Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression Volume I Chapter IX – II Preparation for aggression: 1933-1936

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By 1933 the Nazi Party, the NSDAP, had reached very
substantial proportions. At that time its plans called for
the acquisition of political control of Germany. This was
indispensable for consolidation, within the country, of all
the internal resources and potentialities.

As soon as there was sufficient progress along this line of
internal consolidation, the next step was to become
disengaged from some of the external disadvantages of
existing international limitations and obligations.

The restrictions of the Versailles Treaty were a bar to the
development of strength in all the fields necessary if
Germany were to make war. Although there had been an
increasing amount of circumvention and violation from the
very time that the Versailles Treaty came into effect, such
operations under disguise and subterfuge could not attain
proportions adequate for the objectives of the Nazis. To get
the Treaty of Versailles out of the way was indispensable to
the development of the extensive military power which they
had to have for their purposes. It was as a part of the same
plan and for the same reason that Germany withdrew from the
Disarmament Conference and from the League of Nations. It
was impossible for the Nazis to carry out their plan on the
basis of existing international obligations or on the basis
of the orthodox kind of future commitments.

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Every military and diplomatic operation undertaken by the
Nazis was preceded by a plan of action and a careful
coordination of all participating forces. At the same time
each event was part of a long prepared plan of aggression.
Each represented a necessary step in the preparation of the
schedule of aggressions which was subsequently carried out.

Three of the steps in preparation for aggression were first,
the withdrawal from the Disarmament Conference and the
League of Nations; second, the institution of compulsory
military service; and, third, the reoccupation of the
demilitarized zone of the Rhineland. Each of these steps was
progressively more serious in the matter of international
relations. In each of these steps Germany anticipated the
possibility of sanctions being applied by other countries,
and, particularly, a strong military action from France with
the possible assistance of England. However, the
conspirators were determined that nothing less than a
preventive war would stop them, and they also estimated
correctly that no one or combination of big powers would
undertake the responsibility for such a war. The withdrawal
from the Disarmament Conference and from the league of
Nations was, of course, action that did not violate any
international obligation. The League Covenant provided the
procedure for withdrawal. These actions, however, cannot be
disassociated from the general conspiracy and the plan for
aggression. The announcement of the institution of universal
military service was a more daring action. It was a
violation of the Versailles Treaty, but the Nazis got away
with it. Then came outright military defiance, with the
occupation of the demilitarized zone of the Rhineland.

A. Planning to Overthrow the Versailles Treaty.

The determination and the plans of the Nazi conspirators to
remove the restrictions of Versailles, started very early.
This fact is confirmed by their own statements, their boasts
of long planning and careful execution. Hitler, in his
speech to all Supreme Commanders on 23 November 1939, stated
that his primary goal was to wipe out Versailles (789-PS).
And Jodl, as Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces,
delivered an address after four years of war, on 7 November
1943, in which he traced the development of German strength (L-172).
The seizure of power to him meant the’ restoration of fighting sovereignty,
including conscription occupation of the Rhineland, and
rearmament, with special emphasis on modern armor and air
forces. In his speech, entitled “The Strategic Position at
the Beginning of the 5th Year

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of War,” General Jodl gave a retrospective summary of the
war for the benefit of the Reich and Gau leaders. He stated:

“Introduction: Reichsleiter Bormann has requested me to
give you a review today of the strategic position in
the beginning of the 6th Year of War.

“I must admit that it was not without hesitation that I
undertook this none too easy task. It is not possible
to do it justice with a few generalities. It is not
necessary to say openly what is. No one the Fuehrer has
orderedmay know more or be told more than he needs for
his own immediate task, but I have no doubt at all in
my mind, Gentlemen, but that you need a great deal in
order to be able to cope with your tasks. It is in your
Gaus, after all, and among their inhabitants that all
the enemy propaganda, the defeatism, and the malicious
rumours concentrate, that try to find themselves a plan
among our people. Up and down the country the devil of
subversion strides. All the cowards are seeking a way
out, oras they call ita political solution. They say,
we must negotiate while there is still something in
hand, and all these slogans are made use of to attack
the natural sense of the people, that in this war there
can only be a fight to the end. Capitulation is the end
of the Nation, the end of Germany. Against this wave of
enemy propaganda and cowardice you need more than
force. You need to know the true situation and for this
reason I believe that I am justified in giving you a
perfectly open and uncolored account of the state of
affairs. This is no forbidden disclosure of secrets,
but a weapon which may perhaps-help you to fortify the
morale of the people. For this war will not only be
decided by the force of arms but by the will of the
whole people. Germany was broken in 1918 not at the
front but at home. Italy suffered not military defeat
but morale defeat. She broke down internally. The
result has been not the peace she expected but —
through the cowardice of these criminal traitors — a
fate thousand times harder than continuation of the war
at our side would have brought to the Italian people. I
can rely on you, Gentlemen, that since I give concrete
figures and data concerning our own strength, you will
treat these details as your secret; all the rest is at
your disposal without restriction for application in
your activities as leaders of the people.

“The necessity and objectives of this war were clear to
all and everyone at the moment when we entered upon the
War of Liberation of Greater Germany and by attacking

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the danger which menaced us both from Poland and from
the Western powers. Our further incursions into
Scandinavia, in the direction of the Mediterranean, and
in that of Russia — these also aroused no doubts
concerning the general conduct of the war so long as we
were successful. It was not until more serious set-
backs were encountered and our general situation began
to become increasingly acute, that the German people
began to ask itself whether perhaps we had not
undertaken more than we could do and set our aims too
high. To provide an answer to this questioning and to
furnish you with certain points of view for use in your
own explanatory activities is one of the main points of
my present lecture. I shall divide it into three parts:

“I. A review of the most important development up
to the present.

“II. Consideration of the present situation.

“III. The foundation of our morale and our
confidence in victory.

“In view of my position as military advisor to the
Fuehrer, I shall confine myself in my remarks to
the problems of my own personal sphere of action,
fully appreciating at the same time that in view
of the protean nature of this war, I shall in this
way be giving expression only to one side of

“I. Review

“1. The fact that the National Socialist movement and
its struggle for internal power were the preparatory
stage of the outer liberation from the bonds of the
Dictate of Versailles is not one on which I need
enlarge in this circle. I should like however to
mention at this point how clearly all thoughtful
regular soldiers realize what an important part has
been played by the National Socialist movement in
reawakening the will to fight [Wehrwillen] in nurturing
fighting strength [Wehrkraft] and in rearming the
German people. In spite of all the virtue inherent in
it, the numerically small Reichswehr would never have
been able to cope with this task, if only because of
its own restricted radius of action. Indeed, what the
Fuehrer aimed atand has so happily been successful in
bringing aboutwas the fusion of these two forces.

“2. The seizure of power in its turn-has meant in the
first place restoration of fighting sovereignty
[Wehrhoheit — conscription, occupation of the
Rhineland] and rearmament

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with special emphasis being laid on the creation of a
modern armoured and air arm.

“3. The Austrian ‘Anschluss’ in its turn, brought with
it not only the fulfillment of an old national aim but
also had the effect both of reinforcing our fighting
strength and of materially improving our strategic
position. Whereas up till then the territory of
Czechoslovakia had projected in a most menacing way
right into Germany (a wasp waist in the direction of
France and an air base for the Allies, in particular
Russia), Czechoslovakia herself was now enclosed by

“Its own strategic position had now become so
unfavorable that she was bound to fall a victim to any
attack pressed home with rigour before effective aid
from the West could be expected to arrive.

“This possibility of aid was furthermore made more
difficult by the construction of the West Wall, which,
in contra-distinction to the Maginot Line, was not a
measure based on debility and resignation but one
intended to afford rear cover for an active policy in
the East.

“4. The bloodless solution of the Czech conflict in the
autumn of 1938 and spring of 1939 and the annexation of
Slovakia rounded off the territory of Greater Germany
in such a way that it now became possible to consider
the Polish problem on the basis of more or less
favourable strategic premises.

“This brings me to the actual outbreak of the present
war, and the question which next arises is whether the
moment for the struggle with Poland — in itself
unavoidable — was favorably selected or not. The
answer to this question is all the less in doubt since
the opponentafter all, not inconsiderable in
himselfcollapsed unexpectedly quickly, and the Western
Powers who were his friends, while they did declare war
on us and form a second front, yet for the rest made no
use of the possibilities open to them of snatching the
initiative from our hands. Concerning the course of the
Polish campaign, nothing further need be said beyond
that it proved in a measure which made the whole world
sit up and take notice a point which up till then had
not been certain by any means; that is, the high state
‘of efficiency of the young Armed Forces of Great
Germany.” (L-172)

In this speech General Jodl identifies himself fully with
the Nazi movement. His own words show that he was not a mere
soldier. Insofar as he is concerned, his speech identifies
the military with the political, it also shows the
deliberation with which

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the Treaty of Versailles was abrogated by Germany and the
demilitarized zone of the Rhineland was militarized and

In one of Adolf Hitler’s reviews of the six-year period
between his ascendancy to power and the outbreak of
hostilities, he not only admitted but boasted about the
orderly and coordinated long-range planning. The minutes of
conference of the Fuehrer kept by Schmundt, his adjutant,
contain the following passage:

“In the period 1933-1939 progress was made in all
fields. Our military system improved enormously.”

