Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression Volume I Chapter IX Aggression Against Norway & Denmark

Last-Modified: 1996/06/06

Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, Volume One, Chapter Nine

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In the early hours of the morning of 9 April 1940 Nazi
Germany invaded Norway and Denmark. Those invasions
constituted wars of aggression, and also wars in violation
of international treaties, agreements, and assurances.

A. Treaties and Assurances Violated.

The invasions constituted violations of the Hague Convention
and of the Kellogg-Briand Pact. In addition there were
specific agreements between Germany and Norway and Denmark.
There was the Treaty of Arbitration and Conciliation between
Germany and Denmark, which was signed at Berlin on 2 June
1926 (TC-17). The first Article of that Treaty is in these

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“The Contracting Parties undertake to submit to the
procedure of arbitration or conciliation, in conformity
with the present Treaty, all disputes of any nature
whatsoever which may arise between Germany and Denmark
and which it has not been possible to settle within a
reasonable period by diplomacy or to bring with the
consent of both Parties before the Permanent Court of
International Justice.

“Disputes for the solution of which a special procedure
has been laid down in other Conventions in force
between the Contracting Parties shall be settled in
accordance with the provisions of such Conventions.”

The remaining Articles deal with the machinery for
arbitration. There was also the treaty of nonaggression
between Germany and Denmark which was signed by Ribbentrop
on 31 May 1939, ten weeks after the Nazi seizure of
Czechoslovakia (TC-24). The preamble and Articles 1 and 2
read as follows:

“His Majesty the King of Denmark and Iceland and the
Chancellor of the German Reich,

“Being firmly resolved to maintain peace between
Denmark and Germany in all circumstances, have agreed
to confirm this resolve by means of a treaty and have
appointed as their Plenipotentiaries: His Majesty the
King of Denmark and Iceland and the Chancellor of the
German Reich.

“Article I: The Kingdom of Denmark and the German Reich
shall in no case resort to war or to any other use of
force one against the other.

“Should action of the kind referred to in Paragraph 1
be taken by a third Power against- one of the
Contracting Parties, the other Contracting Party shall
not support such action in any way.

“Article II: The Treaty shall come into force on the
exchange of the instruments of ratification and shall
remain in force for a period of ten years from that
date.” (TC-24) The Treaty is dated 31 May 1939. At the
bottom of the page there appears the signature of
Ribbentrop. The invasion of Denmark by the Nazi forces
less than a year after the signature of this treaty
showed the utter worthlessness of treaties to which
Ribbentrop put his signature.

With regard to Norway, Ribbentrop and the Nazi conspirators
were party to a similar perfidy. Hitler gave an assurance to
Denmark, Norway, and the Netherlands on 28 April 1939 (TC-
30. That, of course, was after the annexation of
Czechoslovakia had

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shaken the confidence of the world, and was presumably an
attempt to try to reassure the Scandinavian States. Hitler

“I have given binding declarations to a large number of
States. None of these States can complain that even a
trace of a demand contrary thereto has ever been made
to them by Germany. None of the Scandinavian statesmen,
for example, can contend that a request has ever been
put to them by the German Government or by the German
public opinion which was incompatible with the
sovereignty and integrity of their State.

“I was pleased that a number of European States availed
-themselves of these declarations by the German
Government to express and emphasize their desire too
for absolute neutrality. This applies to Holland,
Belgium, Switzerland, Denmark, etc.” (TC-30)

A further assurance was given by the Nazi Government on 2
September 1939, the day after the Nazi invasion of Poland.
On that day an aide memoire was handed to the Norwegian
Foreign Minister by the German Minister in Oslo. It reads:

“The German Reich Government is determined, in view of
the friendly relations which exist between Norway and
Germany, under no circumstances to prejudice the
inviolability and integrity of Norway and to respect
the territory of the Norwegian State. In making this
declaration the Reich Government naturally expects, on
its side, that Norway will observe an unimpeachable
neutrality towards the Reich and will not tolerate any
breaches of Norwegian neutrality by any third party
which might occur. Should the attitude of the Royal
Norwegian Government differ from this so that any such
breach of neutrality by a third party recurs, the Reich
Government would then obviously be compelled to
safeguard the interests of the Reich in such a way as
the resulting situation might dictate.” (TC-31)

There followed a further German assurance to Norway in a
speech by Hitler on 6 October 1939 in which he said:

“Germany has never had any conflicts of interest or
even points of controversy with the Northern States;
neither has she any today. Sweden and Norway have both
been offered nonaggression pacts by Germany and have
both refused them solely because they do not feel
themselves threatened in any way.” (TC-32)

These treaties and assurances were the diplomatic background
-to the Nazi aggression on Norway and Denmark. These assur-

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ances were simply given to lull suspicion and cause the
intended victims of Nazi aggression to be unprepared to meet
the Nazi attack. For it is now known that as early as
October 1939 the conspirators were plotting the invasion of
Norway, and that the most active conspirators in that plot
were Raeder and Rosenberg.

B. Early Planning for Invasion.

The Norwegian invasion is in one respect not a typical Nazi
aggression, in that Hitler had to be persuaded to embark
upon it. The chief instruments of persuasion were Raeder and
Rosenberg; Raeder because he thought Norway strategically
important, and because he coveted glory for his Navy;
Rosenberg because of his political connections in Norway,
which he sought to develop. And in the Norwegian, Vidkun
Quisling, Rosenberg found a very model of the Fifth Column

The early stages of the Nazi conspiracy to invade Norway are
disclosed in a letter which Raeder wrote on 10 January 1944
to Admiral Assmann, the official German Naval historian (C-
66). It is headed “Memorandum for Admiral Assmann for his
own information; not to be used for publications.” The first
part deals with “Barbarossa” (the plan to invade Russia).
The next part is headed ” (b) Weseruebung,” which was the
code name for the invasion of Norway and Denmark. The
following is a pertinent passage from the letter:

