The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Fifty-Fifth Day: Saturday, 9nd February, 1946
(Part 4 of 5)


On 26th September, 1938, Hitler again spoke of Poland in one of his usual speeches. I consider it essential to quote a short excerpt from this speech (TC 29):

[Page 217]

"The German-Polish relations presented that complicated problem which I was forced to encounter. There existed a danger that the idea of mutual implacable hostility would completely dominate the imagination of our own as well as of the Polish people. I wanted to avert it."
I do not consider it necessary to read the entire document, and I will, therefore, omit a few sentences.
"Precisely a year later it was possible to reach an agreement which, in the first place, definitely eliminated the danger of a conflict for a period of ten years.

We are all convinced that this agreement will lead to a lasting peace. We realise that the matter concerns two peoples, which have to exist side by side and of which neither can eliminate the other.

A State with a 33,000,000 population will always strive for an exit to the sea.

Because of that, a way to a mutual understanding had to be found. Now it is found and will be more and more consolidated."

In absolute conformity with this official and, from beginning to end deceitful, speech of Hitler's, the defendant Ribbentrop, speaking in Warsaw on 25th January, 1939, stated (this quotation will be found in Document 2530-PS):
"It is a fundamental part of German foreign policy that the friendly relations between Germany and Poland, based on the existing treaty, be strengthened progressively, and deepened in accordance with the firm will of the Fuehrer."
Omitting one paragraph of this document, which has already been read in court and submitted to the Tribunal as the Document 2530-PS, I wish to repeat only one sentence of it:
"Thus Poland and Germany can look forward to the future with complete confidence upon the solid basis of their mutual relations."
Need I remind the Tribunal that in the Document L 79 already presented, which is a record of the conference on 23rd May, 1939, at Hitler's new Reich Chancellery, among the many other openly aggressive declarations and statements of policy by Hitler, this man uttered the following sentence:
"Thus, there is no question of sparing Poland, and the decision stands, to attack Poland at the first opportunity. It is impossible to expect a repetition of the operation against Czechoslovakia. This time it will mean war."
It must be stated in all fairness that this war was a surprise for Poland only. The Fascist conspirators had, for a long time, carefully prepared for it. I now turn to Document C 120, a considerable part of which has already been read into the record. I should like to submit several excerpts from this document, concerning the conspiracy of the Hitlerites directed against Poland, excerpts which have not yet been read into the record. I would like to draw your attention to individual sentences, which naturally did not attract the attention of the counsel who offered this document in evidence because they deal with relatively small details. But now these sentences are decisive and are of primary importance. They are highly characteristic and essential to a correct evaluation of the material I am about to present.

In the Document 120 C, for Commanding Officers only, Top Secret. Matter for Chief of Staff. Through officer only, General Headquarters of the Armed Forces WFA 37/39 "Chefsache" (L-a), just preceding the text of the document, the subject is indicated as follows:

"Subject: Instructions for the Armed Forces for 1939-40. Directive concerning the uniform preparation of the Armed Forces for 1939-40 is hereby restated."

[Page 218]

This sentence clearly and definitely indicates that already previously, that is, before 3rd April, 1939, there existed some other directives on this very question.

The following is said in paragraph 3 of the document cited:

"Opinions of the three branches of the Armed Forces, as well as the data for the calendar schedule, will be submitted to the O.K.W. on 1st May, 1939."
Already by 1st May, 1939, Germany had a revised, modernised, and detailed plan for an aggression against Poland. And Hitler, while playing the part of one insulted by Poland, waited only for a suitable moment to declare that he had no choice but to destroy the Polish State.

In one of the appendices to the document quoted -- it is also listed as Document C 120 but was not read into the record -- there is one feature of great importance. The document is signed by Hitler and bears the date 11th April, 1939. It was prepared in five originals. I offer in evidence a copy of the second original.

"Directive concerning the uniform preparation of the Armed Forces for 1939-40.
I will expound, at a later date, the future objectives of the Armed Forces as well as the preparations for war which follow therefrom.
"Until this directive becomes effective, the Armed Forces must be ready to accomplish the following tasks:

(1) Securing the frontiers of the German Reich and protection from sudden air offensive.

(2) Fall 'Weiss.'

(3) Occupation of Danzig.

I will now read into the record the first paragraph of Appendix 3, entitled "The Occupation of Danzig."
"In the event of a favourable political condition, the question of a surprise occupation of the Free City of Danzig may arise independently of the Plan 'Weiss.'"
I think that we can dispense with the reading of the remaining text of the document.

If it please the Tribunal, it is worthy of note that, according to German plans, the occupation of Danzig was regarded either as an integral part of the aggression against Poland, or, in case of a different political situation, as a completely independent operation, but in both cases it was planned well in advance.

The same set of documents, listed as C 120, includes a top-secret directive intended exclusively for commanding officers and was to be transmitted through officers only. It is important to note that the subject of this document, which I submit to the Tribunal, is indicated as follows: "Instructions concerning the uniform preparation for war of the Armed Forces for the years 1939-40." Just as the previous ones, this document was not intended for a wide circle of readers. It was typed in seven originals only. The Fascist conspirators were not very anxious to popularize their planned preparation for war.

And again, in the appendix to directive OKW 37/39, which I have already submitted to the Tribunal and which is entitled, "Special Orders for Operation Weiss," there is one very significant sentence.

I shall read into the Record the penultimate sub-paragraph of paragraph 2:

"In case of a public announcement of general mobilisation . (Mobplan), the mobilisation will automatically cover the entire civilian network, including war production. A public announcement of mobilisation, however, should not be counted on, should military events be confined to Plan 'Weiss.'"

[Page 219]

It seems highly significant to me that the Fascist conspirators, though fully conscious of the fact that war, and no alternative to war, was envisaged, had planned the execution of their criminal intent without announcing any mobilisation.

And finally, I would like to point out that in Keitel's order to the Armed Forces, No. 37/39, of 3rd April, 1939, issued in connection with "Operation Weiss," the following directives by Hitler were stated for information:

"I. Operation plan 'Weiss' must be elaborated with a view to the fact that its execution will be possible at any time, as from the 1st September, 1939."
We know that the invasion of Poland was, in fact, started on 1st September, 1939 -- in short, on the very first day on which the German Armed Forces had to be fully ready for action.

Operational Order No. 1, 25039, of 21st August, 1939, issued to the Command of Naval Group, "OST," on board the battleship Schleswig Holstein, (this document has already been submitted to the Tribunal as a German photostatic copy), stated as follows:

"I. Situation.

(a) Political: the Armed Forces must be defeated by means of a lightning thrust, to enable the creation in the East of a situation favourable for the defense of the Reich. The Free City of Danzig will be declared a Reich city. "

It is worth while to bear this sentence in mind when speaking of the "free expression of will by the Danzig population," who are alleged to have aspired to become part of the Reich. It must not be forgotten that this free expression of will had been anticipated, by the above Operational Order No. 1, to the very day.

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