“The period which lies behind us has, indeed, been put
to good use. All measures have been taken in the
correct sequence and in harmony with our aims.” (L-79)

B. Economic and Financial Preparations for Aggressive War.
One of the most significant preparations for aggressive war
is found in the Secret Reich Defense Law of 21 May 1935
(2261-PS). The law went into effect upon its passage. It
stated at its outset that it was to be made public
instanter, but at the end of it Adolf Hitler signed the
decree ordering that it be kept secret. General Thomas, who
was in charge of War Armament Economy and for some time a
high ranking member of the German High Command, refers to
this law as the cornerstone of war preparations. He points
out that, although the law was not made public until the
outbreak of war, it was put into immediate execution as a
program for preparations. These statements are made at page
25 of General Thomas’ work, “A History of the German War and
Armament Economy, 1923-1944.” (2353-PS)

This secret law remained in effect until 4 September 1939,
at which time it was replaced by another secret defense law
(2194-PS) revising the system of defense organization and
directing more detailed preparations for the approaching
status of ‘mobilization which was clearly an euphemism for

T he covering letter, under which this second Reich Defense
Law, was sent to the Ministry for Economy and Labor for
Saxony in Dresden, on 6 December 1939, was classified Top
Secret and read as follows:

“Transportation Section, attention of Construction
Chief Counsellor Hirches, or representative in the
office of the Reich Protector in Bohemia and Moravia,
received Prague, 5 September 1939, No. 274.

“Inclosed please find a copy of the Reich Defense Law
of 4 September 1938 and a copy each of the decrees of
the Reich Minister of Transportation, dated 7 October
1938, RL

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10.2212/38, top secret, and of 17 July 1939, RL / LV
1.2173/39, top secret. For your information and
observance, by order, signed Kretzchmar. 3 inclosures
completed to Dresden, 4 September 1939, signed
Schneider 3 inclosures. Receipt for the letter of 4
September 1939, with 3 inclosures, signed 5 September
1939, and returned to construction Counsellor
Kretzchmar.” (2194-PS)

Thus the second secret Reich Defense Law was transmitted
under top secret cover.

The general plan for the breach of the Treaty of Versailles
and for the ensuing aggressions was carried out in four
ways: (1) secret rearmament from 1933 to March 1935; (2) the
training of military personnel (that includes secret or
camouflage training); (3) production of munitions of war;
(4) the building of an air force.

The facts of rearmament and of secrecy are self-evident from
the events that followed. The significant phase of this
activity lies in the fact that it was necessary in order to
break the barriers of the Treaty of Versailles and of the
Locarno Pact, and to make ready for aggressive wars which
were to follow.

Those activities by their nature and extent, could only have
been for aggressive purposes. The highest importance which
the German government attached to the secrecy of the program
is emphasized by the disguised methods of financing utilized
both before and after the announcement of conscription, and
the rebuilding of the army, on 16 March 1935.

The point is illustrated by an unsigned memorandum by
Schacht dated 3 May 1935, entitled, “The Financing of the
Armament program, “Finanzierung der Ruestung.” (1168-PS) It
is not signed by Schacht, but in an interrogation on 16
October 1946, he identified it as being his memorandum. The
memorandum reads as follows:

“Memorandum from Schacht to Hitler [identified by
Schacht as Exhibit A, interrogation 16 October 1945,
page 40] 3 May 1935.

“Financing of Armament. The following explanations are
based upon the thought, that the accomplishment of the
armament program with speed and in quantity is the
problem of German politics, that everything else
therefore should be subordinated to this purpose as
long as the main purpose is not imperiled by neglecting
all other questions. Even after 16 March 1935, the
difficulty remains that one cannot undertake the open
propagandistic treatment of the German people for
support of armament without endangering our po-

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sition internationally (without loss to our foreign
trade). -The already nearly impossible financing of the
armament program is rendered hereby exceptionally
difficult. “Another supposition must be also
emphasized. The printing press can be used only for the
financing of armament to such a degree, as permitted by
maintaining of the money value. Every inflation
increases the prices of foreign raw materials and
increases the domestic prices, is therefore like a
snail biting its own tail. The circumstance that our
armament had to be camouflaged completely till 16 March
1935, and even since this date the camouflage had to be
continued to a larger extent, making it necessary to
use the printing press (bank note press) already at the
beginning of the whole armament program, while it would
have been natural, to start it (the printing press) at
the final point of financing. In the portefeuille of
the Reichsbank are segregated notes for this purpose,
that is, armament, of 3,775 millions and 866 millions,
altogether 4,641 millions, out of which the armament
notes amount to Reichsmarks 2,374 millions, that is, of
30 April 1935. The Reichsbank has invested the amount
of marks under its jurisdiction, but belonging to
foreigners in blank note of armament. Our armaments are
also financed partly with the credits of our political
opponents. Furthermore, 500 million Reichsmarks were
used for financing of armament, which originated out of
[Reichsanleihe], the federal loans, placed with savings
banks. In the regular budget, the following amounts
were provided. For the budget period 1933-34,
Reichsmarks 750 millions; for the budget period 1934-
35, Reichsmarks 1,100 millions; and for the budget
period 1935-36, Reichsmarks 2,500 millions.

“The amount of deficits of the budget since 1928
increases after the budget 1935-36 to 5 to 6 millions
Reichsmarks. This total deficit is already financed at
the present time by short term credits of the money
market. It therefore reduces in -advance the
possibilities of utilization of the public market for
the armament. The Minister of Finance
[Reichsfinanzminister], correctly points out at the
defense of the budget: As a permanent yearly deficit is
an impossibility, as we cannot figure with security
with increased tax revenues in amount balancing the
deficit and any other previous debits, as on the other
hand a balanced budget is the only secure basis for the
impending great task of military policy. For all these
reasons we have to put in motion a fundamental and
conscious budget policy which solves the problem of

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ment financing by organic and planned reduction of
other expenditures not only from the point of receipt,
but also from the point of expenditure, that is, by

“How urgent this question is, can be deduced from the
following, that a large amount of task has been started
by the state and party and which is now in process, all
of which are not covered by the budget, but from
contributions and credits, which have to be raised by
industry. in addition to the regular taxes.

“The existing of various budgets side by side, which
serve more or less public tasks, is the greatest
impediment for gaining a clear view over the
possibilities of financing the armaments. A whole
number of ministries and various branches of the party
have their own budgets, and for this reason have
possibilities of incomes and expenses, though based on
the sovereignty of finance of the state, but not
subject to the control of the Minister of Finance and
therefore also not subject to the control of the
cabinet. Just as in the sphere of politics the much too
far-reaching delegation of legislative powers to
individuals brought about various states within the
states, exactly in the same way the condition of
various branches of state and party, working side by
side and against each other, has a devastating effect
on the possibility of financing. If on this territory
concentration and unified control is not introduced
very soon, the solution of the already impossible task
of armament financing is endangered.

“We have the following tasks:

“(1) A deputy is entrusted with finding all sources and
revenues, which have its origin in contributions to the
federal government, to the state and party and in
profits of public and party enterprises.

“(2) Furthermore experts, entrusted by the Fuehrer,
have to examine how these amounts were used and which
of these amounts can in the future be withdrawn from
their previous purpose.

“(3) The same experts have to examine the investments
of all public and party organizations, to which extent
this property can be used for the purpose of armament

“(4) The federal Ministry of Finance is to be entrusted
to examine the possibilities of increased revenues by
way of new taxes or increasing of existing taxes.

“The up-to-date financing of armaments by the

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under existing political conditions was a necessity and
the political success proved the correctness of this
action. The other possibilities of armament financing
have to be started now under any circumstances. For
this purpose all absolutely non-essential expenditures
for other purposes must not take place and the total
financial strength of Germany, limited as it is, has to
be concentrated for the one purpose of armament
financing. Whether the problem of financing, as
outlined in this program, succeeds, remains to be seen,
but without such concentration, it will fail with
absolute certainty.” (1168-PS)

C. Renunciation of Armament Provisions of Versailles Treaty.
21 May 1935 was a very important date in the Nazi calendar.
It was on that date that the Nazis passed the secret Reich
Defense Law (2261-PS). The secrecy of their armament
operations had already reached the point beyond which they
could no longer maintain successful camouflage. Since their
program called for still further expansion, they
unilaterally renounced the armament provisions of the
Versailles Treaty on the same date, 21 May 1935. Hitler’s
speech to the Reichstag on that day (2288-PS) was published
in “Voelkischer Beobachter” under the heading “The Fuehrer
Notifies the World of the Way to Real Peace.” Hitler

“1. The German Reich Government refuses to adhere to
the Geneva Resolution of 17 May.

“The Treaty of Versailles was not broken by Germany
unilaterally, but the well-known paragraphs of the
dictate of Versailles were violated, and consequently
invalidated, by those powers who could not make up
their minds to follow t he disarmament requested of
Germany with their own disarmament as agreed upon by

“2. Because the other powers did not live up to their
obligations under the disarmament program, the
Government of the German Reich no longer considers
itself bound to those articles, which are nothing but a
discrimination against the German nation for an
unlimited period of time, since, through them, Germany
is being nailed down in a unilateral manner contrary to
the spirit of the agreement.” (2288-PS)

In conjunction with other phases of planning and preparation
for aggressive war, there were various programs for direct
and direct training of a military nature. They included not

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the training of military personnel, but also the
establishment and training of other military organizations,
such as the Police Force, which could be and were absorbed
by the Army. The extent of this program for military
training is indicated by Hitler’s boast of the expenditure
of ninety billion Reichsmarks during the period 1933 to
1939, in the building up of the armed forces.

