The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)
Nuremberg, war crimes, crimes against humanity

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
December 3 to December 14, 1945

Eleventh Day: Monday, 3rd December, 1945
(Part 5 of 8)

[MR ALDERMAN continues]

[Page 23]

It is left to the O.K.H. to assemble as far as possible, first of all the sections to march and, subsequently, the remaining sections of the divisions in marshalling areas behind the Western fortifications.

(Signed) Keitel."

THE PRESIDENT: I think this would be a good time to adjourn. Before the Tribunal adjourns, the Tribunal would be very grateful if the officers in charge of the Court could reduce the heat.

We will meet again at 2 o'clock.

(A recess was taken until 1400 hours.)

MR. ALDERMAN: May it please the Tribunal.

I might say that my attention has been called to the fact that I misread a signature on one of the documents to which I adverted this morning. It is Item 31 of the Schmundt minutes. I read the name "Jodl" as being the signature on that item. I should have read Keitel.

In the course of presenting details of the documents which are being offered in evidence, I think it would be well to pause for a moment, and recall

[Page 24]

the setting in which these things took place. The world will never forget the Munich Pact, and the international crisis which lead to it. As this crisis was developing in August and September of 1938, a frantic effort was being made by statesmen of the world to preserve world peace. Little did they know of the evil plans and designs in the hearts and the minds of these conspirators.

What is being presented to the Tribunal today is the inside story underlying the Pact of Munich. We are now able to spread upon the pages of h1story the truth concerning the fraud and deceit practised by the Nazi conspirators, in achieving their own ends. The Pact of Munich was a stepping-stone towards further aggression. One cannot think back without living again through the dread of war, or the threat to the world, or the fear of war which seized all peace-loving persons. The hope for peace which came with the Munich Pact was the result of the snare, the deceitful trap, carefully set by the defendants on trial. The evil character of these men who were making preparations in this scheme for aggression and war is demonstrated by their own documents.

Further discussions were held between the Army and the Luftwaffe as to the time of day at which the attack should be launched. Notes initialled by the defendant Jodl, dated 27th September, reveal the difference in views. These notes are Item 54, on Page 90 in the translation of Document 388-PS. I shall read these first three paragraphs as follows:

The heading is --



Only through Officer

Conference Notes

Berlin, 27th September, 1938.
4 copies
1st copy

Time of attack 'Grun'

Co-ordinated time of Attack by Army and Air Forces on X-Day.

As a matter of principle, every effort should be made for a co- ordinated attack by Army and Air Forces on X-day.

The Army wishes to attack at dawn, that is, about 0615. It also wishes to conduct some limited operations in the previous night which, however, would not alarm the entire Czech front.

Air Force's time of attack depends on weather conditions. These could change the time of attack and also limit the area of operations. The weather of the last few days, for instance, would have delayed the start until between 0800 and 1100 hours due to low ceiling in Bavaria."

Then I will skip to the last two paragraphs on Page 91:-
"Thus it is proposed:

Attack by the Army - independent of the attack by the Air Force at the time desired by the Army (0615) and permission for limited operations to take place before then, however only to an extent that will not alarm the entire Czech front.

The Luftwaffe will attack at a time most suitable to them."

The initial at the end of that order is " J," meaning, I think, clearly "Jodl".

On the same date, 27th September, the defendant Keitel sent a most secret

[Page 25]

memorandum to the defendant Hess, and the Reichsfuehrer S.S., Himmler, for the guidance of the Nazi Party officials. This memorandum is Item 32 in the Schmundt files at Page 56 of the English translation. I read the first four paragraphs of this message.

THE PRESIDENT: What is the item?

MR. ALDERMAN: It is Item 32 in the Schmundt files at Page 56. This is the English version:-

"As a result of the political situation the Fuehrer and Chancellor has ordered mobilisation measures for the Armed Forces, without the political situation being aggravated by issuing the mobilisation (X) order, or corresponding code words.

Within the framework of these mobilisation measures it is necessary for the Armed Forces authorities to issue demands to the various Party authorities and their organisations, which are connected with the previous issuing of the mobilisation order, the advance measures or special code names.

The special situation makes it necessary that these demands be met (even if the code word has not been previously issued) immediately and without being referred to higher authority.

O.K.W. requests that subordinate offices be given immediate instructions to this effect, so that the mobilisation of the Armed Forces can be carried out according to plan."

Then I shall skip to the last paragraph:-
"The Supreme Command of the Armed Forces further requests that all measures not provided for in the plans which are undertaken by Party organisations, or Police units, as a result of the political situation, be reported in every case and in plenty of time to the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces. Only then can it be guaranteed that these measures can be carried out in practice.

The Chief of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces.

