The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Volume I Chapter IX
Collaboration with Italy & Japan
Aggressive War Against the United States
November 1936 to December 1941
(Part 2 of 12)

B. Nazi Encouragement of Aggression by Japan

The Nazi conspirators, once their military and economic alliance with Japan had been formalized, exhorted the Japanese to aggression against those nations with whom they were at war and against those with whom they contemplated war. In this the Nazi conspirators pursued a course strikingly parallel to that followed in their relationship with the other member of the European Axis. On 10 June 1940, in fulfillment of her alliance with Germany, Italy had carried out her "stab in the back" by declar-

[Page 843]

ing war against France and Great Britain. The Nazi conspirators set about to induce similar action by Japan on the other side of the world.

The nations against whom the German-Japanese collaboration was aimed, at various times, were the British Commonwealth of Nations, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and the United States of America.

(1) Exhortations to Attack the British Commonwealth. At least as early as 23 February 1941 the Nazi conspirators undertook to exploit their alliance with Japan by exhortations to commit aggression against the British Commonwealth. Again the figure of Ribbentrop appears. On that date, 23 February 1941, he held a conference with General Oshima, the Japanese Ambassador to Berlin, at which he urged that the Japanese open hostilities against the British in the Far East as soon as possible. (1834-PS)

As can be seen on the cover page of the English translation of the report of that conference, Ribbentrop on 2 March sent copies of an extract of the record of this conference to his various ambassadors and ministers for their "strictly confidential and purely personal information," with the further note that "these statements are of fundamental significance for orientation in the general political situation facing Germany in early Spring 1941." The report stated, in part:

"Strictly secret


"from the report of the conference of the Reich Foreign Minister with Ambassador Oshima in Fuschl on 13 February 1941."


"After particularly cordial mutual greetings, the RAM [Reich Foreign Minister] declared that Ambassador Oshima had been proved right in the policy he had pursued regarding Germany in the face of the many doubters in Japan. By Germany's victory in the west these policies had been fully vindicated. He [the RAM] regretted that the alliance between Germany and Japan, for which he had been working with the Ambassador for many years already, had come into being only after various detours, but public opinion in Japan had not been ripe for it earlier. The main thing was, however, that they are together now. "

*** Now the German-Japanese alliance has been concluded. Ambassador Oshima is the man who gets credit for it from the Japanese side. After conclusion of the alliance

[Page 844]

the question of its further development: now stands in the foreground. How is the situation in this respect? (184-PS)

Ribbentrop subsequently proceeded to shape the argument for Japanese intervention against the British. First outlining the intended air and U-boat warfare against England, he said:

"*** Thereby England's situation would take catastrophic shape overnight. The landing in England is prepared; its execution, however, depends on various factors, above all on weather conditions."

"The Fuehrer would beat England wherever he would encounter her. Besides our strength is not only equal, but superior to a combined English-American air force at any time. The number of pilots at our disposal was unlimited. The same was true for our airplane production capacity. As far as quality is concerned ours was always superior to the English (to say nothing about the American) and we were on the way even to enlarge this lead. On order of the Fuehrer the antiaircraft defense too would be greatly reinforced. Since the army had been supplied far beyond its requirements, and enormous reserves had been piled up (the ammunitions plants have been slowed down because of the immense stock of material), production would now be concentrated on submarines, airplanes and antiaircraft guns.

"Every eventuality had been provided for; the war has been won to-day militarily, economically and politically. We had the desire to end the war quickly and to force England to sue for peace soon. The Fuehrer was vigorous and healthy, fully convinced of victory and determined to bring the war to a quick and victorious end. To this end the co-operation with Japan was of importance. However, Japan in its own interest, should come in as soon as possible. This would destroy England's key position in the Far East. Japan, on the other hand, would thus secure its position in the Far East, a position which it could acquire only through war. There were three reasons for quick action:

"1. Intervention by Japan would mean a decisive blow against the center of the British Empire (threat to India, cruiser-warfare, etc.) The effect upon the morale of the British people would be very serious and this would contribute toward a quick ending of the war.

"2. A surprising intervention by- Japan was bound to keep America out of the war. America, which at present is not

[Page 845]

armed as yet and would hesitate greatly to expose her Navy to any risks West of Hawaii, could do this even less so in such a case. If Japan would otherwise respect the American interests, there would not even be the possibility for Roosevelt to use the argument of lost prestige to make war plausible to the Americans. It was very unlikely that America would declare war if it then would have to stand by helplessly while Japan takes the Philippines without America being able to do anything about it.

"3. In view of the coming new world order it seems to be in the interest of Japan also to secure for herself already during the war the position she wants to hold in the Far East at the time of a peace treaty. Ambassador Oshima agreed with me entirely and said that he would do everything to carry through this policy."

The subtlety of Ribbentrop's argument is noteworthy. First he told the Japanese Ambassador that Germany had already practically won the war by herself. Nevertheless, he suggested that the war could be successfully terminated more quickly with Japan's aid and that the moment was propitious for Japan's entry. Then, referring to the spoils of conquest, he indicated that Japan would be best advised to pick up by herself during the war the positions she wanted, implying that she would have to earn her share of the booty.

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

[ Previous | 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.