In a speech by Adolf Hitler delivered on 1 September 1939,
(2322-PS), which was published in the “Voelkischer
Beobachter” under the heading “The Fuehrer announces the
Battle for the Justice and Security of the Reich”, the
following passage occurred:

“For more than six years now, I have been engaged in
building up the German Armed Forces. During this period
more than ninety billion Reichsmarks were spent
building up the Wehrmacht. Today, ours are the best-
equipped armed forces in the world, and they are
superior to those of 1914. My confidence in them can
never be shaken.” (2322-PS)

The secret nature of this training program and the fact of
its early development is illustrated by a report to Hess, in
1932, concerning the secret training of flying personnel, as
well as the early plans to build a military air force (1143-
PS). This report was sent in a letter from Schickedantz to
Rosenberg, for delivery to Hess. Apparently Schickedantz was
very anxious that no one but Hess should get this letter,
and therefore sent it to Rosenberg for personal delivery to
Hess. The letter points out that the civilian pilots should
be so organized as to enable their transfer into the
military air force organization. The letter dated 20 October
1932, reads:

“Dear Alfred [Rosenberg]: I am sending you enclosed a
communication from the RWM forwarded to me by our
confidential man (Vertrauensmann) which indeed is very
interesting. I believe we will have to take some steps
so that the matter will not be procured secretly for
the Stahlhelm. This report is not known to anybody
else. I intentionally did not inform even our tall
friend.” [Rosenberg, in an interrogation on 5 October
1945, identified this “tall friend” as being Von
Albensleben.] “I am enclosing an additional copy for
Hess, and ask you to transmit the letter to Hess by
messenger, as I do not want to write a letter to Hess
for fear that it might be read somewhere. Mit beste
Gruss, Yours Amo.” (1143-PS)

Enclosed in the report is:

“Air Force Organization”

“Purpose: Preparation of material and training of

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to provide for the case of the armament of the air

“Entire management as a civilian organization will be
transferred to Col. Von Willberg, at present commander
of Breslau, who, retaining his position in the
Reichswehr, is going on leave of absence.

“(a) Organizing the pilots of civilian air lines in
such a way as to enable their transfer to the air force

“(b) Prospects to train crews for military flying.
Training to be done within the organization for
military flying of the Stahlhelm [steel helmet] which
is being turned over to Col. Hanel, retired.

“All existing organizations for sport flying are to be
used for military flying. Directions on kinds and tasks
of military flying will be issued by this Stahlhelm
directorate. The Stahlhelm organization will pay the
military pilots 50 marks per hour flight. These are due
to the owner of the plane in case he himself carries
out the flight. They are to be divided in case of non-
owners of the plane, between flight organization,
proprietor and crew in the proportion of 10 :20 :20.
Military flying is now paid better than flying for
advertisement (40). We therefore have to expect that
most proprietors of planes or flying associations will
go over to the Stahlhelm organization. It must be
achieved that equal conditions will be granted by the
RWM, also the NSDAP organization.” (1143-PS)

D. Secret Rearmament

The program of rearmament and the objectives of
circumventing and breaching the Versailles Treaty are
forcefully shown in a number of Navy documents, showing the
participation and operation of the German navy in this
rearmament program which was secret at first. When it was
deemed safe to say so, the Navy openly acknowledged that it
had always been its object to break the Versailles Treaty.

In 1937 the Navy High Command (OKM) published a secret book
entitled, “The Fight of the Navy Against Versailles, 1919 to
1935”, written by Sea Captain Schussler (C-156). The preface
refers to the fight of the navy against the unbearable
regulations of the peace treaty of Versailles. The table of
contents includes a variety of navy activities, such as
saving of coastal guns from destruction as required by
Versailles; independent armament measures behind the back of
the government and behind the back f the legislative bodies;
resurrection of the U-boat arm; economic rearmament; and
camouflaged rearmament from 1933 to the freedom from the
restrictions in 1935. (C-156).

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This book points out the significant effect of seizure of
power by the Nazis in 1933 on increasing the size and
determining the nature of the rearmament program. It also
refers to the far-reaching independence in the building and
development of the navy, which was only hampered insofar as
concealment of rearmament had to considered in compliance
with the Versailles Treaty (C-156). With the restoration of
what was called the military sovereignty of the Reich in
1935 — the reoccupation of the demilitarized zone of the
Rhineland — the external camouflage of rearmament was

This book of the German navy bears the symbol of the Nazi
Party, the Swastika, in the spread eagle on the cover sheet,
and it is headed “secret”, underscored (C-156). Raeder has
identified this book in an interrogation and explained that
the Navy tried to fulfill the letter of the Versailles
Treaty and at the same time to make progress in naval
development. The following are pertinent extracts from the

“The object and aim of this memorandum under the
heading ‘Preface’, is to draw a technically reliable
picture based on documentary records and the evidence
of those who took part in the fight of the Navy against
the unbearable regulations of the peace treaty of
Versailles. It shows that the Reich navy after the
liberating activities of the Free Corps and of Scapa
Flow did not rest, but found ways and means to lay with
unquenchable enthusiasm, in addition to the building up
of the 15,000-man navy, the basis for a greater
development in the future, and so create by work of
soldiers and technicians the primary condition for a
later rearmament. It must also distinguish more clearly
the services of these men, who, without being known in
wide circles, applied themselves with extraordinary
zeal in responsibility in the service of the fight
against the peace treaty; thereby stimulated by the
highest feeling of duty, they risked, particularly in
the early days of their fight, themselves and their
position unrestrainedly in the partially self-ordained
task. This compilation makes it clearer, however, that
even such ideal and ambitious plans can be realized
only to a small degree if the concentrated and united
strength of the whole people is not behind the
courageous activity of the soldier. Only when the
Fuehrer had created the second and even more important
condition for an effective rearmament in the
coordination of the whole nation and in the fusion of
the political, financial and spiritual power, could the
work of the soldier find its fulfillment. The framework
of this peace treaty, the

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most shameful known in world history, collapsed under
the driving power of this united will. [signed] The
Compiler”. (C-156)

The summary of the contents indicated in the chapter titles
is significant:

“I. First, defensive action against the execution of
the Treaty of Versailles (from the end of the war to
the occupation of the Ruhr, 1923).

“1. Saving of coastal guns from destruction to removal
of artillery equipment and ammunition, hand and machine
weapons. ***

“3. Limitation of destruction in Heligoland.

“II. Independent armament measures behind the back of
the Reich Government and of the legislative body (from
1923 to the Lomann case in 1927).

“1. An attempt to increase the personnel strength of
the Reich Navy.

“2. Contributing to the strengthening of patriotism
among the people.

“3. Activities of Captain Lohmann.

“4. Preparation for the resurrection of the German U-
boat -arm.

“5. Building up of the air force.

“6. Attempt to strengthen our mine arm (Die Mine).

“7. Economic rearmament.

“8. Miscellaneous measures.

“a. The Aerogeodetic, and;

“b. Secret evidence.

“III. Planned armament work countenance by the Reich
government but behind the back of the legislative body
from 1927 to the seizure of power, 1933.

“IV. Rearmament under the leadership of the Reich
Government in camouflage (from 1933 to the freedom from
restrictions, 1935).”‘(C-156)

The following is a passage from Chapter IV:

“The unification of the whole nation which was combined
with the taking over of power on 30 January 1933 was of
the decisive influence on the size and shape of further

“While the second chamber, Reichsrat, approached its
dissolution and withdrew as a legislative body, the
Reichstag assumed a composition which could only take a

[Page 424]

attitude toward the rearmament of the armed forces. The
government took over the management of the rearmament
program upon this foundation.

“Development of the Armed Forces.”

“This taking over of the management by the Reich
Government developed for the armed forces in such a
manner that the War Minister, General von Blomberg, and
through him the three branches of the armed forces,
received far-reaching powers from the Reich Cabinet for
the development of the armed forces. The whole
organization of the Reich was included in this way. In
view of these powers the collaboration of the former
inspecting body in the management of the secret
expenditure was from then on dispensed with. There
remained only the inspecting duty of the accounting
office of the German Reich.

“Independence of the Commander in Chief of the Navy”

“The commander-in-chief of the Navy, Admiral Raeder,
honorary doctor, had received the help of a far-
reaching independence in the building and development
of the navy. This was only hampered insofar as the
previous concealment of rearmament had to be continued
in consideration of the Versailles Treaty. Besides the
public budget there remained the previous special
budget, which was greatly increased in view of the
considerable credit for the provision of labor, which
was made available by the Reich. Wide powers in the
handling of these credits were given to the Director of
the Budget Department of the navy, up to 1934 Commodore
Schussler, afterwards Commodore Foerster. These took
into consideration the increased responsibility of the
Chief of the Budget.

