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

Sixteenth Day: Monday, 10th December, 1945
(Part 6 of 9)

[MR. ALDERMAN continues]

[Page 261]

The Tripartite Pact pledged Germany, Italy, and Japan to support of, and collaboration with, each other in the establishment of a "New Order", in Europe and East Asia. I should like to read into the record parts of this far-reaching agreement.
"The Governments of Germany, Italy, and Japan consider it as a condition precedent of a lasting peace, that each nation of the world be given its own proper place. They have, therefore, decided to stand together and to co-operate with one another in their efforts in Greater East Asia, and in the regions of Europe, wherein it is their prime purpose to establish and maintain a new order of things, calculated to promote the prosperity and welfare of the peoples there. Furthermore, it is the desire of the three Governments to extend this co-operation to such nations in other parts of the world as are inclined to give to their endeavours a direction similar to their own, in order that their aspirations towards world peace as the ultimate goal may thus be realised. Accordingly, the Governments of Germany, Italy and Japan have agreed as follows:-

Article 1: Japan recognises and respects the leadership of Germany and Italy, in the establishment of a New Order in Europe.

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Article 2: Germany and Italy recognise and respect the leader ship of Japan, in the establishment of a New Order in Greater East Asia.

Article 3: Germany, Italy, and Japan agree to co-operate in their efforts on the aforesaid basis. They further undertake to assist one another with all political, economic and military means, if one of the three Contracting Parties is attacked by a Power at present not involved in the Chinese-Japanese conflict."

I now skip to the first sentence of Article 6:-
"The present Pact shall come into force immediately upon signature and shall remain in force for ten years, from the date of its coming into force."
Thus the Tripartite Pact of 27th September, 1940, was a bold announcement to the world that the Fascist leaders of Germany, Japan and Italy had cemented a full military alliance to achieve world domination, and to establish the "New Order" presaged by the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931, the ruthless Italian conquest of Ethiopia in 1935, and the Nazi overflow into Austria early in 1938. I might also comment that this pact introduces the "Fuehrerprinzip" into world politics.

I should like to read, in this connection, a statement by Cordell Hull, Secretary of State in the United States at the time of the signing of the Tripartite Pact. This statement appears in the official U.S. publication, Peace and War, U.S. Foreign Policy, 1931-1941, which has already been offered in evidence as Exhibit USA 122. Mr. Hull's statement is Number 184 therein. It is also our Document 2944-PS, and both the English text and a German translation thereof are included in the document books. I now quote statement by the Secretary of State, 27th September, 1940:-

"The reported agreement of alliance does not, in the view of the Government of the United States, substantially alter a situation which has existed for several years. Announcement of the alliance merely makes clear to all a relationship which has long existed in effect, and to which this Government has repeatedly called attention. That such an agreement has been in process of conclusion has been well known for some time, and that fact has been fully taken into account by the Government of the United States, in determining this country's policies."
I shall not attempt here to trace the relationship and negotiations leading up to the Tripartite Pact of 27th September, 1940. I shall note, however, one example of the type of German- Japanese relationship existing before the formalisation of the Tripartite Pact. This is the record of the conversation Of 31st January, 1939, between Himmler and General Oshima, Japanese Ambassador at Berlin, which was referred to by the U.S. Chief of Counsel in his opening address. This document, which is signed by Himmler in crayon, is our Document 2195-PS. I offer it in evidence as Exhibit USA 150.

I now quote the file memorandum:

"Today I visited General Oshima. The conversation ranged over the following subjects

1. The Fuehrer's speech, which pleased him very much, especially because it had been spiritually warranted in all its features.

2. We discussed the conclusion of a treaty to consolidate the triangle Germany-Italy-Japan into an even firmer mould. He also told me that, together with German counter-espionage (Abwehr), he

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was undertaking long-range projects aimed at the disintegration of Russia, and emanating from the Caucasus and the Ukraine. However, this organisation was to become effective only in case of war.

3. Furthermore, he had succeeded up to now in sending ten Russians with bombs across the Caucasian frontier. Their mission was to kill Stalin. A number of additional Russians, whom he had also sent across, had been shot at the frontier."

