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 6 of 12)

On 5 April, about a week after the conference just noted, Rib-

[Page 853]

bentrop again met with Matsuoka and again pushed the Japanese another step along the road to aggressive war. The notes of this conference, which were also found in German Foreign Office Archives, reveal the following exchange:

"*** In answer to a remark by Matsuoka, that Japan was now awakening and, according to the Japanese temperament, would take action quickly after the previous lengthy deliberation, the Reich Foreign Minister replied that it was necessary, of course, to accept a certain risk in this connection, just as the Fuehrer had done so successfully with the occupation of the Rhineland, with the proclamation of sovereignty of armament, and with the resignation from the League of Nations."


"The Reich Foreign Minister replied that the new German Reich would actually be built up on the basis of the ancient traditions of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, which in its time was the only dominant power on the European Continent.

"In conclusion the Reich Foreign Minister once again summarized the points he wanted Matsuoka to take back to Japan with him from his trip:

"1. Germany had already won the war. With the end of this year the world would realize this. Even England would have to concede it, if it had not collapsed before then, and America would also have to resign herself to this fact.

"2. There were no conflicting interests between Japan and Germany. The future of both countries could be regulated for the long run on the basis that Japan should predominate in the Far East, Italy and Germany in Europe and Africa.

"3. Whatever might happen, Germany would win the war. But it would hasten victory if Japan would enter the war. Such an entry into the war was undoubtedly more in the interest of Japan than in that of Germany, for it offered a unique opportunity which would hardly ever return, for the fulfillment of the national objectives of Japan, a chance which would make it possible for her to play a really leading role in East Asia." (1882-PS)

Here again, in the portions just quoted, Ribbentrop is seen pursuing the same tack previously noted: Germany has already won the war for all practical purposes. Japan's entry will hasten the inevitable end. And Japan had better get the positions she wants during the war. Ribbentrop's assurances, (1877-PS) that Japan likewise had nothing to fear from the Soviet Union

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if Japan entered the conflict, and his continual references to the weakness of the United States scattered throughout his conversations, were other means used to hurry along the Japanese.

The success of the Nazi methods is shown in a top secret report, dated 24 May 1941, from the German Military Attache in Tokyo to the Intelligence Division of the OKW. The last sentence in paragraph 1, states:

"The preparations for attack on Singapore and Manila stand." (1538-PS)

The fact appears from this sentence that the German military were keeping in close touch with the Japanese operational plans against Singapore, which the Nazi conspirators had fostered.

(2) Exhortations to Japanese Aggression Against the USSR The Nazi conspirators also directed their efforts to induce a Japanese "stab in the back" against the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Here again Ribbentrop appears as a central figure.

For some months prior to the issuance of Basic Order No. 24 regarding collaboration with Japan (C-75), the Nazi conspirators had been preparing "Fall Barbarossa", the plan for attack on the USSR Basic Order No. 24 decreed, however, that the Japanese "must not be given any intimation of the Barbarossa operation". (C-75)

In his conference with the Japanese Foreign Minister Matsuoka on 29 March 1941, almost 3 weeks after the issuance of Basic Order No. 24, Ribbentrop nevertheless hinted at things to come. Ribbentrop assured Matsuoka that the largest part of the German Army was on the Eastern frontiers of the Reich fully prepared to open the attack at any time. Ribbentrop then added that, although he believed that the USSR would try to avoid developments leading to war, nevertheless a conflict with the Soviet Union, even if not probable, would have to be considered possible. (1877-PS)

Whatever conclusions the Japanese Ambassador drew from these remarks in April 1941 can only be conjectured. Once the Nazis had unleashed their aggression against the USSR in June of 1941, the tenor of Ribbentrop's remarks left no room for doubt. On 10 July 1941, Ribbentrop dispatched a coded telegram to Ott, the German Ambassador in Tokyo (2896-PS). Pertinent passages in that telegram read as follows:

"Please take this opportunity to thank the Japanese Ambassador in Moscow for conveying the cable report. It would be convenient if we could keep on receiving news from Russia this way. In summing up, I would like to say:

[Page 855]

I have now, as in the past, full confidence in the Japanese Policy, end in the Japanese Foreign Minister, first of all because the present Japanese government would really act inexcusably toward the future of its nation if it would not take this unique opportunity to solve the Russian problem, as well as to secure for all time its expansion to the South and settle the Chinese matter. Since Russia, as reported by the Japanese Ambassador in Moscow, is in effect close to collapse, a report which coincides with our own observations as far as we are able to judge at the present war situation, it is simply impossible that Japan does not solve the matter of Vladivostok and the Siberian area as soon as her military preparations are completed."

"However, I ask you to employ all available means in further insisting upon Japan's entry into the war against Russia at the soonest possible date, as I have mentioned already in my note to Matsuoka. The sooner this entry is effected, the better it is. The natural objective still remains that we and Japan join hands on the Trans-Siberian railroad, before winter starts. After the collapse of Russia, however, the position of the Three Power Pact states in the world will be so gigantic, that the question of England's collapse or the total destruction of the English islands, respectively, will only be a matter of time. An America totally isolated from the rest of the world would then be faced with our taking possession of the remaining positions of the British Empire which are important for the Three Power Pact countries. I have the unshakable conviction that a carrying through of the new order as desired by us will be a matter of course, and there would be no insurmountable difficulties if the countries of the Three Power Pact stand close together and encounter every action of the Americans with the same weapons. I ask you to report in the near future as often as possible and in detail on the political situation there." (2896-PS)

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

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