“Declaration of Military Freedom”

“When the Fuehrer, relying upon the strength of the
armed forces executed in the meanwhile, announced the
restoration of the military sovereignty of the German
Reich, the last mentioned limitation on rearmament
works namely, the external camouflage, was eliminated.
Freed from all the shackles which have hampered our
ability to move freely on and under water, on land and
in the air for one and a half decades, and carried by
the newly-awakened fighting spirit of the whole nation,
the armed forces, and as part of it, the navy, can lead
with full strength towards its completion the
rearmament already under way with the goal of securing
for the Reich its rightful position in the world.” (C-

[Page 425]

An interrogation of Raeder concerning this book went as

“Q. I have here a document, C-156, which is a
photostatic copy of the work prepared by the High
Command of the Navy, and covers the struggle of the
Navy against the Versailles Treaty from 1919 to 1935. I
ask you initially whether you are familiar with the

“A. I know this book. I read it once when it was

“Q. Was that an official publication of the Germany

“A. This Captain Schuessler, indicated there, was
Commander in the Admiralty. Published by the OKM, which
was an idea of these officers to put all these things

“Q. Do you recall the circumstances under which the
authorization to prepare such a work was given to him?

“A. I think he told me that he would write such a book
as he told us here in the foreword.

“Q. In the preparation of this work he had access to
the official naval files, and based his work on the
items contained therein ?

“A. Yes, I think so. He would have spoken with other
persons, and he would have had the files, which were

“Q. Do you know whether before the work was published,
a draft of it was circulated among the officers in the
Admiralty -for comment?

“A. No, I don’t think so. Not before it was published.
I saw it only when it was published.

“Q. Was it circulated freely after its publication?

“A. It was a secret object. I think the upper commands
in the Navy had knowledge of it.

“Q. It was not circulated outside of the naval circles?

“Q. What then is your opinion concerning the comments
contained in the work regarding the circumventing of
the provisions of the Versailles Treaty?

“A. I don’t remember very exactly what is in here. I
can only remember that the Navy had always the object
to fulfill the word of the Versailles Treaty, but
wanted to have some advantages. But the flying men were
exercised one year before they went into the Navy.
Quite young men. So that the word of the Treaty of
Versailles was filled. They didn’t belong to the Navy,
as long as they were exercised in flying, and the
submarines were developed but not in Germany, and not
in the Navy, but in Holland. There was a civil bureau,
and in Spain there was an Industrialist; in Finland,
too, and

[Page 426]

they were built much later when we began to act with
the English government about the Treaty of thirty-five
to one-hundred, because we could see that then the
Treaty of Versailles would be destroyed by such a
treaty with England, and so in order to keep the word
of Versailles, we tried to fulfill the word of
Versailles, but tried to have advantages.

“Q. Would the fair statement be that the Navy High
Command was interested in avoiding the limited
provisions of the Treaty of Versailles regarding the
personnel and limits of armaments, but would it attempt
to fulfill the letter of the treaty, although actually
avoiding it?

“A. That was their endeavor”.

Raeder had his explanations:

“Q. Why was such a policy adopted?

“A. We were much menaced in the first years after the
first war by danger that the Poles would attack East
Prussia and so we tried to strengthen a little our
very,very weak forces in this way, and so all our
efforts were directed to the aim to have a little more
strength against the Poles, if they would attack us; it
was nonsense to them of attacking the Poles in this
state, and for the Navy a second aim was to have some
defense against the entering of French forces into the
Ostsee, or East Sea, because we knew the French had
intentions to sustain the Poles from ships that came
into the Ostsee Goettinger, and so the Navy was a
defense against the attack by the Poles, and against
the entrance of French shipping into an Eastern Sea.
Quite defensive

“Q. When did the fear of attack from Poles first show
itself in official circles in Germany would you say?

“A. When the first years they took Wilma. In the same
minute we thought that they would come to East Prussia.
I don’t know exactly the year, because those judgments
were the judgments of the German government ministers,
of the Army and Navy Ministers, Groner and Noske.

“Q. Then those views in your opinion were generally
held existing perhaps as early as 1919 or 1920, after
the end of the First World War?

“A. Oh, but the whole situation was very, very
uncertain, and about those years in the beginning, I
can not give you a very exact thing, because I was then
two years in the Navy archives to write a book about
the war, and how the cruisers fought in the first war.
Two years, so I was not with these things.”

The same kind of aims and purposes are reflected in the

[Page 427]

of contents of a history of the German Navy, 1919 to 1939,
found in captured official files of the German Navy (C-17).
Although a copy of the book itself has not been found, the
project was written by Oberst Scherff, Hitler’s special
military historian. The table of contents however, is
available. It refers by numbers to groups f documents and
notes in the documents, which evidently were intended as
working material for the basis of the chapters to be written
in accordance with the table of contents. The title of this
table of contents fairly establishes the navy planning and
preparations that were to get the Versailles Treaty out of
the way, and to rebuild the navy strength necessary for war.
Some of the headings in the table of contents read:

“Part A (1919 — The year of Transition.)

“Chapter VII.

First efforts to circumvent the Versailles Treaty and
to limit its effects.

“Demilitarization of the Administration, incorporation
of naval offices in civil ministries, etc.
Incorporation of greater sections of the German
maritime observation station and the sea-mark system in
Heligoland and Kiel, of the Ems-Jade-Canal, etc. into
the Reich Transport Ministry up to 1934;

“Noskos’ proposal of 11 August 1919 to incorporate the
Naval Construction Department in the Technical High
School, Berlin; “Formation of the “Naval Arsenal Kiel”.

“(b) The saving from destruction of coastal
fortifications and guns.

“1. North Sea. Strengthening of fortifications with new
batteries and modern guns between the signing and the
taking effect of the Versailles Treaty; dealings with
the Control Commissioninformation, drawings, visits of
inspection, result of efforts.”


“2. Baltic. Taking over by the Navy of fortresses Pilau
and Swinemunde; “Salvage for the Army of one-hundred
and eighty-five movable guns and mortars there.

“3. The beginnings of coastal air defense.

“Part B (1920-1924. The Organizational New Order)

Chapter V.

“The Navy
“Fulfilment and avoidance of the Versailles Treaty
“Foreign Countries
[Page 428]

“(a) The inter-allied Control Commissions

“(b) Defense measures against the fulfillment of the
Versailles Treaty and independent arming behind the
back of the Reich Government and the legislative

“1. Dispersal of artillery gear and munitions, of hand
and automatic weapons.

“2. Limitation of demolition work in Heligoland.

“3. Attempt to strengthen personnel of the navy, from
1923. “4. The activities of Captain Lohmann (founding
of numerous associations at home and abroad,
participations, formation of “sports” unions and clubs,
interesting the film industry in naval recruitment).

“5. Preparation for re-establishing the German U-boat
arm since 1920. (Projects and deliveries for Japan,
Holland, Turkey, Argentine and Finland. Torpedo

“6. Participation in the preparation for building of
the Luftwaffe (preservation of aerodromes, aircraft
construction, teaching of courses, instruction of
midshipmen in anti-air raid defense, training of

“7. Attempt to strengthen the mining branch.

“Part C (1925192. Replacement of Tonnage) Chapter IV.
“The Navy, The Versailles Treaty, Foreign Countries.

“(a) The activities of the Inter-allied Control
Commissions (up to 31.1.27; discontinuance of the
activity of the Naval Peace Commission)

“Independent armament measures behind the back of the
Reich Government and legislative bodies up to the
Lohmann case.

“1. The activities of Captain Lohmann (continuation),
their significance as a foundation for the rapid
reconstruction work from 1935.

“2. Preparation for the re-strengthening of the German
U-boat arm from 1925 (continuation), the merit of
Lohmann in connection with the preparation for rapid
construction in 1925, relationship to Spain, Argentine,
Turkey: the first post war U-boat construction of the
German Navy in Spain since 1927; 250 ton specimen in
Finland, preparation for rapid assembly; electric
torpedo; training of U-boat personnel abroad in Spain
and Finland. Formation of U-boat school in 1932
disguised as an anti-U-boat school.

“3. Participation in the preparation for the
reconstruction of the Luftwaffe (continuation).
Preparations for a Naval Air Arm, Finance Aircraft
Company Sevra, later Luftdienst

[Page 429]

CMRH; Naval Flying School Warnemunde; Air Station List,
training of sea cadet candidates, Military tactical
questions “Air Defense Journeys”, technical
development, experimental -station planning, trials,
flying boat development DOX etc., catapult aircraft,
arming, engines ground organization, aircraft
torpedoes, the Deutschland Flight 192 and the Seaplane
Race 1926.

“4. Economic re-armament (“the Tebeg”Technical Advice
and Supply Company as a disguised Naval Office abroad
for investigating the position of raw materials for
industrial capacity and other War economic questions.)

“5. Various measures. (The NV Aerogeodetic Company
secret investigations.)

“(c) Planned armament work with the tacit approval of
the Reich government, but behind the backs of the
legislative bodies (1928 to the taking over of power.)

“1. The effect of the Lohmann case on the secret
preparations; winding up of works which could not be
advocated; resumption and carrying on of other work.

“2. Finance question. (“Black Funds” and the Special

“3. The Labor Committee and its objectives

“(d) The Question of Marine Attaches (The continuation
under disguise; open re-appointment 1932-1933).

“(e) The question of Disarmament of the Fleet abroad
and in Germany (The Geneva Disarmament Conference 1927;
the London Naval Treaty of 1930; the Anglo-French-
Italian Agreement 1931. The League of Nations
Disarmament Conference 1932).

“Part D 1931939. The Germany Navy during the Military
Freedom Period)

“I. National Socialism and the question of the Fleet
and of prestige at sea.