Two additional entries from the defendant Jodl's files reveal the extent to which the Nazi conspirators carried out all their preparations for an attack; even during the period of negotiations which culminated in the Munich Agreement. I quote the answers in the Jodl diary for 25th and 27th September, from Page 7 of the translation of Document 1780-PS. The 26th September -

THE PRESIDENT: Have you got in mind the date of the visit of Mr. Chamberlain to Germany, and of the actual agreement? Perhaps you can give it later on.

MR. ALDERMAN: I think it will be covered later, yes.


MR. ALDERMAN: The agreement of the Munich Pact was 29th September, and this answer was made three days before the Pact, the 26th September as follows:

"Chief of the Armed Forces High Command, acting through the Army High Command, has stopped the intended approach march of the advance units to the Czech border, because it is not yet necessary and because the Fuehrer does not intend to march in before the 30th in any case. Order to approach towards the Czech frontier need be given on the 27th only.

[Page 26]

In the evening of the 26th, fixed radio stations of Breslau, Dresden and Vienna are put at the disposal of the Reich Ministry for Popular Enlightenment and Propaganda for interference with possible Czech propaganda transmissions.

Question by department 'Foreign Countries' whether Czechs are to be allowed to leave and cross Germany. Decision from Chief of the Armed Forces High Command: Yes.

1515 hours: The Chief of the Armed Forces High Command informs General Stumpf about the result of the Godesberg conversations and about the Fuehrer's opinion. In no case will X-day be before the 30th.

It is important that we do not permit ourselves to be drawn into military engagements because of false reports, before Prague replied.

A question of Stumpf about Y-hour results in the reply that on account of the weather situation, a simultaneous intervention of the Air Force and Army cannot be expected. The Army needs the dawn, the Air Force can only start later on account of frequent fogs.

The Fuehrer has to make a decision for the commanders-in- chief, as to who is to have priority.

The opinion of Stumpf is also that the attack of the Army has to proceed. The Fuehrer has not made any decision as yet about commitments against Prague.

2000 hours: The Fuehrer addresses the people and the world in an important speech at the Sportpalast."

Then the entry on the 27th September:
"1320 hours: The Fuehrer consents to the first wave of attack being advanced to a line from which they can arrive in the assembly area by 30th September."
The order referred to by General Jodl was also recorded by the faithful Schmundt, and appears with Item 33 at Page 57 of the file. I will read it in its entirety. It is the order which brought the Nazi Army to a jumping off point for unmitigated aggression.
"28.9.38. MOST SECRET. MEMORANDUM: At 1300, 27th September, the Fuehrer and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, ordered the movement of the assault units from their exercise areas to their jumping off points.

The assault units (about 21 reinforced regiments, or 7 divisions) must be ready to begin the operation 'Grun' On 30th September, the decision having been made one day previously by 1200 noon.

This order was conveyed to General Keitel at 1320 through Major Schmundt (pencil note by Schmundt)."

At this point with the Nazi Army poised in a strategic position around the body of Czechoslovakia, we shall turn back for a moment to examine another phase of the Czech aggression. The military preparations for action against Czechoslovakia had not been carried out in vacuo. They had been preceded by a skilfully conceived campaign designed to promote several incidents in Czechoslovakia. Using the tactics they had already developed by underhand methods, the Nazi conspirators over a period of years used many methods of propaganda and force to instil in the minds of Czechoslovakians the programme of the Nazi might, forcing their intentions of the present German decision on those living in Sudetenland, and the areas bounded thereto on the North-west and the South. I invite attention to the verbatim report in Document 998-PS and offer it in evidence as Exhibit USA 91.

[Page 27]

This exhibit is entitled, "German Crimes Against Czechoslovakia," and "The Czechoslovak Government Official Report for the Prosecution and Trial of the German Major War Criminals by the International Military Tribunal established according to the agreement of the Four Great Powers of 8th August, 1945."

I believe that this report clearly includes all the provisions of Article 21, of the Charter, and is a document of which the Court will take judicial notice. Article 21 provides:

"The Tribunal shall not require proof of facts of common knowledge but shall take judicial notice thereof. It shall also take judicial notice of official governmental documents and reports of the United Nations, including the accounts and documents of the committees set up in the various Allied countries for the investigation of war crimes and the records and findings of military or other tribunals of any of the United Nations."
Since, under that provision, the Court will take judicial notice of this governmental report by the Czech Government, I shall, with the leave of the Tribunal, merely summarise Pages 9 to 12 of this report to show the background of the subsequent Nazi intrigue within Czechoslovakia.