“During the weeks preceding the report on 10 October
1939, I was in correspondence with Admiral Carls, who,
in a detailed letter to me, first pointed out the
importance of an occupation of the Norwegian coast by
Germany. I passed this letter on to CISKl (the Chief of
Staff of the Naval War Staff) for their information and
prepared some notes based on this letter for my report
to the Fuehrer, which I made on 10 October 1939, since
my opinion was identical with that of Admiral Carls,
while at that time the SKl was more dubious about the
matter. In these notes, I stressed the disadvantages
which an occupation of Norway by the British would have
for us — control of the approaches to the Baltic,
outflanking of our naval operations and of air attacks
on Britain, pressure on Sweden. I also stressed the
advantages for us of the occupation of the Norwegian
coast — outlet to the North Atlantic, no possibility
of a British mine barrier, as in the year 1917-18.
Naturally at the time, only the coast and bases were
considered; I included Narvik, though Admiral Carls, in
the course of our correspondence thought that Narvik
could be excluded. The Fuehrer saw at once the sig-

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nificance of the Norwegian problem; he asked me to
leave the notes and stated that he wished to consider
the question himself.” (C-66)

This report of Raeder shows that the evolution of this Nazi
campaign against Norway affords a good example of the
participation of the German High Command in the Nazi
conspiracy to attack inoffensive neighbors.

Before this report of October 1939 was made to the Fuehrer,
Raeder sought a second opinion on the Norwegian invasion. On
3 October 1939, he made out a questionnaire headed, “Gaining
of Bases in Norway (extract from War Diary)” (C-122).It
reads: “The Chief of the Naval War Staff considers it
necessary that the Fuehrer be informed as soon as possible
of the opinions of the Naval War Staff on the possibilities
of extending e operational base to the North. It must be
ascertained whether it is possible to gain bases in Norway
under the combined pressure of Russia and Germany, with the
aim of improving our strategic and operational position. The
following questions must be given consideration:

“(a) What places in Norway can be considered as bases?

“(b) Can bases be gained by military force against
Norway’s will, if it is impossible to carry this out
without fighting?

“(c) What are the possibilities of defense after the

“(d) Will the harbors have to be developed completely
as bases, or have they already advantages suitable for
supply position?”

(“F.O.U.-boats” [a reference to Doenitz] “already
considers such harbors extremely useful as equipment
and supply bases or Atlantic U-boats to call at

“(e) What decisive advantages would exist for the
conduct of the war at sea in gaining bases in North
Denmark, e.g. Skagen” (C-122)

A memorandum written by Doenitz on Norwegian bases
presumably relates to the questionnaire of Raeder, which was
in circulation about that time. Doenitz’s document is
headed, “Flag officer Submarines, Operations Division,” and
is marked “Most Secret.” The subject is “Base in Norway.”
Then there are set out “suppositions’, “advantages and
disadvantages”, and then ‘conclusions. The last paragraph
(III) reads:

“The following is therefore proposed:

“(1) Establishment of a base in Trondheim, including:

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“a. Possibility of supplying fuel, compressed air,
oxygen, provisions.

“b. Repair opportunities for overhaul work after an

“c. Good opportunities for accommodating U-boat crews.

“d. Flak protection, L.A. armament, petrol and M/S
units. “Secondly, establishment of the possibility of
supplying fuel in Narvik as an alternative.” (C-5)

In October 1939 Hitler was merely considering the Norwegian
aggression and had not yet committed himself to it. Raeder
persevered in pressing his point of view with regard to
Norway, and at this stage he found a powerful ally in

C. Use of the Fifth Column: Quisling.

The Nazi employment of traitors and the stimulation of
treachery as a political weapon are now proven historical
facts. Should further proof be required, it is found in a
“Brief Report on Activities of the Foreign Affairs Bureau of
the Party (Assenpolitisches Amt der NSDAP) from 1933 to
1943” (007-PS). This was Rosenberg’s Bureau. The report

“When the Foreign Affairs Bureau (Azbssenpolitische
Amt) was established on 1 April 1933, the Fuehrer
directed that it should not be expanded to a large
bureaucratic agency, but should rather develop its
effectiveness through initiative and suggestions.

“Corresponding to the extraordinarily hostile attitude
adopted by the Soviet Government in Moscow from the
beginning, the newly-established Bureau devoted
particular attention to internal conditions in the
Soviet Union, as well as to the effects of World
Bolshevism primarily in other European countries. It
entered into contact with the most variegated groups
inclining towards National Socialism in combatting
Bolshevism, focussing its main attention on Nations and
States bordering on the Soviet Union. On the one hand,
those Nations and states constituted an Insulating Ring
encircling the Bolshevist neighbor; on the other hand
they were the laterals of German living space and took
up a flanking position towards the Western Powers,
especially Great Britain. In order to wield the desired
influence by one means or another, the Bureau was
compelled to use the most varying methods, taking into
consideration the completely different living
conditions, the ties of blood, intellect and history of
the movements observed by the Bureau in those

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“In Scandinavia an outspokenly pro-Anglo-Saxon
attitude, based on economic consideration, had become
progressively more dominant after the World War of 1914-
18. There the Bureau put the entire emphasis on
influencing general cultural relations with the Nordic
peoples. For this purpose it took the Nordic Society in
Luebeck under its protection. The Reich conventions of
this society were attended by many outstanding
personalities, especially from Finland. While there
were no openings for purely political cooperation in
Sweden and Denmark, an association based on Greater
Germanic ideology was found in Norway. Very close
relations were established with its founder, which led
to further consequences.” (007-PS)

There follows an account of the activity of Rosenberg’s
Bureau in various parts of the world. The last paragraph of
the main body of the report reads in part:

“With the outbreak of war, the Bureau was entitled to
consider its task as terminated. The exploitation of
the many personal connections in many lands can be
resumed under a different guise.” (007-PS)

The Annex to the report shows what the “exploitation of
personal connections” involved. Annex One to the document is
headed, “To Brief Report on Activities of the Foreign
Affairs Bureau of the Nazi Party from 1933 to 1943.” The
subheading is “The Political Preparation of the Military
Occupation of Norway During the War Years 1939-1940”. The
annex reads:

“As previously mentioned, of all political groupings in
Scandinavia, only ‘Nasjonal Samling’, led in Norway by
the former Minister of War and Major of the Reserve,
Vidkun Quisling, deserved serious political attention.
This was a fighting political group, possessed by the
idea of a Greater Germanic Community. Naturally, all
ruling powers were hostile and attempted to prevent, by
any means, its success among the population. The Bureau
maintained constant liaison with Quisling and
attentively observed the attacks he conducted with
tenacious energy on the middle class, which had been
taken in tow by the English.