“II. Incorporation of the navy in the National
Socialist State.”

“III. The Re-armament of the Navy under the Direction
of the Reich Government in a Disguised Way.” (C-17)

The policy development of the navy is also reflected from
the financial side. The planned organization of the navy
budget for armament measures was based on a co-ordination of
military developments and political objectives. Military
political development was accelerated after the withdrawal
from the League of Nations. (C-17)

[Page 430]

A captured document, entitled “Chef der Marneleitbng,
Berlin, 12 May 1934,” and marked “Secret Commando Matter,”
discusses the “Armament Plan (A.P.) for the 3rd Armament
Phase.’) (C-153). This document, which bears the facsimile
signature of Raeder at the end, speaks of war tasks, war and
operational plans, armament target, etc., and shows that it
was distributed to many of the High Command of the Navy.
Dated 12 May 1934, it shows that a primary objective was
readiness for a war without any alert period. The following
are pertinent extracts:

***”The planned organization of armament measures is
necessary for the realization of the target; this again
requires a coordinated and planned expenditure in peace
time. This organization of financial measures over a
number of years according to the military viewpoint is
found in the armament program and provides

“a. for the military leaders a sound basis for their
operational considerations and

“b. for the political leaders a clear picture of what
may be achieved with the military means available at a
given time.”

“All theoretical and practical A-preparations are to be
drawn up with a primary view to readiness for a war
without any alert period.” (C-153)

The conspiratorial nature of these Nazi plans and
preparations long before the outbreak of hostilities is
illustrated in many other ways. Thus, in 1934, Hitler
instructed Raeder to keep secret the U-Boat construction
program; also the actual displacement and speed of certain
ships. Work on U-Boats had been going on, as already
indicated, in Holland and Spain. The Nazi theory was
ingenious in that respect. The Versailles Treaty forbade re-
arming by the Germans in Germany, but the Nazis said it did
not forbid them to re-arm in Holland, Spain, and Finland.

Secrecy was equally important then because of the pending
naval negotiations with England. The subject was discussed
in a conversation between Raeder and Adolf Hitler in June
1934. The record of that conversation (C-189) is not signed
by Raeder, but in an interrogation on 8 November 1945,
Raeder admitted that (C-189) was a record of this
conversation, and that it was in his handwriting, though he
did not sign his name at the end. The report is headed,
“Conversation with the Fuehrer in June 1934 on the occasion
of the resignation of the Commanding Officer of the
Karlsruhe.” It reads:

“1. Report by the C-in-C Navy concerning displacement
of D. and E. (defensive weapons).

[Page 431]

! “Fuehrer’s instructions: No mention must be made of a
displacement of 25-26,000 tons, but only of improved
10,000-ton -. (ships). Also, the speed over 26 nautical
miles may be stated. “. C-in-C Navy expresses the
opinion that later on the Fleet must anyhow be
developed to oppose England, that therefore -from 1936
onwards, the large ships must be armed with 35 c.m.
guns (Like the King George Class).

“3. The Fuehrer demands to keep the construction of the
U-Boats completely secret. Plebiscite also in
consideration of the Saar.” (C-189)

In order to continue the increase in navy strength, as
planned, more funds were needed than the navy had available.
Hitler therefore proposed to put funds of the Labor Front at
the disposal of the navy. This appears from another Raeder
memorandum of a conversation between Raeder with Hitler, on
2 November 1934 190). This report, again, is not signed, but
it was found in Raeder’s personal file and seems clearly his
memorandum. It is added: “Conversation with the Fuehrer on 2
November 1934 at the time of the announcement by the
Commanding Officer of the “Emden”. It reads:

“1. When I mentioned that the total funds to be made
available for the armed forces for 1935 would
presumably represent only a fraction of the required
sum, and that therefore it was possible that the navy.
might be hindered in its plans, he replied that he did
not think the funds would be greatly decreased. He
considered it necessary that the navy be speedily
increased by 1938 with the deadlines mentioned. In case
of need, he will get Dr. Ley to put 120-150 million
from the Labor Front at the disposal of the navy, as
the money would still benefit the workers. Later in a
conversation with Minister Goering and myself, he went
on to say that he considered it vital that the navy be
increased as planned, as no wa could be carried on if
the navy was not able to safeguard the ore imports from

“2. Then, when I mentioned that it would be desirable
to have six U-Boats assembled at the time of the
critical situation in the first quarter of 1935, he
stated that he would keep this point in mind, and tell
me when the situation demanded that the assembling
should commence.” (C-190)

Then there is an asterisk and a note at the bottom:

“The order was not sent out. The first boats were
launched in the middle of June 35 according to plan.”

The development of the armament industry by the use of
foreign markets was a program encouraged by the navy, so
that this

[Page 432]

industry would be able to supply the requirements of the
navy in cae of need. A directive of Raeder, dated 31 January
1933, and classified “Secret Commando Matter,” requires
German industry to support the armament of the navy (C-29).
It provides;

“General direction for support given by the German Navy
to the German Armament Industry.

“The effects of the present economic depression have
led here and there to the conclusion that there are no
prospects of an active participation of the German
Armament Industry abroad, even if the Versailles terms
are no longer kept. There is no profit in it and it is
therefore not worth promoting. Furthermore, the view
has been taken that the increasing “self-sufficiency”
would in any case make such participation superfluous.

“However obvious these opinions may seem, formed
because of the situation as it is today, I am
nevertheless forced to make the following contradictory
corrective points:

“a. The economic crisis and its present effects must
perforce be overcome sooner or later. Though equality
of rights in war politics is not fully recognized
today, it will, by the assimilation of weapons, be
achieved at some period, at least to a certain extent,

“b. The consequent estimation of the duties of the
German Armament Industry lies mainly in the Military-
political sphere. It is impossible for this industry to
satisfy, militarily and economically, the growing
demands made of it by limiting the deliveries to our
own armed forces. Its capacity must therefore be
increased by the delivery of supplies to foreign
countries over and above our own requirements.

“c. Almost every country is working to the same end
today, even those which, unlike Germany, are not tied
down by restrictions. Britain, France, North America,
Japan, and especially Italy are making supreme efforts
to ensure markets for their armament industries. The
use of their diplomatic representations, of the
propaganda voyages of their most modern ships and
vessels, of sending missions and also of the
guaranteeing of loans and insurance against deficits
are not merely to gain commercially advantageous orders
for their armament industries, but first and foremost
to expand their output from the point of view of
military policy.

“d. It is just when the efforts to do away with the
restrictions imposed on us have succeeded, that the
German Navy

[Page 433]

has an ever-increasing and really vital interest in
furthering the German Armament Industry and preparing
the way for it in every direction in the competitive
battle against the rest of the world.

“e. If, however the German Armament Industry is to be
able to compete in foreign countries, it must inspire
the confidence of its purchasers. The condition for
this is that secrecy for our own ends be not carried
too far. The amount of material to be kept secret under
all circumstances in the interest of the defence of the
country is comparatively small. I would like to issue a
warning against the assumption that, at the present
stage of technical development in foreign industrial
states, a problem of vital military importance which we
perhaps have solved, has not been solved there.
Solutions arrived at today, which may become known, if
divulged to a third person by naturally always possible
indiscretion, have often been already superseded by new
and better solutions on our part, even at that time or
at any rate after the copy has been made. It is of
greater importance that we should be technically well
to the fore in any really fundamental matters, than
that less important points should be kept secret
unnecessarily and excessively.

“f. To conclude: I attach particular importance to
guaranteeing the continuous support of the industry
concerned by the navy, even after the present
restrictions have been relaxed. If the purchasers are
not made confident that something special is being
offered them, the industry will not be able to stand up
to the competitive battle and therefore will not be
able to supply the requirements of the German Navy in-
case of need.” (C-29)

This surreptitious rearmament, in violation of treaty
obligation starting even before the Nazi came into power, is
illustrated by a 1932 order of Raeder, chief of the naval
command, addressed to the main naval command, regarding the
concealed construction of torpedo tubes in E-Boats (C-141).
He ordered that torpedo tubes be removed and stored in the
naval arsenal but be kept ready for immediate refitting. By
using only the number permitted under the Treaty, at a given
time, and by storing them after satisfactory testing, the
actual number of operationally effective E-Boats was
constantly increased.

This German order for the concealed armament of E-Boats,
issued by Raeder on 10 February 1932, provided:

“In view of our treaty obligations and the Disarmament
Conference steps must be taken to prevent the 1st E-

[Page 434]

Half-Flotilla, which in a few months will consist of
exactly similar newly built (E)-Boats, from appearing
openly as a formation of torpedo-carrying boats as it
is not intended to count these E-Boats against the
number of torpedo-carrying boats allowed us.

“I therefore order:

“1. S2-S5, will be commissioned in the shipyard
Luerssen, Vegesack without armament, and will be fitted
with easily removable cover-sheet-metal on the spaces
necessary for torpedo-tubes. The same will be arranged
by T.M.I. [Inspectorate of Torpedoes and Mining] in
agreement with the naval arsenal, for the Boat ‘S1’
which will dismantle its torpedo-tubes, on completion
of the practice shooting, for fitting on another boat.