Whatever the beginning and the course of development of the Fascist Triplice, the Nazi conspirators, once their military and economic alliance with Japan had been formalised, exhorted the Japanese to aggression against those nations with whom they were at war, and those with whom they contemplated war. In this the conspirators pursued a course strikingly parallel to that followed in their relationship with the other member of the European Axis. On 10th June, 1940, in fulfilment of her alliance with Germany, Italy had carried out her "stab in the back" by declaring war against France and Great Britain. These Nazi conspirators set about to induce similar action by Japan, on the other side of the world.

As I shall show, the nations against whom the German-Japanese collaboration was aimed, at various times, were the British Commonwealth of Nations, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and the United States of America. I shall deal with each of these nations in the order named.

At least as early as 23rd February, 1941 - on the basis of documents available to us - these Nazi conspirators undertook to exploit their alliance with Japan by exhortations to commit aggression against the British Commonwealth. Again, the figure of the defendant Ribbentrop appears. On that date, 23rd February, 1941, he held a conference with General Oshima, the Japanese Ambassador to Berlin, at which he urged that the Japanese open hostilities against the British in the Far East, as soon as possible.

The report of that conference, our Document 1834-PS, has already been offered in connection with the presentation of the case on aggression against the Soviet Union, as Exhibit USA 129. A part of it has already been read into the record and I now intend to read another portion. I shall again come back to this document when dealing with the German-Japanese collaboration as regards the United States.

As can be seen on the cover page of the English translation, Ribbentrop, on 2nd March, sent copies of an extract of the record of this conference to his various ambassadors and ministers, for their strictly confidential and purely personal information, with the further note that - and I quote:-

"These statements are of fundamental significance for orientation in the general political situation facing Germany in early spring 1941."
I shall now quote from the top of Page 2 of the English translation of 1834-PS, to the end of the first paragraph on that page, and then skip to the last three sentences of the second paragraph:-
"Extract from the report of the Conference of the Reich Foreign Minister with Ambassador Oshima in Fuschl on 23rd February, 1941.

After particularly cordial mutual greetings, the R.A.M. (Reich Foreign Minister) declared that Ambassador Oshima had been proved right in the policy he had pursued regarding Germany, in the face of the many doubters in Japan. By Germany's victory in the West these policies had been fully vindicated. He" - that is, Ribbentrop

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"regretted that the alliance between Germany and Japan, for which he had been working with the Ambassador for many years already, had come into being only after various detours, but public opinion in Japan had not been ripe for it earlier. The main thing was, however, that they were together now."
Then, omitting a few lines:-
"Now the German-Japanese Alliance had been concluded, Ambassador Oshima is the man who gets credit for it from the Japanese side. After conclusion of the alliance the question of its further development now stands in the foreground. How is the situation in this respect?"
Ribbentrop, thereafter in the conference, proceeded to shape the argument for Japanese intervention against the British. First outlining the intended air and U-boat warfare by Germany against England, he said - and I now quote the last two sentences in Paragraph 4, on Page 2, of the English translation:-
"Thereby England's situation would take catastrophic shape overnight. The landing in England is prepared; its execution, however, depends on various factors, above all on weather conditions."
And then, going on to the first full paragraph on Page 3 of the English translation, I quote the defendant Ribbentrop again:-
"The Fuehrer would beat England wherever he would encounter her. Besides, our strength was not only equal, but superior to a combined English-American Air Force at any time. The number of pilots at our disposal was unlimited. The same was true of our aeroplane production capacity. As far as quality was concerned, ours was always superior to the English (to say nothing about the American) and we were on the way even to enlarge this lead. On the Fuehrer's orders the anti-aircraft defence, too, would be greatly reinforced. Since the Army had been supplied far beyond its requirements, and enormous reserves had been piled up (the ammunition plants have been slowed down because of the immense stock of material), production would now be concentrated on submarines, aeroplanes and anti-aircraft guns.

Every eventuality had been provided for; the war had been won, today, militarily, economically and politically. We had the desire to end the war quickly, and to force England to sue for peace soon. The Fuehrer was vigorous and healthy, fully convinced of victory and determined to bring the war to a quick and victorious end. To this end, the co-operation with Japan was of importance. However, Japan, in her own interest, should come in as soon as possible. This would destroy England's key position in the Far East. Japan, on the other hand, would thus secure her position in the Far East, a position which she could acquire only through war. There were three reasons for quick action:-

1. Intervention by Japan would mean a decisive blow against the centre of the British Empire (threat to India, cruiser- warfare, etc.). The effect upon the morale of the British people would be very serious, and this would contribute toward a quick ending of the war.