“From the beginning, it appeared probable that without
revolutionary events, which would stir the population
from their former attitude, no successful progress of
Nasjonal Samling was to be expected. During the winter
1938-1939, Quisling was privately visited by a member
of the Bureau.

“When the political situation in Europe came to a head

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1939, Quisling made an appearance at the convention of
the Nordic Society in Luebeck in June. He expounded his
conception of the situation, and his apprehensions
concerning Norway. He emphatically drew attention to
the geopolitically decisive importance of Norway in the
Scandinavian area, and to the advantages that would
accrue to the power dominating the Norwegian coast in
case of a conflict between the Greater German Reich and
Great Britain.

“Assuming that his statement would be of special
interest to the Marshal of the Reich Goering for aero-
strategical reasons, Quisling was referred to State
Secretary Koerner by the Bureau. The Staff Director of
the Bureau handed the Chief of the Reich Chancellery a
memorandum for transmission to the Fuehrer.” (007-PS)

This document is another illustration of the close
interweaving between the political and military leadership
of the Nazi State. Raeder, in his report to Admiral Assmann,
admitted his collaboration with Rosenberg (C-66). The second
paragraph of the Raeder report, headed “Weseruebung,” reads
as follows:

“In the further developments, I was supported by
Commander Schreiber, Naval Attache in Oslo and the M-
Chief personally — in conjunction with the Rosenberg
Organization. Thus, we got in touch with Quisling and
Hagelin, who came to Berlin at the beginning of
December and were taken to the Fuehrer by me — with
the approval of Reichsleiter Rosenberg.” (C-66)

The details of the manner in which Raeder made contact
personally with Quisling are not clear. In a report from
Rosenberg to Raeder, however, the full extent of Quisling’s
preparedness for treachery and his potential usefulness to
the Nazi aggressors was reported and disclosed to Raeder.
The second paragraph of this report reads as follows:

“The reasons for a coup, on which Quisling made a
report, would be provided by the fact that the
Storthing (the Norwegian Parliament) had, in defense of
the constitution, passed a resolution prolonging its
own life which is to become operative on January 12th.
Quisling still retains in his capacity as a long-
standing officer and a former Minister of War, the
closest relations with the Norwegian Army. He showed me
the original of a letter which he had received only a
short time previously from the Commanding Officer in
Narvik, Colonel Sunlo. In this letter, Colonel Sunlo
frankly lays emphasis on the fact that, if things went
on as they were going at present, Norway was finished.”

[Page 741]

Then came the details of a plot to overthrow the government
of Norway by the traitor Quisling, in collaboration with

“A plan has been put forward which deals with the
possibility of a coup, and which provides for a number
of selected Norwegians to be trained in Germany with
all possible speed for such a purpose, being allotted
their exact tasks, and provided with experienced and
die-hard National Socialists, who are practiced in such
operations. These trained men should then proceed with
all speed to Norway, where details would .then require
to be further discussed. Some important centers in Oslo
would have to be taken over immediately, and at the
same time the German Fleet, together with suitable
contingents of the German Army, would go into operation
when summoned specially by the new Norwegian Government
in a specified bay at the approaches to Oslo. Quisling
has no doubts that such a coup, having been carried out
with instantaneous success — would immediately bring
him the approval of those sections of the Army with
which he at present has connections, and thus it goes
without saying that he has never discussed a political
fight with them. As far as the King is concerned, he
believes that he would respect it as an accomplished
fact. ***

“Quisling gives figures of the number of German troops
required which accord with German calculations.” (C-65)

Subsequent developments are indicated in a report by Raeder
of his meeting with Hitler on 112 February 1939 at 1200
hours, in the presence of Keitel, Jodl and Puttkammer, who
at this time as adjutant to Hitler. The report is headed
“Norwegian Question”, and the first sentence reads:

“C-in-C Navy” (Raeder) “has received Quisling and
Hagelin. Quisling creates the impression of being
reliable.” (C-64)

There then follows, in the next two paragraphs, a
statement of Quisling’s views. The fourth paragraph

“The Fuehrer thought of speaking to Quisling personally
so that he might form an impression of him. He wanted
to see Rosenberg once more beforehand, as the latter
has known Quisling for a long while. C-in-C Navy”
[Raeder] “suggests that if the Fuehrer forms a
favorable impression, the OKW -should obtain permission
to make plans with Quisling for the preparation and
carrying out of the occupation.

“(a) By peaceful means; that is to say, German forces
summoned by Norway, or

“(b) To agree to do so by force.” (C-64)

[Page 742]

It was at a meeting on 12 December that Raeder made the
above report to Hitler.

Raeder’s record of these transactions reports the next

“Thus, we got in touch with Quisling and Hagelin, who
came to Berlin at the beginning of December and were
taken to the Fuehrer by me, with the approval of
Reichsleiter Rosenberg.” (C-66)

A note at the bottom of the page states:

“At the crucial moment, R” (presumably Rosenberg) “hurt his
foot, so that I visited him in his house on the morning of
the 14th of December.” (C-66)

That is Raeder’s note, and it indicates the extent of his
contact in this conspiracy.

The report continues:

“On the grounds of the Fuehrer’s discussion with
Quisling and Hagelin on the afternoon of the 14th of
December, the Fuehrer gave the order that the
preparations for the Norwegian operation were to be
made by the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces.

“Until that moment, the Naval War Staff had taken no
part in the development of the Norwegian question, and
continued to be somewhat skeptical about it. The
preparations, which were undertaken by Captain Kranke
in the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces, were
founded, however, on a memorandum of the Naval War
Staff.” (C-66)

Raeder’s note referring to the “crucial” moment was an
appropriate one, for on the same day that it was written, 14
December, Hitler gave the order that preparations for the
Norwegian operation were to be begun by the Supreme Command
of the Armed Forces.