“2. The torpedo-tubes of all S-Boats will be stored in
the naval arsenal ready for immediate fitting. During
the trial runs the torpedo-tubes will be taken on board
one after the other for a short time to be fitted and
for practice shooting so that only one boat at a time
carries torpedo armament. For public consumption this
boat will be in service for the purpose of temporary
trials by the T.V.A; [Technical Research

“It should not anchor together with the other, unarmed
boats of the Half-Flotilla because of the obvious
similarity of type. The duration of firing, and
consequently the length of time the torpedo-tubes are
aboard, is to be as short as possible.

“3. Fitting the torpedo-tubes on all E-Boats is
intended as soon as the situation of the political
control allows it.” (C-141)

Along similar lines the navy was also carrying on the
concealed preparation of auxiliary cruisers, under the
disguised designation of Transport Ships O. The preparations
under this order were to be completed by 1 April 1935. At
the very time of construction of these ships as commercial
ships, plans- were made for their conversion. This was the
result of a Top Secret order from the command office of the
navy, dated 12 March 1934, and signed in draft by Groos.
This order bears the seal of the Reichsministerium,
Marineleitung, over the draft signature. It provides:

“Subject: Preparation of Auxiliary Cruisers.

“It is intended to include in the Establishment
Organization 35 (AG-Aufstellungsgliederung) a certain
number of auxiliary cruisers which are intended for use
in operations on the high seas.

[Page 435]

“In order to disguise the intention and all the
preparations the ships will be referred to as
“Transport Ships O”. It is requested that in future
this designation only will be used.

“The preparations are to be arranged so that they can
be completed by 1.4.35.” (C-166)

In the official navy files, notes were kept year by year,
from 127 to 1940, on the reconstruction of the German Navy.
One of these notes discloses that the displacement of the
battleship “Scharnhorst-Gneisenau” was actually greater than
the tonnage which had been notified to the British under the
treaty obligations:

“The true displacement of the battleship ‘Scharnhorst-
Gneisenau’ and ‘F/G’ exceeds by 20 percent in both
cases the displacement reported to the British.” (C-2)

There is annexed to this document a table with reference to
different ships, and two columns, headed “Displacement by
Type”; one column reads “Actual Displacement,” and the
other, “Notified Displacement.” The actual displacement of
the “Scharnhorst” is thus shown to be 31,300 tons, although
the notified displacement was only 26,000 tons. On the “F/G”
actual was 41,700, while notified was 35,000. On the “HI”,
actual was 56,200 tons, while notified was 46,850. And so on
down the list. (C-23)

In these notes there also occurs the statement,

“In a clear cut program for the construction, the
Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor has set the navy the task
of carrying out the aims of his foreign policy.” (C-23)

The German Navy constantly planned and committed violations
of armament limitation, and with characteristic German
thoroughness had prepared superficial pretexts to explain
away these violations. Following a conference with the chief
of “A” section {the military department of the Navy], an
elaborate survey list was prepared and compiled, giving a
careful list of the quantity and type of German naval
armament and ammunition on hand under manufacture or
construction (C-32). A statement of the justification or
defense that might be used was included in those instances
where the Versailles Treaty was violated or its allotment
has been exceeded. The list contained 30 items under
“Material Measures” and 14 items under “Measures of
Organization.” The variety of details covered necessarily
involved several sources thin the navy, which must have
realized their significance.

This Top Secret document, which is headed “A Survey Report
of German Naval Armament after Conference with Chief of “A”
Section, dated 9 September 1933,” contains three columns,
one beaded “Measpre,” one headed “Material Measures,
Details,” and the third headed “Remarks.” The “Remarks”
contain the pre-

[Page 436]

text or justification for explaining away the violations of
the treaty. The following are examples:

“1. Exceeding the permitted number of mines.” Then
figures are given. “Remarks: Further mines are in part
ordered, in part being delivered.” (C-32)

“Number 2. Continuous storing of guns from the North
Sea area for Baltic artillery batteries.” The remarks
column reads, “Justification: Necessity for over-
hauling. Cheaper repairs.” (C-32)

“Number 6. Laying gun-platforms in the Kiel area.”
Remarks: “The offense over and above that in serial
number 3 lies in the fact that all fortifications are
forbidden in the Kiel area. This justification will
make it less severe; pure defense measures.” (C-32)

“Number 7. Exceeding the calibre permitted for coastal
batteries.” Remarks: “Possible justification is that,
though the calibre is larger, the number of guns is
less.” (C-32)

“Number 8. Arming of mine-sweepers.” Remarks: “The guns
are taken from the fleet reserve stores, have been
temporarily installed only for training purposes. All
nations arm their mine-sweeping forces (equality of
rights).” (C-32)

“Number 13. Exceeding the number of machine guns, et
cetera, permitted.” Remarks: “Can be made light of.” (C-

“Number 18. Construction of U-boat parts.” Remarks:
“Difficult to detect. If necessary can be denied.” (C-

“Number 20. Arming of fishing vessels.” Remarks: “For
warning shots. Make little of it.” And so on throughout
the list (C-32). This document must have been used as a
guide for negotiators who were attending the
Disarmament Conference, as to the position that they
might take.

13. Withdrawal From the Disarmament Conference and the
League of Nations: Building of the Air Force.

At this point, on 14 October 1933, Germany withdrew from the
International Disarmament Conference and from the League of
Nations. The Nazis took this opportunity to break away from
the international negotiations and to take an aggressive
position on an issue which would not be serious enough to
provoke reprisal from other countries. At the same time,
Germany attached so much importance to this action that it
considered the possibility of the application of sanctions
by other countries. In anticipation of the probable nature
of such sanctions and the countries which might apply them,
plans were made.for armed resistance on land, at sea, and in
the air. Military preparations

[Page 437]

were ordered in a directive from the Reichsminister for
Defense (von Blomberg) to the head of the Army High Gommand
(Fritsch), the head of the Navy High Command, Raeder), and
the Reichsminister for Air, (Goering) (C-140). This
directive, dated 25 October 1933, 11 days after the
withdrawal from the Disarmament Conference and the League of
Nations, provides:

“1. The enclosed directive gives the basis for
preparation of the armed forces in the case of
sanctions being applied against Germany.

“2. I request the chiefs of the Army and Navy High
Command and the Reichsminister for Air to carry out the
preparations in accordance with the following points:

“(a) Strictest secrecy. It is of the utmost importance
that no facts become known to the outside world from
which preparation for resistance against sanctions can
be inferred or- which is incompatible with Germany’s
existing obligations n the sphere of foreign policy
regarding the demilitarized zone. If necessary, the
preparations must take second place to this necessity.”

One of the immediate consequences of this action was that
following the withdrawal from the League of Nations,
Germany’s armament program was still further increased. As
it was ordered on 12 May 1934:

“6. Owing to the speed of military political
development since Germany quitted Geneva and based on
the progress of the army, the new A-Plan will only be
drawn up for a period of two years. The third A phase
lasts accordingly from 1 April 1934 to 31 March 1936.”

On 10 March 1935, Goering announced that Germany was
building a military air force. At page 1830 of Das Archiv it
is stated:

“The Reich Minister for Aviation, General of the
Airmen, Goering, in his talk with the special
correspondent of the Daily Mail, Ward Price, expressed
himself on the subject of the German Air Force.

“General Goering said:

“In the extension of our national defense [Scherhet],
it was necessary, as we repeatedly told the world, to
take care of defense in the air. As far as that is
concerned, I restricted myself to those measures
absolutely necessary. The guiding-line of my actions
was, not the creation of an aggressive force which
would threaten other nations, but merely the

[Page 438]

completion of a military aviation which would be strong
enough to repel, at any time, attacks on Germany.”

“In conclusion, the correspondent asked whether the
German Air Force will be capable of repelling attacks
on Germany. General Goering replied to that exactly as

“The German Air Force is just as passionately permeated
with the will to defend the Fatherland to the last as
it is convinced, on the other hand, that it will never
be employed to threaten the peace of other nations.”

Since they had gone as far as they could on rearmament and
the secret training of personnel, the next step necessary to
the conspirators’ program for aggressive war was a large-
scale increase in military strength. This could no longer be
done under disguise and camouflage, and would have to be
known to the world. Accordingly, on 16 March 1935, there was
promulgated a law for universal military service, in
violation of Article 173 of the Versailles Treaty. That law
appeared in the Reichsgesetzblatt, Title I, Vol. I, 1935,
page 369. The text of the law itself provides:

“In this spirit the German Reich Cabinet has today
passed the following law:

“Law for the Organization of the Armed Forces of 16
March 1935.

“The-Reich Cabinet has passed the following law which
is herewith promulgated:

“Service in the Armed Forces is based upon compulsory
military duty.

“In peace time, the German Army, including the police
troops transferred to it, is organized into: 12 Corps
and 36 Divisions.

“The Reich Minister of War is charged with the duty of
submitting immediately to the Reich Ministry detailed
laws on compulsory military duty.” (1654-PS)

The law is signed first by the Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor
Adolf Hitler, and then by many other officials, including
von Neurath, Frick, Schacht, Goering, Hess, and Frank. (1654-

F. Assurances.

As a part of their program to weaken resistance in other
states, the Nazis followed a policy of making false
assurances, thereby

[Page 439]

tending to create confusion and a false sense of security.
Thus, on 21 May 1936, the same date on which Germany
renounced the armament provisions of the Versailles Treaty,
Hitler announced the intent of the German Government to
respect the territorial limitations of the Versailles and
Locarno Treaties. In his speech i the Reichstag on that date
Hitler stated:

“Therefore, the Government of the German Reich shall
absolutely respect all other articles pertaining to the
cooperation [zasammenleben] of the various nations
including territorial agreements; revisions which will
be unavoidable as time goes by it will carry out by way
of a friendly understanding only.

