under way as a military operation, before the diplomatic explanations and excuses were presented to the Danish Foreign Minister, at 4 :20 a. m. on the morning of the 9th, and to the Norwegian Minister, between half past four and five on that morning.

The invasion of Belgium, Luxembourg, and Holland began not later than five o'clock, in the small hours of 10 May 1940, while the formal ultimatum, delivered in each case with the diplomatic excuses and explanations, was not presented until afterwards. In the case of Holland the invasion began between three and four in the morning. It was not until about six, when The Hague had already been bombed, that the German Minister asked to see M. van Kleffens. In the case of Belgium, where the bombing began at five, the German Minister did not see M. Spaak

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until eight. The invasion of Luxembourg began at four and it was at seven when the German Minister asked to see M. Beck.

Mussolini copied this technique. It was 3 o'clock on the morning of 28 October 1940 when his Minister in Athens presented a three hour ultimatum to General Metaxas.

The invasion of Greece and Yugoslavia, also, both began in the small hours of 6 April 1941. In the case of Yugoslavia no diplomatic exchange took place even after the event, but a proclamation was issued by Hitler at five o'clock that Sunday morning, some two hours before Belgrade was bombed. In the case of Greece, it was at twenty minutes past five that M. Koryzis was informed that German troops were entering Greek territory.

The manner in which this long series of aggressions was carried out is, in itself, further evidence of the essentially aggressive and treacherous character of the Nazi regime: to attack without warning at night to secure an initial advantage, and to proffer excuses or reasons afterwards. This is clearly the method of the State which has no respect for its own pledged word, nor for the rights of any people but its own.

It is impossible not to speculate whether this technique was evolved by the "honest broker" himself or by his honest clerk, Ribbentrop.

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