Rosenberg’s report on the activities of his organization
deals with further meetings between Quisling and the Nazi
chiefs in December. The extract reads:

“Quisling was granted a personal audience with the
Fuehrer on 16 December, and once more on 18 December.
In the course of this audience the Fuehrer emphasized
repeatedly that he personally would prefer a completely
neutral attitude of Norway, as well as of the whole of
Scandinavia. He did not intend to enlarge the theatre
of war and to draw still other nations into the
conflict. ***”

“Should the enemy attempt to extend the war however,
with the aim of achieving further throttling and
intimidation of

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the Greater German Reich, he would be compelled to gird
himself against such an undertaking. In order to
counterbalance increasing enemy propaganda activity, he
promised Quisling financial support of his movement,
which is based on Greater German ideology. Military
exploitation of the question now raised was assigned to
the special military staff, which transmitted special
missions to Quisling. Reichsleiter Rosenberg was to
take over political exploitation. Financial expenses
were to be defrayed by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs
[Ribbentrop’s organization], the Minister for Foreign
Affairs [Ribbentrop] being kept continuously informed
by the Foreign Affairs Bureau [Rosenberg’s

“Chief of Section Scheidt was charged with maintaining
liaison with Quisling. In the course of further
developments he was assigned to the Naval Attache in
Oslo. Orders were given that the whole matter be
handled with strictest secrecy.” (007-PS)

Here again is a further indication of the close link between
the Nazi politicians and the Nazi service chiefs.

D. Operational Planning

The information available on the events of January 1940 is
not full. but it is clear that the agitation of Raeder and
Rosenberg bore fruit. An order signed by Keitel, dated 27
January 1940, marked “Most Secret, five copies; reference,
Study ‘N’ “, (an earlier code name for the Weseruebung
preparations) and classified “Access only through an
officer,” stated:

“C-in-C of the Navy [Raeder] has a report on this ***

“The Fuehrer and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces
wishes that Study ‘N’ should be further worked on under
my direct and personal guidance, and in the closest
conjunction with the general war policy. For these
reasons the Fuehrer has commissioned me to take over
the direction of further preparations.

“A working staff has been formed at the Supreme Command
of the Armed Forces Headquarters for this purpose, and
this represents at the same time the nucleus of a
future operational staff.”


“All further plans will be made under the cover name
‘Weseruebung.’ “(C-63)

The importance of that document, to the signature of Keitel
upon it, and to the date of this important decision, is
this: Prior

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to this date, 27 January 1940, the planning of the various
aspects of the invasion of Norway and Denmark had been
confined to a relatively small group, whose aim had been to
persuade Hitler of the desirability of undertaking the
operation. The issuance of this directive of Keitel’s on 27
January 1940, was the signal that the Supreme Command of the
German Armed Forces, the OKW, had accepted the proposition
of the group that was pressing for the Norwegian adventure,
and had turned the combined resources of the German military
machine to the task of producing practical and coordinated
plans for the Norwegian operation. From January onward the
operational planning for the invasion of Norway and Denmark
was started through the normal channels.

Certain entries in the diary of Jodl reveal how the
preparations progressed (1809-PS). The entry for 6 February

“New idea: Carry out ‘H’ [Hartmundt, another code word
for the Norwegian and Danish invasion] and Weser
Exercise only and guarantee Belgium’s neutrality for
the duration of the war.” (1809-PS)

The entry for 21 February reads:

“Fuehrer has talked with General von Falkenhorst, and
charges him with preparation of ‘Weser Exercise.’
Falkenhorst accepts gladly. Instructions issued to the
three branches of the armed forces.” (1809-PS)

The entry for 28 February reads:

“I propose, first to the Chief of OKW and then to the
Fuehrer, that Case Yellow [the code name for the
invasion of the Netherlands] and Weser Exercise [the
invasion of Norway and Denmark] must be prepared in
such a way that they will be independent of one another
as regards both time and forces employed. The Fuehrer
completely agrees, if this is in any way possible.”

It will be observed that the new idea of 6 February, that
the neutrality of Belgium might be preserved, had been
abandoned by 28 February.

The entry for 29 February reads:

“Fuehrer also wishes to have a strong task force in
Copenhagen and a plan, elaborated in detail, showing
how individual coastal batteries are to be captured by
shock troops Warlimont, Chef Landesverteidigung,
instructed to make out immediately the order of the
Army, Navy, and Air Force, and Director of Armed Forces
to make out a similar order regarding the strengthening
of the staff.” (1809-PS)

[Page 745]

Then came Hitler’s order to complete the preparations for
the invasion of Norway and Denmark (C-174). It bears the
date of 1 March 1940, and reads as follows:

“The Fuehrer and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces,
Most Secret.

“Directive for Fall Weserebung.

“The development of the situation in Scandinavia
requires the making of all preparations for the
occupation of Denmark and Norway by a part of the
German Armed Forces Fall Weserebung. This operation
should prevent British ‘ encroachment on Scandinavia
and the Baltic; further, it should guarantee our ore
base in Sweden and give our Navy and Air Force a wider
start line against Britain.

“In view of our military and political power in
comparison with that of the Scandinavian States, the
force to be employed in the Fall Weserebung will be
kept as small as possible. The numerical weakness will
be balanced by daring actions and surprise execution.
On principle we will do our utmost to make the
operation appear as a peaceful occupation, the object
of which is the military protection of the neutrality
of the Scandinavian States. Corresponding demands will
be transmitted to the Governments at the beginning of
the occupation. If necessary, demonstrations by the
Navy and the Air Force will provide the necessary
emphasis. If, in spite of this, resistance should be
met with, all military means will be used to crush it.”


“I put in charge of the preparations and the conduct of
the operation against Denmark and Norway the Commanding
General of the 21st Army Corps, General von
Falkenhorst. ***”

“The crossing of the Danish border and the landings in
Norway must take place simultaneously. I emphasize that
the operations must be prepared as quickly as possible.
In case the enemy seizes the initiative against Norway,
we must be able to apply immediately our own counter-

“It is most important that the Scandinavian States as
well as the Western opponents should be taken by
surprise by our measures. All preparations,
particularly those of transport and of readiness,
drafting and embarkation of the troops, must be made
with this factor in mind.

“In case the preparations for embarkation can no longer

[Page 746]

kept secret, the leaders and the troops will be
deceived with fictitious objectives.” (C-174)

The section on “The Occupation of Denmark” which is given
the code name of “Weserebung Sued”, provides:

“The task of Group XXI: Occupation by surprise of
Jutland and of Fuenen immediately after occupation of

“Added to this, having secured the most important
places, the Group will break through as quickly as
possible from Fuenen to Skagen and to the east coast.”