“The Government of the German Reich has the intention
not to sign any treaty which it believes not to be able
to fulfill.

However, it will live up to every treaty signed
voluntarily even if it was composed before this
government took over.

Therefore, it will in particular adhere to all the
allegations under the Locarno Pact as long as the other
partners of the pact also adhere to it.” (2288-PS).

For convenient reference, the territorial limitations in the
Locarno and Versailles Treaties, include the following:

Article 1 of the Rhine Pact of Locarno, 16 October 1925,

‘The High Contracting parties, collectively and
severally, guarantee, in the manner provided in the
following Articles: the maintenance of the territorial
status quo, resulting from the frontiers between
Germany and Belgium and between Germany and France and
the inviolability of the said frontiers, as fixed by,
or in pursuance of the Treaty of Peace, signed at
Versailles, on 28 June 1919, and also the observance of
the stipulation of Articles 42 and 43 of the said
Treaty, concerning the demilitarized zone.”

That has reference, of course, to the demilitarized zone of
the Rhineland.

Article 42 of the Versailles Treaty, 28 June 1919, provides:

“Germany is forbidden to maintain or construct any
fortifications either on the left bank of the Rhine or
on the right bank, to the west of the line drawn 50
kilometers to the east of the Rhine.”

Article 43 provides:

“In the are defined above, the maintenance and the
assembly of armed forces, either permanently or
temporarily and military maneuvers of any kind, as well
as the upkeep of all

[Page 440]

permanent works for mobilization, are in the same way

G. Reoccupation of the Rhineland.

The demilitarized zone of the Rhineland was a sore spot with
the Nazis ever since its establishment after World War I.
Not only was this a blow to their increasing pride, but it
was a bar to any effective strong position which Germany
might want to take on any vital issues. In the event of any
sanctions against Germany, in the form of military action,
the French and other powers would get well into Germany east
of the Rhine, before any German resistance could even be put
up. Therefore, any German plans to threaten or breach
international obligations, or for any kind of aggression,
required the preliminary reoccupation and refortification of
this open Rhineland territory. Plans and preparations for
the reoccupation of the Rhineland started very early.

A document apparently signed in the handwriting of von
Blomberg, deals with what is called “Operation Schulung”,
meaning schooling or training (C-139). It is dated 2 May
1935 and refers to prior staff discussions on the subject.
It is addressed to he Chief of the Army Command, who at that
time was. Fritsch; the Chief of the Navy High Command
(Raeder); and the Reich Minister for Air (Goering). The
document does not use the name “Rhineland” and does not, in
terms, refer to it. It seems clear, however, that it was a
plan for the military reoccupation of the Rhineland, in
violation of the Treaty of Versailles and the Rhine Pact of
Locarno., The first part, headed “Secret Document,”

“For the operation, suggested in the last staff talks
of the Armed Forces, I lay down the Code name Schulung

“The supreme direction of the operation ‘Schulung’
rests with the Reich Minister of Defense as this is a
joint undertaking of the three services.

“Preparations for the operation will begin forthwith
according to the following directives:

“1. General.

“1. The operation must, on issue of the code word
‘Carry out Schulung,’ be executed by a surprise blow at
lightning speed Strictest secrecy is necessary in the
preparations and only the very smallest number of
officers should be informed and employed in the
drafting of reports, drawings, etc., and these officers
only in person.

[Page 441]

“2. There is no time for mobilization of the forces
taking part. These will be employed in their peace-time
strength and with their peace-time equipment.

“3. The preparation for the operation will be made
without regard to the present inadequate state of our
armaments. Every improvement of the state of our
armaments will make possible a greater measure of
preparedness and thus result in better prospects of
success.” (C-139)

The rest of the order deals with military details. There are
certain points in this order which are inconsistent with any
theory that it was merely a training order, or that it might
have been defensive in nature. The operation was to be
carried out as a surprise blow at lightning speed. The air
forces were to provide support for the attack. There was to
be reinforcement by the East Prussian division. Furthermore,
since this order is dated 4 May 1935, which is about 6 weeks
after the promulgation of the conscription Law of 16 March
1935, it could hardly have been planned as a defensive
measure against any expected sanctions which might have been
applied by reason of the passage of the Conscription Law.

The actual reoccupation of the Rhineland did not take place
until 7 March 1936, and this early plan (C-139) necessarily
underwent revision to suit changed conditions and specific
objectives. That the details of this particular plan were
not ultimately the ones that were carried out in reoccupying
the Rhineland does not detract from the fact that as early
as 2 May 1935, the Germans had already planned that
operation, not merely as a staff plan but as a definite
operation. It was evidently not on their timetable to carry
out the operation so soon, if it could be avoided. But they
were prepared to do so if necessary.

It is significant to note the date of this order is the same
as the date of the signing of the Franco-Russian Pact, which
the Nazis later asserted as their excuse for the Rhineland

The military orders on the basis of which the Rhineland
reoccupation was actually carried into execution on 7 March
1936, were issued on 2 March 1936 by the War Minister and
Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, von Blomberg. They
were addressed the Commander-in-Chief of the Army (Fritsch),
the Commander-in-chief of the Navy (Raeder), and the Air
Minister and C-in-C of the Air Force (Goering) (C-159). That
order, classified “Top Secret”, in the original bears
Raeder’s initial in green Pencil, with a red pencil note,
“To be submitted to the C-in-C of the Navy”.

[Page 442]

The first part of the Order reads:

“Supreme Command of the Navy:

“1. The Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor has made the
following decision:

“By reason of the Franco-Russian alliance, the
obligations accepted by Germany in the Locarno Treaty,
as far as they apply to Articles 42 and 43 of the
Treaty of Versailles, which referred to the
demilitarized zone, are to be regarded as obsolete.

“2. Sections of the army and air force will therefore
be transferred simultaneously in a surprise move to
garrisons of the demilitarized zone. In this
connection, I issue the following orders: ***” (C-159)

There follow-detailed orders for the military operation.

The order for Naval cooperation was issued on 6 March 1936,
in the form of an order on behalf of the Reich Minister for
War, von Blomberg, signed by Keitel, and addressed to the
Commander-in-Chief of the Navy (Raeder) (C-194). The order
set out detailed instructions for the Commander-in-Chief of
the Fleet and the admirals commanding the Baltic and North
Sea. The short covering letter is as follows:

“To: C-in-C Navy: “The Minister has decided the
following after the meeting:

“1. The inconspicuous air reconnaissance in the German
bay, not over the line Texel-Doggerbank, from midday OR
Z-Day onward, has been approved. C-in-C air force will
instruct the air command VI from midday 7 March to hold
in readiness single reconnaissance aircraft to be at
the disposal of the C-in-C fleet.

“2. The Minister will reserve the decision to set up a
U-Boat reconnaissance on line, until the evening of 7
March. The immediate transfer of U-Boats from Kiel to
Wilhelmshaven has been approved.

“3. The proposed advance measures for the most part
exceed Degree of Emergency A and therefore are out of
the question a the first counter-measures to be taken
against military preparations of-neighboring states. It
is far more essential to examine the advance measures
included in Degree of Emergency A, to see whether one
or other of the especially conspicuous measures could
not be omitted.” (C-194)

The re-occupation and fortification of the Rhineland was
carried out on 7 March 1936. For the historical emphasis of
this occasion, Hitler made a momentous speech on the same
day, in which he declared:

[Page 443]

“Men of the German Reichstag! France has replied to the
repeated friendly offers and peaceful assurances made
by Germany by infringing the Reich pact though a
military alliance with the Soviet Union exclusive
directed against Germany. In this manner, however, the
Locarno Rhine Pact has lost its inner meaning and
ceased i practice to exist. Consequently, Germany
regards herself, for her part, as no, longer bound by
this dissolved treaty. The German government are now
constrained to face the new situation created by this
alliance, a situation which is rendered more acute by
the fact that the Franco-Soviet treaty has been
supplemented by a Treaty of Alliance between
Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union exactly parallel in
form. In accordance with the fundamental right of a
nation to secure its frontiers and ensure its
possibilities of defense, the German government have
today restored the full and unrestricted sovereignty of
Germany in the demilitarized zone of the Rhineland.”

The German reoccupation of the demilitarized zone of the
Rhineland caused extensive international repercussions. As a
result of the protests lodged with the League of Nations,
the Council of the league made an investigation and
announced the following finding, which is published in the
League of Nations monthly summary, March, 1936, Volume 16,
Page 78. [It is also quoted in the American Journal of
International Law, page 487 (1936)]:

“That the German government has committed a breach of
Article 43 of the Treaty of Versailles, by causing on 7
March 1936, military forces to enter and establish
themselves in the demilitarized zone, referred to in
Article 42 and the following articles of that Treaty,
and in the Treaty of Locarno. At the same time, on 7
March 1936, the Germans reoccupied the Rhineland in
flagrant violation of the Versailles and Locarno
Treaties. They again tried to allay the fears of other
European powers and lead them into a false sense of
security by announcing to the world we have no
territorial demands to make in Europe.”

