The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Fifty-Fourth Day: Friday, 8th February, 1946
(Part 7 of 22)


Buschenhagen further tells us how, in February, 1941, he left for Helsinki, where, together with the representatives of the Finnish Army, he worked out a definite plan for the attack on the U.S.S.R. On 2nd or 3rd March, 1941, upon his return to Oslo, he compiled and submitted to the O.K.W. a report on his mission:

"On the basis of these documents" -- states Buschenhagen -- "the operational plan 'Blue Fox' was drawn up, envisaging an attack on the Murmansk railroad from the area of Kuusamo, Rovaniemi and Petsamo. The plan of operations in the area of Kirkenes-Petsamo was called 'Reindeer,' that in the area of Rovaniemi -- 'Silver Fox.'"
Further, as narrated by Buschenhagen, towards the end of April or the beginning of May, 1941, he flew again to Helsinki where, " the Finnish General Staff, negotiations took place with Generals Heinriks and Airo and Colonel Tapola, in the course of which we ascertained that the Finnish General Staff was fully prepared to participate in the coming war against the Soviet Union."

In his personal, written testimony given to the investigating authorities of the Soviet Union, which will be presented to the Tribunal, Marshal Ion Antonescu gives an account of his meetings with Hitler in November, 1940, January, 1941, and May, 1941, at which were discussed the questions with regard to the preparation of war against the Soviet Union.

During the first conference between Antonescu and Hitler, in which Ribbentrop and Hitler's personal interpreter, Schmidt, took part, problems directly concerning the preparation of the German aggression against the U.S.S.R. and the Roumanian participation therein were discussed.

In reply to the question put by the Soviet investigating authorities to Antonescu, as to whether his first conference with Hitler should be considered as his initial step towards an understanding with the Germans for the preparation of aggressive war against the Soviet Union, he stated:

"I reply in the affirmative. Hitler undoubtedly had this in mind when working out the plans for attacking the Soviet Union."
At the second meeting between Antonescu and Hitler, which took place in January, 1941, the defendants Ribbentrop, Keitel and Jodl were present. Hitler requested Antonescu to permit the German armies concentrated on Hungarian territory to pass through Roumania in order to enable them to assist the Italians in the war against Greece.

[Page 177]

Antonescu testifies:

"I expressed my apprehension that the movement of German troops through Roumania might serve as a pretext for military action by the Soviet Union against that country, thus placing her in a very difficult position, as the Roumanian Army was not mobilised: to this Hitler replied that he will give an order for part of the German troops intended for operations against Greece to remain in Roumania.

Hitler also emphasised that, according to the information at his disposal, the Soviet Union had no intention to fight either against Germany or Roumania.

Satisfied with this statement of Hitler's, I agreed to allow the German troops to pass through Roumanian territory.

General Jodl, who was present at this conference, described to me the strategic situation of the German Army, emphasising the necessity of an attack on Greece through Bulgaria."

Speaking of the third meeting with Hitler in May, 1941, in the city of Munich, at which the Defendant Ribbentrop was present, Antonescu declared:
"At this meting...we had already definitely agreed upon our joint assault on the Soviet Union.

Hitler stated that he had decided to attack the Soviet Union. 'Having prepared this attack,' said Hitler, 'we must launch it unexpectedly along the entire frontier of the Soviet Union from the Black Sea to the Baltic.

'The suddenness of this military attack,' continued Hitler, 'will enable Germany and Roumania to overcome in a very short time one of our most dangerous opponents.'

In connection with his war plans, Hitler asked me to place Roumanian territory at his disposal for the concentration of German troops and in conjunction with this to take a direct part in carrying out the attack on the Soviet Union."

By entering the conspiracy on the side of Germany and preparing to attack the Soviet Union, Roumania in her turn pursued aggressive aims.

Antonescu in the same statements spoke of Hitler's promises as follows:

"Hitler emphasised that Roumania should not remain out of this war, as in order to get back Bessarabia and northern Bukovina, she had no other way but to fight on the side of Germany. He added to this that in return for our help in the war Roumania could occupy and administer other Soviet territories up to the Dnieper."
Antonescu further testified:
"As Hitler's proposal to start jointly the war against U.S.S.R. was in line with my aggressive intentions, I declared my readiness to participate in the assault on the Soviet Union, and undertook to prepare the required number of Roumanian troops and at the time to increase the deliveries of oil and farm produce for the needs of Germany.

After my return to Bucharest from Munich I began energetic preparations for the coming war."

These facts are likewise confirmed by the documents from the archives of Antonescu, which will also be submitted to the Tribunal.

I draw the attention of the Tribunal to the records of a conversation which took place between Antonescu and Dernberg, head of the Protocol Department of the German Foreign Office, on 10th February, 1942, a conversation after meeting at the frontier:

"...I declared," remarks Antonescu, "that Roumania entered into an alliance with the Axis not for the purpose of altering the Treaty of Versailles but in order to fight the Slavs...."

[Page 178]

It will be seen from this record that hatred towards the Slav peoples united Hitler and Antonescu in their preparation and realisation of a war of aggression.

Documents which are to be presented to the Tribunal will show quite incontestably the complicity of Hungary in the conspiracy to violate peace and in the preparation of an aggressive war against the Soviet Union.

Hungary was assigned the definite role of attacking the rear of the Red Army through the Carpathian Mountains at the very moment when the German and the Roumanian Armies were to open military operations against the Soviet Union.

Thus the criminal block of aggressors against the peace- loving nations was set up with Fascist Germany in the van.

Reverting to the so-called "Case Barbarossa," I wish to dwell on the more important points of this document.

"Case Barbarossa" consists of three parts. The first sets forth its general aims; the second indicates allies of Germany in the war against the Soviet Union, and the third is devoted to the execution of military operations on land and sea. This document has the highly pertinent feature of having been issued, in view of its top-secret contents, in nine copies only, to comply fully with the demand for absolute secrecy on Germany's preparations for the attack on the Soviet Union.

The first part of the plan reads as follows:

"Troops of the Russian Army massed in the western part of Russia must be destroyed.

... The retreat into the vast expanses of Russian territory of combat units must be prevented. Then, by rapid pursuit, a line must be reached from which the Russian air force will not be able to carry out attacks against German territory..."

The document further states that the ultimate objective of this plan was to consolidate the line Archangel-Volga, paralyse the last remaining industrial area in the Urals by air operations, put the Baltic fleet out of commission, and prevent the possibility of active interference on the part of the Russian Air Force.

In the third part of the document we find the directive: "To seize Leningrad and Kronstadt and to continue offensive operations with the objective of taking the most important center of communications and war-production -- Moscow. "

"The seizure of this city" --according to the plan -- "will mean a decisive success both politically and economically."

Such was the plan to invade the U.S.S.R.; conceived, worked out, and prepared long in advance by Hitlerite Germany.

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