There then follow other instructions with regard to the
operation. The section on “The Occupation of Norway”, given
the code name of “Weseruebung Nord”, provides:

“The task of the Group XXI: Capture by surprise of the
most important places on the coast by sea and airborne

“The Navy will take over the preparation and carrying
out of the transport by sea of the landing troops. ***
The Air Force, after the occupation has been completed,
will ensure air defense and will make use of Norwegian
bases for air warfare against Britain.” (C-174)

Whilst these preparations were being made, and just prior to
the final decision of Hitler, reports were coming in through
Rosenberg’s organization from Quisling. The third paragraph
in Annex I, the section dealing with Norway, has this

“Quisling’s reports, transmitted to his representative
in Germany, Hagelin, and dealing with the possibility
of intervention by the Western Powers in Norway with
tacit consent of the Norwegian Government, became more
urgent by January. These increasingly better
substantiated communications were in sharpest contrast
to the views of the German Legation in Oslo, which
relied on the desire for neutrality of the then
Norwegian Nygardszvold Cabinet, and was convinced of
that government’s intention and readiness to defend
Norway’s neutrality. No one in Norway knew that
Quisling’s representative for Germany maintained
closest relations to him; he therefore succeeded in
gaining a foothold within governmental circles of the
Nygardszvold cabinet and in listening to the cabinet
members’ views. Hagelin transmitted what he had heard
to the Bureau [Rosenberg’s bureau], which conveyed the
news to the Fuehrer through Reichsleiter Rosenberg.
During the night of the 16th to 17th of February,
English destroyers attacked the German steamer
‘Altmark’ in Jessingjord.***” (007-PS)

[Page 747]

(That is a reference to the action by the British destroyer
Cossack against the German naval auxiliary vessel Altmark,
which was carrying three hundred British prisoners, captured
on the high seas, to Germany through Norwegian territorial
waters. The position of the British delegation with regard
to that episode that the use that was being made by the
Altmark of Norwegian territorial waters was in fact a
flagrant abuse in itself of Norwegian neutrality, and that
the action taken by H.M.S. Cossack, which was restricted to
rescuing the three hundred British prisoners on board, no
attempt being made to destroy the Altmark or to capture the
armed guards on board her, was fully justified under
international law.)

The Rosenberg report continues:

“The Norwegian Government’s reaction to this question
permitted the conclusion that certain agreements had
been covertly arrived at between the Norwegian
Government and the Allies. Such assumption was
confirmed by reports of Section Scheidt, who in turn
derived his information from Hagelin and Quisling. But
even after this incident the German Legation in Oslo
championed the opposite view, and went on record as
believing in the good intentions of the Norwegians.”

And so the Nazi Government preferred the reports of the
traitor Quisling to the considered judgment of German
diplomatic representatives in Norway. The result of the
receipt of reports of that kind was the Hitler decision to
invade Norway and Denmark. The culminating details in the
preparations for the invasion are again found in Jodl’s
diary. The entry for 3 March relates:

“The Fuehrer expressed himself very sharply on the
necessity of a swift entry into N [Norway] with strong

“No delay by any branch of the armed forces. Very rapid
acceleration of the attack necessary.” (1809-PS)

The last entry for 3 March reads:

“Fuehrer decides to carry out ‘Weser Exercise’ before
case -‘Yellow’ with a few days interval.” (1809-PS)

Thus, the important issue of strategy which had been
concerning the German High Command for some time had been
decided by this date, and the fate of Scandinavia was to be
sealed before the fate of the Low Country. It will be
observed from those entries of 3 March that by that date
Hitler had become an enthusiastic convert to the idea of
aggression against Norway.

[Page 748]

The entry in Jodl’s diary for 5 March reads:

“Big conference with the three commanders-in-chief
about ‘Weser Exercise.’ Field Marshal in a rage because
not consulted till now. Wort listen to anyone and wants
to show that all preparations so far made are

“Result: (a) Stronger forces to Narvik.

“(b) Navy to leave ships in the ports (Hipper or
Luetzow in Trondheim)

“(c) Christians and can be left out at first.

“(d) Six divisions envisaged for Norway.

“(e) A foothold to be gained immediately in
Copenhagen.” (1809-PS)

The entry for 13 March is one of the most remarkable in the
documentation of this case.

“Fuehrer does not give order yet for ‘W’ [Weser
Exercise]. He is still looking for an excuse.” (1809-

The entry of the next day, 14 March, shows a similar
preoccupation on the part of Hitler with the search for an
excuse for this aggression. It reads:

“English keep vigil in the North Sea with fifteen to
sixteen submarines; doubtful whether reason to
safeguard own operations or prevent operations by
Germans. Fuehrer has not yet decided what reason to
give for ‘Weser Exercise.’ ” (1809-PS)

The entry for 21 March reads:

“Misgivings of Task Force 21 [Falkenhorst’s Force,
detailed to conduct the invasion] about the long
interval between taking up readiness positions at 05.30
hours and close of diplomatic negotiations. Fuehrer
rejects any earlier negotiations, as otherwise calls
for help go out to England and America. If resistance
is put up it must be ruthlessly broken.

The political plenipotentiaries must emphasize the military
measures taken, and even exaggerate them.” (1809-PS)

The entry of 28 March reads:

“Individual naval officers seem to be lukewarm
concerning the Weser Exercise and need a stimulus. Also
Falkenhorst and the other two commanders are worrying
about matters which are none of their business. Franke
sees more disadvantages than advantages.

“In the evening the Fuehrer visits the map room and
roundly declares that he won’t stand for the Navy
clearing out of the

[Page 749]

Norwegian ports right away. Narvik, Trondheim and Oslo
will have to remain occupied by naval forces.” (1809-

The entry for 2 April reads:

“Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force, Commander-in-
Chief of the Navy, and General von Falkenhorst with the
Fuehrer. All confirm preparations completed. Fuehrer
orders carrying out of the Weser Exercise for April
9th.” (1809-PS)

The entry for 4 April reads:

“Fuehrer drafts the proclamation. Piepenbrock, Chief of
Military Intelligence 1, returns with good results from
the talks with Quisling-in Copenhagen.” (1809-PS)

From the large number of operation orders that were issued
in connection with the aggression against Norway and
Denmark, the two may be cited to illustrate the extent of
the secrecy and deception that was used by the conspirators
in the course of that aggression. The first dated 4 April
1940, reads in part:

“*** The barrage-breaking vessels (Sperrbrechers) will
penetrate inconspicuously, and with lights on, into
Oslo Fjord, disguised as merchant steamers.

