The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Volume I Chapter IX
Aggression Against the U.S.S.R.
(Part 1 of 16)

[Page 794]

A. Inception of the Plan.

The point of departure for the story of the aggression against the Soviet Union is the date, 23 August 1939. On that day - just a week before the invasion of Poland -- the Nazi conspirators caused Germany to enter into the Treaty of Non-Aggression with the USSR This Treaty (TC-25) contained two significant articles:

"Article 1: The two contracting parties undertake to refrain from any act of violence, any aggressive action, or any attack against one another, whether individually or jointly with other powers."

"Article 5: Should disputes or conflicts arise between the contracting parties regarding questions of any kind whatsoever, the two partners would clear away these disputes or conflicts solely by friendly exchanges of views or if necessary by arbitration commission." (TC-25)

The Treaty was signed for the USSR by the Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov, and for the German Government by Ribbentrop. Its announcement came as somewhat of a surprise to the world, since it appeared to constitute a reversal of the previous trend of Nazi foreign policy. The explanation for this about face was provided, however, by Ribbentrop himself, in a discussion which he had with the Japanese Ambassador, Oshima, at Fuchel on 23 February 1941. A report of that conference was forwarded by Ribbentrop to certain German diplomats in the field for their strictly confidential and purely personal information (1834-PS). Ribbentrop told Oshima the reason for the Pact with the USSR in the following words:

"Then when it came to war the Fuehrer decided on a treaty with Russia -- a necessity for avoiding a two- front war. Perhaps this moment was difficult for Japan. The treaty was, however, in the interest of Japan, for the Japanese empire was interested in as rapid a German victory as possible, which was assured by the treaty with Russia." (1834-PS)

In view of this spirit of opportunism which motivated the Nazi Conspirators in entering into this solemn pledge of arbitration and nonaggression, it is not surprising to find that they regarded it, as they did all Treaties and Pledges, as binding on them only so long as it was expedient for them to do so. That they did so regard it is evident from the fact that, even while the campaign in the West was still in progress, they began to consider the pos-

[Page 795]

sibility of launching a war of aggression against the USSR In a speech to the Reichsleiters and Gauleiters at Munich in November 1943, Jodl admitted that:

"Parallel with all these developments realization was steadily growing of the danger drawing constantly nearer from the Bolshevik East -- that danger which has been only too little perceived in Germany and latterly, for diplomatic reasons, had deliberately to be ignored. However, the Fuehrer himself has always kept this danger steadily in view and even as far back as during the Western Campaign had informed me of his fundamental decision to take steps against this danger the moment our military position made it at all possible." (L-172)

At the time this statement was made, however, the Western Campaign was still in progress and so any action in the East necessarily had to be postponed for the time being. On 22 June 1940, however, the Franco-German armistice was signed at Compiegne and the campaign in the West, with the exception of the war against Britain, came to an end. The view that Germany's key to political and economic dominance lay in the elimination of the USSR as a political factor, and in the acquisition of lebesraum at her expense, had long been basic in Nazi ideology. This idea had never been completely forgotten, even while the war in the West was in progress. Now, flushed with the recent success of their arms and yet keenly conscious of both their failure to defeat Britain and the needs of their armies for food and raw materials, the Nazi conspirators began serious consideration of the means for achieving their traditional ambition by conquering the Soviet Union. The situation in which Germany now found herself made such action appear both desirable and practicable.

As early as August of 1940, General Thomas received a hint from Goering that planning for a campaign against the Soviet Union was already under way. Thomas at that time was the Chief of the Wirtschaft Rustug Amt, or Office for Economy and Armaments, of the OKW (Wi Rue Amt). General Thomas tells about receiving this information from Goering in his draft of a work entitled "Basic Facts For a History of German War and Armaments Economy," which he prepared during the Summer of 1944 (235-PS). On pages 313 to 315 of this work, Thomas discusses the Russo-German trade agreement of 1939 and relates that, since the Soviets were delivering quickly and well under this agreement and were requesting war materials in return, there was much pressure in Germany until early 1940 for increased delivery on the part of the Germans. However, at page 315 he has the

[Page 796]

following to say about the change of heart expressed by the German leaders in August of 1940:

"On August 14, the Chief of Wi Rue, during a conference with Reichmarshal Goering, was informed, that the Fuehrer desired punctual delivery to the Russians only till spring 1941. Later on we would have no further interest in completely satisfying the Russian demands. This allusion moved the Chief of Wi Rue to give priority to matters concerning Russian War-Economy." (235-PS)

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

[ Index | Next ]

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.