The last phrase occurred in Hitler’s speech on 7 March 1936:

“We have no territorial claims to make in Europe. We
know above all that all the tensions resulting either
from false territorial settlements or from the
disproportion of the numbers of inhabitants to their
living space cannot, in Europe, be solved by war.”

The existence of prior plans and preparations for the re-

[Page 444]

pation and fortification of the Rhineland is indisputable.
The method and sequence of these plans and their
accomplishments are clearly indicated of the increasingly
aggressive character of the Nazi objective international
obligations and considerations of humanity notwithstanding.

The Nazi conspirators were determined, as these documents
have shown, to use whatever means were necessary to abrogate
and overthrow the Treaty of Versailles and its restrictions
upon the military armament and activity of Germany. In this
process, they conspired and engaged in secret armament and
training, the secret production of munitions of war, and
they built up an air force. They withdrew from the
International Disarmament Conference and the League of
Nations on 14 October 1938. They instituted universal
military service on 16 March 1935. On 21 May 1935 they
falsely announced that they would respect the territorial
limitations of Versailles and Locarno. On 7 March 1936 they
reoccupied and fortified the Rhineland and at the same time,
falsely announced that they had no territorial demands in

The accomplishment of all these objectives, particularly the
repudiation of the Versailles Treaty restrictions, opened
the gates for the numerous aggressions which were to follow.


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

International Military Tribunal, Indictment
Number 1, Sections IV (F) 1, 2; V. Vol. I Pg. 22,29

[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.]

[Page 445]

*789-PS; Speech of the Fuehrer at a
conference, 23 November 1939, to which all Supreme
Commanders were ordered. (USA 23) Vol. III Pg.572

*1143-PS; Letter from Schickendanz to
Rosenberg, 20 October 1932, for personal transmission to
Hess concerning organization of Air Force. (USA 40) Vol. III

*1168-PS; Unsigned Schacht memorandum
to Hitler, 3 May 1935, concerning the financing of the
armament program. (USA 37) Vol. III Pg.827

*1639-PS; Mobilization book for the
Civil Administration, 1939 Edition, issued over signature of
Keitel. (USA 777) Vol. IV Pg. 143

**1654-PS; Law of 16 March 1935
reintroducing universal military conscription. 1935
Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 369. (Referred to but not
offered in evidence) Vol. IV Pg.163

*2194-PS; Top secret letter from
Ministry for Economy and Labor, Saxony, to Reich Protector
in Bohemia and Moravia, enclosing copy of 1938 Secret
Defense Law of 4 September 1938. (USA 86) Vol. IV Pg.843

[Page 446]

*2261-PS; Directive from Blomberg to
Supreme Commanders of Army, Navy and Air Forces, 24 June
1935; accompanied by copy of Reich Defense Law of 21 May
1935 and copy of Decision of Reich Cabinet of 12 May 1935 on
the Council for defense of the Reich. (USA 24) Vol. IV

*2288-PS; Adolf Hitler’s speech
before the Reichstag, published in Voelkischer Beobachter,
Southern Germany Special Edition, No. 142a, 22 May 1935.
(USA 38) Vol. IV Pg.993

*2289-PS; Hitler’s speech in the
Reichstag, 7 March 1936, published in Voelkischer
Beobachter, Berlin Edition, No. 68, 8 March 1936. (USA 56)
Vol. IV Pg.994

*2292-PS; Interview of Goering by
representative of London Daily Mail, concerning the German
Air Force, from German report in The Archive, March 1935, p.
1830. (USA 52) Vol. IV Pg.995

*2322-PS; Hitler’s speech before the
Reichstag, 1 September 1939. (USA 39) Vol. IV Pg.1026

*2353-PS; Extracts from General
Thomas’ Basic Facts for History.of German War and Armament
Economy. (USA 35) Vol. IV Pg.1071

2907-PS; Notes of conferences of
Reich. Ministers on 12 September 1933, 13 October 1933, and
14 October 1933. Vol. V Pg.572

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

[Page 447]

*3308-PS; Affidavit by Paul Otto
Gustav Schmidt, 28 November 1945. (GB 288) Vol. V Pg.1100

*3474-PS; Manuscript notes by
Bodenschatz on conference of German Air Forces leaders, 2
December 1936. (USA 580) Vol. VI Pg.199

*3575-PS; Memorandum, 19 November
1938, concerning meeting of Reich Defense Council. (USA 781)
Vol. VI Pg.267

3581-PS; Letter from Minister of
Interior to Minister of Propaganda Goebbels, 20 July 1934,
concerning unauthorized press releases about military
affairs. Vol. VI Pg.278

3585-PS; Letter from Chief of Staff
of Army (von Fritsch) to Minister of War, 8 October 1934,
enclosing memorandum signed by Brauchitsch 29 September 1934, on
military situation in East Prussia. Vol. VI Pg.279

3586-PS; Directive to Counter
Intelligence units, 16 October 1934, directing that new
troop units which may be activated should be listed in
telephone books only under camouflage designations. Vol. VI

3587-PS; Memorandum from Beck, 14
November 1934, forbidding public use of designation “General
Staff”. Vol. VI Pg.282

*C-17; Extracts from History of the
German Navy 1919-1939. (USA 42). Vol. VI Pg.819

*C-23; Unsigned documents found in
official Navy files containing notes year by year from 1927
to 1940 on reconstruction of the German Navy, and dated 18
February 1938, 8 March 1938, September 1938. (USA 49) Vol.
VI Pg.827

[Page 448]

*C-29; Directive of 31 January 1933
by Raeder for German Navy to support the armament industry.
(USA 46) Vol. VI Pg.830

*C-32; Survey report of German Naval
Armament after conference with Chief of “A” Section, 9
September 1933. (USA 50) Vol. VI Pg.833

*C-135; Extract from history of war
organization and of the scheme for mobilization. (GB 213)
Vol. VI Pg.946

*C-139; Directive for operation
“Schulung” signed by Blomberg, 2 May 1935. (USA 53) Vol. VI

*C-140; Directive for preparations in
event of sanctions, 25 October 1935, signed by Blomberg.
(USA 51) Vol. VI Pg.952

*C-141; Order for concealed armament
of E-boats, 10 February 1932, signed by Raeder. (USA 47)
Vol. VI Pg.955

*C-153; Naval Armament Plan for the
3rd Armament Phase, signed by Raeder, 12 May 1934. (USA 43).
Vol. VI Pg.967

*C-156; Concealed Rearmament under
Leadership of Government of Reich, from “Fight of the Navy
against Versailles 1919-1935”.(USA 41) Vol. VI Pg.970

*C-159; Order for Rhineland
occupation signed by Blomberg, 2 March 1936. (USA 54) Vol.
VI Pg.974

*C-166; Order from Command Office of
Navy, 12 March 1934, signed in draft by Groos, concerning
preparation of auxiliary cruisers. (USA 48) Vol. VI Pg.977

*C-175; OKW Directive for Unified
Preparation for War 1937-1938, with covering letter from von
Blomberg, 24 June 1937. (USA 69) Vol. VI Pg.1006

[Page 449]

*C-189; Conversation with the Fuehrer
in June 1934 on occasion of resignation of Commanding
Officer of “Karlsruhe”. (USA 44) Vol. VI Pg.1017

*C-190; Memorandum of conversation
with Hitler on financing Naval rearmament and assembling six
submarines, 2 November 1934. (USA 45) Vol. VI Pg.1018

*C-194; Orders by Keitel and
Commander-in-Chief of Navy, 6 March 1936, for Navy
cooperation in Rhineland occupation. (USA 55) Vol. VI

*EC-177; Minutes of-second session of
Working Committee of the Reich Defense held on 26 April 1933.
(USA 390) Vol. VII Pg. 328

*EC-404; Minutes of conference of
Sixth Session of Working Committee of Reichs Defense
Council, held on 23 January 1934 and 24 January 1934. (USA
764) Vol. VII Pg.443

*EC-405; Minutes of Tenth Meeting of
Working Committee of Reichs Defense Council, 26 June 1935.
(GB 160) Vol. VII Pg.450

*EC-406; Minutes of Eleventh Meeting
of Reichs Defense Council, 6 December 1935. (USA 772) Vol.
VII Pg.455

*EC-407; Minutes of Twelfth Meeting
of Reichs Defense Council, 14 May 1936. (GB 247) Vol. VII

*L-79; Minutes of conference, 23 May
1939, “Indoctrination on the political situation and future
aims” (USA 27) Vol. VII Pg.462

*L-172; “The Strategic Position at
the Beginning of the 5th Year of War”, a lecture delivered
by Jodl on 7 November 1943 at Munich to Reich and
Gauleiters. (USA 34) Vol. VII Pg.847

[Page 450]

*TC-44; Notice by German government
of existence of German Air Force, 9 March 1935. (GB 11) Vol.
VII Pg.920

TC-45; Proclamation to German People
of 16 March 1935. Vol. VIII Pg.386

TC-46; German memorandum to
Signatories of Locarno Pact reasserting full German
sovereignty over Rhineland, 7 March 1936. Vol. VIII Pg.388

Statement VII; The Development of
German Naval Policy 1933-1939 by Erich Raeder, Moscow, fall
1945. Vol. VIII Pg.684

Statement XIV; Hungarian Relations
with Germany Before and During the War by Nicholas Horthy,
Jr., Nurnberg, 22 February 1946. Vol. VIII Pg.756