“Challenge from coastal signal stations and lookouts
are to be answered by the deceptive use of the names of
English steamers. I lay particular stress on the
importance of not giving away the operation before zero
hour.” (C-115)

An order for reconnaissance forces, dated 24 March 1940,
entitled “Behavior during entrance into the harbor,” reads
in part: “The disguise as British craft must be kept up as
long as possible. All challenges in Morse by Norwegian ships
will be answered in English. In answer to questions a text
with something like the following content will be chosen:

“Calling at Bergen for a short visit; no hostile
“Challenges to be answered with names of British
“Koeln – H.M.S. Cairo
“Koenigsberg – H.M.S. Calcutta
“Bromso – H.M.S. Faulkner
“Karl Peters – H.M.S. Halcyon
“Leopard – British destroyer
“Wolf – British destroyer
“E-boats – British motor torpedo boats

“Arrangements are to be made enabling British war flags
to be illuminated. Continual readiness for making
smoke.” (C115)

[Page 750]

An order dated 24 March 1940, classified “Most Secret,”

“Following is laid down as guiding principle should one
of our own units find itself compelled to answer the
challenge of passing craft. To challenge in case of the
‘Koeln’ H.M.S. Cairo. Then to order to stop: (1) Please
repeat last signal. (2) Impossible to understand your
signal. In case of a warning shot: Stop firing. British
ship. Good friend. In case of an inquiry as to
destination and purpose: Going Bergen. Chasing German
steamers.” (C-115)

Doenitz’s order in connection with this operation is headed

“Top Secret, Operation Order ‘Hartmut.'”

“Occupation of Denmark and Norway. This order comes
into force on the codeword ‘Hartmut.’ With its coming
into force the orders hitherto valid for the boats
taking part lose their validity.

“The day and hour are designated as ‘Weser-Day’ and
‘Weser-Hour’, and the whole operation is known as

“The operation ordered by the codeword has its
objective the rapid surprise landing of troops in
Norway. Simultaneously Denmark will be occupied from
the Baltic and from the land side. *** The naval force
will as they enter the harbor fly the British flag
until the troops have landed, except presumably at
Narvik.” (C-151)

E. Nazi Justification of Invasion.

On 9 April 1940 the Nazi onslaught on the unsuspecting and
almost unarmed people of Norway and Denmark was launched.
When the invasions had already begun, a German memorandum
was handed to the governments of Norway and Denmark
attempting to justify the German action (TC-55). That
memorandum alleges that England and France were guilty in
their maritime warfare of breaches of international law;
that Britain and France are making plans themselves to
invade and occupy Norway; and that the government of Norway
was prepared to acquiesce in such a situation. The
memorandum further states:

“The German troops therefore do not set foot on
Norwegian soil as enemies. The German High Command does
not intend to make use of the points occupied by German
troops as bases for operations against England, so long
as it is not forced to do so by measures taken by
England and France. German military operations aim much
more exclusively at protecting

[Page 751]

the north against proposed occupation of Norwegian
strong points by English-French forces.” (TC-55)

In connection with that statement it may be recalled that in
his operation order on 1 March Hitler had given orders to
the Air Force to make use of Norwegian bases for air warfare
against Britain. That was on 1 March. And this is the
memorandum which was produced as an excuse on 9 April. The
last two paragraphs of the German memorandum to Norway and
Denmark are a classic Nazi combination of diplomatic
hypocrisy and military threat:

“The Reich Government thus expects that the Royal
Norwegian Government and the Norwegian people will
respond with understanding to the German measures and
offer no resistance to it. Any resistance would have to
be and would be broken by all possible means by the
German forces employed, and would therefore lead only
to absolutely useless bloodshed. The Royal Norwegian
Government is therefore requested to take all measures
with the greatest- speed to ensure that the advance of
the German troops can take place without friction and
difficulty. In the spirit of the good German-Norwegian
relations that have always existed, the Reich
Government declares to the Royal Norwegian Government
that Germany has no intention of infringing by her
measures the territorial integrity and political
independence of the Kingdom of Norway now or in the
future.” (TC-55)

What the Nazis meant by “protection of the kingdom of
Norway” was shown by their conduct on 9 April.

A report by the Commander in Chief of the Royal Norwegian
Forces states:

“*** The Germans, considering the long lines of
communications and the threat of the British Navy,
clearly understood the necessity of complete surprise
and speed in the attack. In order to paralyze the will
of the Norwegian people to defend their country and at
the same time to prevent allied intervention it was
planned to capture all the more important towns along
the coast simultaneously. Members of the Government and
Parliament and other military and civilian people
occupying important positions were to be arrested
before organized resistance could be put into effect
and the King was to be forced to form a new government
with Quisling as the head.”

[Page 752]


“The German attack came as a surprise and all the
invaded towns along the coast were captured according
to plan with only slight losses. In the Oslofjord,
however, the cruiser ‘Blucher’, carrying General
Engelbrecht and parts of his division, technical staffs
and specialists who were to take over the control of
Oslo, was sunk. The plan to capture the King and
members of the Government and Parliament failed in
spite of the surprise of the attack; resistance was
organized throughout the country.” (TC-56)

What happened in Denmark is described in a memorandum
prepared by the Royal Danish Government (D-628). An extract
from it reads:

“Extracts from the Memorandum concerning Germany’s
attitude towards Denmark before and during the
occupation, prepared by the Royal Danish Government.

“On 9 April 1940 at 4.20 hours the German Minister
appeared at the private residence of the Danish
Minister for Foreign Affairs accompanied by the Air
Attache of the Legation. The appointment had been made
by a telephone call from the German Legation to the
Secretary General of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs
at 4.00 o’clock the same morning. The Minister said at
once that Germany had positive proof that Great Britain
intended to occupy bases in Denmark and Norway. Germany
had to safeguard Denmark against this. For this reason
German soldiers were now crossing the frontier and
landing at various points in Zealand including the port
of Copenhagen; in a short time German bombers would be
over Copenhagen; their orders were not to bomb until
further notice. It was now up to the Danes to prevent
resistance as any resistance would have the most
terrible consequences. Germany would guarantee
Denmark’s territorial integrity and political
independence. Germany would not interfere with- the
internal government of Denmark, but wanted only to make
sure of the neutrality of the country. For this purpose
the presence of the German Wehrmacht in Denmark was
required during the war.