Nazi agitation in Czechoslovakia dated from the earliest days of the N.S.D.A.P. of the Nazi Party. In the years following the First World War, a German National Social1st Workers Party, D.N.S.A.P., which maintained close contact with Hitler's N.S.D.A.P., became active in the Sudetenland. In 1932, ringleaders of the Sudeten Volkssport, an organisation corresponding to the Nazi S.A. or Sturmabteilung, openly endorsed the 21 points of Hitler's programme, the first of which demanded the union of all Germans in a greater Germany. Soon afterwards they were charged with planning armed rebellion on behalf of a foreign power and were sentenced for conspiracy against the Czech Republic.

Late in 1933, the National Socialist Party of Czechoslovakia forestalled its dissolution by voluntary liquidation, and several of its chiefs escaped across the border into Germany. For a year thereafter, Nazi activity in Czechoslovakia continued underground.

On 1st October, 1934, with the approval and at the urging of the Nazi conspirators, an instructor of gymnastics, Konrad Henlein, established the German Home Front or Deutsche Heimatfront, which, the following spring, became the Sudeten German Party, S.D.P. Profiting from the experiences of the Czech National Socialist Party, Henlein denied any connection with the German Nazis. He rejected pan-Germanism and professed his respect for individual liberties and his loyalty to honest democracy and to the Czech State. His party, none the less, was built on the basis of the Nazi Fuehrerprinzip, and he became its Fuehrer.

By 1937, when the powers of Hitler's Germany had become manifest, Henlein and his followers were striking a more aggressive note, demanding, without definition, "complete Sudeten autonomy". The S.D.P. laid proposals before the Czech Parliament which would have created a State within a State.

After the annexation of Austria by Germany in March, 1938, the Henleinists, who were now openly organised after the Nazi model, intensified their activities. Undisguised anti-Semitic propaganda started in the Henlein Press.

The campaign against Bolshevism was intensified. Terrorism in the

[Page 28]

Henlein-dominated communities increased. A Storm Trooper organisation, known as the F. S., Freiwilliger Selbstschutz or Voluntary Vigilantes, modelled and trained on the principles of the Nazi S.S., was established.

On 24th April, 1938, in a speech to the Party Congress in Karlovy Vary, Henlein came into the open with what he called his Karlsbad Programme. In this speech, which echoed Hitler in tone and substance, Henlein asserted the right of the Sudeten Germans to profess German political philosophy, which, it was clear, meant National Socialism.

As the summer of 1938 wore on, the Henleinists used every technique of the Nazi fifth column. As summarised in Pages 12 to 16 of the Czech Government official report, these techniques included:

(a) Espionage. - Military espionage was conducted by the S.D.P., the F.S. and by other members of the German minority on behalf of Germany. Czech defences were mapped and information on Czech troop movements was furnished to the German authorities.

(b) Nazification of German organisations in Czechoslovakia. The Henleinists systematically penetrated the whole life of the German population of Czechoslovakia. Associations and social cultural centres regularly underwent "Gleichschaltung", that is purification, by the S.D.P. Among the organisations penetrated by the Henleinists were sports societies, rowing clubs, associations of ex-service men, and choral societies. The Henleinists were particularly interested in penetrating as many business institutions as possible, and bringing over to their side the directors of banks, the owners or directors of factories, and the managers of commercial firms. In the case of Jewish ownership or direction, they attempted to secure the co-operation of the clerical and technical staffs of the concerns.

(c) German direction and leadership. The Henleinists maintained permanent contact with the Nazi officials designated to direct operations within Czechoslovakia. Meetings in Germany, at which Henleinists were exhorted to and instructed in fifth column activity, were camouflaged by being held in conjunction with "Sanger Feste" or choral festivals, gymnastic shows, and assemblies, and commercial gatherings such as the Leipzig Fair. Whenever the Nazi conspirators needed incidents for their war of nerves, it was the duty of the Henlein1sts to supply them.

(d) Propaganda. - Disruptive and subversive propaganda was directed at Czechoslovakia in German broadcasts and was echoed in the German Press. Goebbels called Czechoslovakia a "nest of Bolshevism" and spread the false report of Russian troops and aeroplanes centred in Prague. Under direction from the Reich, the Henleinists maintained whispering propaganda in the Sudetenland which contributed to the mounting tension and to the creation of incidents. Illegal Nazi literature was smuggled from Germany and widely d1stributed in the border regions. The Henlein Press, more or less openly, espoused Nazi ideology to the German population in the Sudetenland.

(e) Murder and terrorism. - Nazi conspirators provided the Henleinists, and particularly the F.S., with money and arms with which to provoke incidents and to maintain a state of permanent unrest. Gendarmes, customs officers, and other Czech officials were attacked. A boycott was established against Jewish lawyers, doctors, and tradesmen.

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