“The Minister for Foreign Affairs declared in reply
that the allegation concerning British plans to occupy
Denmark was completely without foundation; there was no
possibility of

[Page 753]

anything like that. The Minister for Foreign Affairs
protested against the violation of Denmark’s neutrality
which according to the German Minister’s statement was
in progress. The Minister for Foreign Affairs declared
further that he could not give a reply to the demands,
which had to be submitted to the King and the Prime
Minister, and further observed that the German Minister
knew, as everybody else, that the Danish armed forces
had orders to oppose violations of Denmark’s neutrality
so that fighting presumably already took place. In
reply the German Minister expressed that the matter was
very urgent, not least to avoid air bombardment.” (D-

What happened thereafter is described in a dispatch from the
British Minister in Copenhagen to the British Foreign
Secretary (1627). That dispatch reads:

“The actual events of the 9th April have been pieced
together by members of my staff from actual eye-
witnesses or from reliable information subsequently
received and are given below. Early in the morning
towards 5 o’clock three small German transports steamed
into the approach to Copenhagen harbor, whilst a number
of airplanes circled overhead. The northern battery,
guarding the harbor approach, fired a warning shot at
these planes when it was seen that they carried German
markings. Apart from this, the Danes offered no further
resistance, and the German vessels fastened alongside
the quays in the Free Harbor. Some of these airplanes
proceeded to drop leaflets over the town urging the
population to keep calm and cooperate with the Germans.
I enclose a specimen of this leaflet, which is written
in a bastard Norwegian-Danish, a curiously un-German
disregard of detail, together with a translation:
Approximately 800 soldiers landed with full equipment,
and marched to Kastellet, the old fortress of
Copenhagen and now a barracks. The door was locked, so
the Germans promptly burst it open with explosives and
rounded up all the Danish soldiers within, together
with the womenfolk employed in the mess. The garrison
offered no resistance, and it appears that they were
taken completely by surprise. One officer tried to
escape in a motor car, but his chauffeur was shot
before they could get away. He died in hospital two
days later. After seizing the barracks, a detachment
was sent to Amalienborg, the King’s palace, where

[Page 754]

they engaged the Danish sentries on guard, wounding
three, one of them fatally. Meanwhile, a large fleet of
bombers flew over the city at low altitudes.”


“It has been difficult to ascertain exactly what
occurred in Jutland. It is clear, however, that the
enemy invaded Jutland from the south at dawn on the 9th
April and were at first resisted by the Danish forces,
who suffered casualties. The chances of resistance were
weakened by the extent to which the forces appear to
have been taken by surprise. The chief permanent
official of the Ministry of War, for instance, motored
into Copenhagen on the morning of the 9th April and
drove blithely past a sentry who challenged him, in
blissful ignorance that this was not one of his own
men. It took a bullet, which passed through the lapels
of his coat, to disillusion him.” (D-627)

The German memorandum to the Norwegian and Danish
governments spoke of the German desire to maintain the
territorial integrity and political independence of those
two small countries. Two documents indicate the kind of
territorial integrity and political independence the Nazi
conspirators contemplated for the victims of their
aggression. An entry in Jodl’s diary for 19 April reads:

“Renewed crisis. Envoy Braver is recalled: since Norway
is at war with us, the task of the Foreign Office is
finished. In the Fuehrer’s opinion, force has to be
used. It is said that Gauleiter Terboven will be given
a post. Field Marshal [presumably a reference to
Goering] is moving in the same direction. He criticizes
as defects that we didn’t take sufficiently energetic
measures against the civilian population, that we could
have seized electrical plant, that the Navy didn’t
supply enough troops. The Air Force can’t do
everything.” (1809-PS)

It will be seen from that entry and the reference to
Gauleiter Terboven that already by 19 April, rule by
Gauleiters had replaced rule by Norwegians.

A memorandum dated 3 June 1940, signed by Fricke, at that
date the head of the Operations Division of the German Naval
War Staff, which was a key appointment in the very nerve
center of German naval operations, relates to questions of
territorial expansion and bases (C-41). It reads:

[Page 755]

“These problems are preeminently of a political
character and comprise an abundance of questions of a
political type, which it is not the Navy’s province to
answer, but they also materially affect the strategic
possibilities open — according to the way in which
this question is answered — for the subsequent use and
operation of the Navy.

“It is too well known to need further mention that
Germany’s present position in the narrows of the
Heligoland Bight and in the Baltic — bordered as it is
by a whole series of States and under their influence –
– is an impossible one for the future of Greater
Germany. If, over and above this, one extends these
strategic possibilities to the point that Germany shall
not continue to be cut off for all time from overseas
by natural geographical facts, the demand is raised
that somehow or other an end shall be put to this state
of affairs at the end of the war.

“The solution could perhaps be found among the
following possibilities.

“1. The territories of Denmark, Norway and Northern
France acquired during the course of the war continue
to be so occupied and organized that they can in future
be considered as German possessions.

“This solution will recommend itself for areas where
the severity of the decision tells, and should tell, on
the enemy and where a gradual ‘Germanizing’ of the
territory appears practicable.

“2. The taking over and holding of areas which have no
direct connection with Germany’s main body, and which,
like the Russian solution in Hango, remain permanently
as an enclave in the hostile State. Such areas might be
considered possibly around Brest and Trondjem.

“3. The power of Greater Germany in the strategic areas
acquired in this war should result in the existing
population of these areas feeling themselves
politically, economically and militarily to be
completely dependent on Germany. If the following
results are achieved — that expansion is undertaken
(on a scale I shall describe later) by means of the
military measures for occupation taken during the war,
that French powers of resistance (popular unity,
mineral resources, industry, Armed Forces) are so
broken that a revival must be considered out of the
question, that the smaller States such as the
Netherlands, Denmark and Norway are forced into a

[Page 756]

dependence on us which will enable us in any
circumstances and at any time easily to occupy these
countries again, then in practice the same, but
psychologically much more, will be achieved.” (C-41 )

Then Fricke recommends:

“The solution given in 3, therefore, appears to be the
proper one, that is, to crush France, to occupy
Belgium, part of North and East France, to allow the
Netherlands, Denmark and Norway to exist on the basis
indicated above.”


“Time will show how far the outcome of the war with
England will make an extension of these demands
possible.” (C-41)

The submission of the prosecution is that that and other
documents which have been submitted tear apart the veil of
Nazi pretense. These documents reveal the menace behind the
good-will of Goering; they expose as fraudulent the
diplomacy of Ribbentrop; they show the reality behind the
ostensible political ideology of tradesmen in treason like
Rosenberg; and finally and above all they render sordid the
professional status of Keitel and of Raeder.



Charter of the International Military Tribunal,
Article 6 (a). Vol. I, Pg. 5

International Military Tribunal, Indictment
Number 1, Sections IV (F) 5; V. Vol. I, Pg. 27,29

[Page 757]

[Note: A single asterisk (*) before a document indicates
that the document was received in evidence at the Nurnberg
trial. A double asterisk (**) before a document number
indicates that the document was referred to during the trial
but was not formally received in evidence, for the reason
given in parentheses following the description of the
document. The USA series number, given in parentheses
following the description of the document, is the official
exhibit number assigned by the court.]

*004-PS; Report submitted by
Rosenberg to Deputy of the Fuehrer, 15 June 1940, on the
Political Preparation of the Norway Action. (GB 140) . Vol.
III, Pg. 19

*007-PS; Report on activities of the
Foreign Affairs Bureau from 1933 to 1943 signed Rosenberg.
(GB 84) . Vol. III, Pg. 27

*957-PS; Rosenberg’s letter to
Ribbentrop, 24 February 1940. (GB 139) . Vol. III, Pg.641

1546-PS; Raeder memorandum, 9 April
1940, concerning occupation of Norway. . Vol. IV, Pg. 104

*1809-PS; Entries from Jodl’s diary,
February 1940 to May 1940. (GB 88) . Vol. IV, Pg. 377

*3054-PS; “The Nazi Plan”, script of
a motion picture composed of captured German film. (USA 167)
. Vol. V, Pg. 801

3596-PS; Covering memorandum and
notes of conversation on 8 August 1940, between Chief
Custodian of Army Archives GOES and Major General Himer.
Vol. VI, Pg. 299

*C-5; Memorandum to Supreme Command
of the Navy by Doenitz, 9 October 1939, concerning base in
Norway. (GB 83) . Vol. VI, Pg. 815

[Page 758]

*C-41; Memorandum by Fricke, 3 June
1940, on questions of territorial expansion and bases. (GB
96) . Vol. VI, Pg.868

*C-63; Keitel order on preparation
for “Weseruebung”, 27 January 1940. (GB 87) . Vol. VI, Pg.

*C-64; Raeder’s report, 112 February
1939, on meeting of Naval Staff with Fuehrer. (GB 86) . Vol.
VI, Pg. 884

*C-65; Notes of Rosenberg to Raeder
concerning visit of Quisling. (GB 85) . Vol. VI, Pg. 885

*C-66; Memorandum from Raeder to
Assman, 10 January 1944, concerning “Barbarossa” and
“Weseruebung”. (GB 81) . Vol. VI, Pg. 887

*C-115; Naval deception and
camouflage in invasion of Norway taken from file of naval
operation orders for operation “Weseruebung”. (GB 90) . Vol.
VI, Pg. 914

*C-122; Extract from Naval War Diary.
Questionnaire on Norway bases, 3 October 1939. (GB 82) .
Vol. VI, Pg. 928

*C-151; Details for execution of
operation “Weseruebung”, 3 March 1940, signed by Doenitz. (GB
91) . Vol. VI, Pg. 965

*C-174; Hitler Order for operation
“Weseruebung”, 1 March 1940. (GB 89) . Vol. VI, Pg. 1003

*D-627; Dispatch from British
Minister in Copenhagen to Foreign Secretary, 25 April 1940.
(GB 95) . Vol. VII, Pg. 97

*D-628; Memorandum concerning
Germany’s attitude towards Denmark before and during
occupation. (GB 94) . Vol. VII, Pg. 98

*D-629; Letter from Keitel to Ribbentrop, 3 April
1940. (GB 141) . Vol. VII, Pg. 99

[Page 759]

*L-323; Entry in Naval War Diary
concerning operation “Weseruebung”. (USA 541) . Vol. VII,
Pg. 1106

*M-156; Year Book of the Ausland
(Foreign) Organization of the NSDAP for 1942. (GB 284) .
Vol. VIII, Pg. 49

*TC-17; Treaty of Arbitration and
Conciliation between Germany and Denmark, signed at Berlin,
2 June 1926. (GB 76) . Vol. VIII, Pg.346

*TC-24; Treaty of non-aggression
between German Reich and Kingdom of Denmark, 31 May 1939.
(GB 77) . Vol. VIII, Pg.373

*TC-30; German assurance to Denmark,
Norway, Belgium, and the Netherlands, 28 April 1939, from
Documents of German Politics, Part VII, I, pp. 139,172-175.
(GB 78) . Vol. VIII, Pg.379

*TC-31; German assurance to Norway, 2
September 1939. (GB 79) . Vol. VIII, Pg. 380

*TC-32; German assurance to Norway, 6
October 1939, from Documents of German Politics, Vol. VII,
p. 350. (GB 80) . Vol. VIII, Pg. 381

*TC-55; German ultimatum to Norway ad
Denmark, 9 April 1940, from Documents of German Politics,
Part VIII, pp. 21-31. (GB 92) . Vol. VIII, Pg. 410

*TC-56; German Plans for Invasion of
Norway, 1 October 1945. (GB 93) . Vol. VIII, Pg. 414

**Chart No. 12; German Aggression.
(Enlargement displayed to Tribunal.) . Vol. VIII, Pg. 781

**Chart No. 13; Violations of
Treaties, Agreements and Assurances. (Enlargement displayed
to Tribunal.) . Vol. VIII, Pg. 782