2. A surprising intervention by Japan was bound to keep America out of the war. America, which at present is not armed and would hesitate greatly to expose her Navy to any risks West of Hawaii,

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could do this even less in such a case. If Japan would otherwise respect the American interests, there would not even be the possibility for Roosevelt to use the argument of lost prestige, to make war plausible to the Americans. It was very unlikely that America would declare war if she then would have to stand by helplessly, while Japan takes the Philippines without America being able to do anything about it.

3. In view of the coming 'New World Order' it seems to be in the interest of Japan also to secure for herself, during the war, the position she wants to hold in the Far East at the time of a peace treaty. Ambassador Oshima agreed with me entirely and said that he would do everything to carry through this policy."

I should like to note at this point the subtlety of Ribbentrop's argument. First he told the Japanese Ambassador that Germany had already practically won the war, by herself. Nevertheless, he suggested that the war could be successfully terminated more quickly with Japan's aid, and that the moment was propitious for Japan's entry. Then, referring to the spoils of the conquest, he indicated that Japan would be best advised to pick up by herself, during the war, the positions she wanted, implying that she would have to earn her share of the booty, which is reminiscent of that statement I read to you earlier from the Fuehrer that "those who wished to be in on the meal must take a part in the cooking."

Continuing Ribbentrop's argument, and to show the real nature of the German-Japanese alliance, I shall now read the top two paragraphs on Page 5 of the English translation of 1834-PS.

"The Reich Foreign Minister continued by saying that it was Japan's friendship which had enabled Germany to arm after the Anti-Comintern Pact was concluded. On the other hand, Japan had been able to penetrate deeply into the English sphere of influence in China. Germany's victory on the continent had brought now, after the conclusion of the Three-Power Pact, great advantages for Japan. France, as a power, was eliminated in the Far East (Indo-China). England, too, was considerably weakened; Japan had been able to close in steadily on Singapore. Thus, Germany had already contributed enormously to the shaping of the future fate of the two nations. Due to our geographical situation, we would have to carry the main burden of the final battle in the future too. If an unwanted conflict with Russia should arise, we would have to carry the main burden also in this case. If Germany should ever weaken, Japan would find herself confronted by a world-coalition within a short time. We were all in the same boat. The fate of both nations was being determined now, for centuries to come. The same was true for Italy. The interests of the three countries would never intersect. A defeat of Germany would also mean the end of the Japanese imperialistic idea.

Ambassador Oshima definitely agreed with these statements and emphasised the fact that Japan was determined to keep its imperial position. The Reich Foreign Minister then discussed the great problems which would arise after the war, for the parties of the Three-Power Pact, from the shaping of a new order in Europe and East Asia. The problems arising then would require a bold solution. Thereby no over-centralisation should take place, but a solution should be found on a basis of

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parity, particularly in the economic realm. In regard to this, the Reich Foreign Minister advanced the principle that a free exchange of trade should take place between the two spheres of influence on a liberal basis. The European-African hemisphere under the leadership of Germany and Italy, and the East-Asian sphere of interest under the leadership of Japan. As he conceived it, for example, Japan would conduct trade and make trade agreements directly with the independent States in the European hemisphere, as heretofore, while Germany and Italy would trade directly and make trade agreements with the independent countries within the Japanese orbit of power, such as China, Thailand, Indo-China, etc. Furthermore, as between the two economic spheres, each should fundamentally grant the other preferences with regard to third parties. The Ambassador expressed agreement with this thought."

In the document I have just quoted from, we have seen the instigation to war by the defendant Ribbentrop, the German Foreign Minister. I shall return to him again in this connection.

I now wish to show, however, the participation of the so-called military representatives in the encouragement and provocation of further wars of aggression. I therefore offer in evidence our Document C-75, as Exhibit USA 151.

This document is a "Top Secret" order signed by the defendant Keitel as Chief of the O.K.W., and entitled "Basic Order No. 24 regarding Collaboration with Japan". It is dated 5th March, 1941, about a week and a-half after Ribbentrop's conference with Oshima, that I have just discussed. It was distributed in 14 copies to the highest commands of the Army, Navy, and Air Force, as well as to the Foreign Office. We have turned up two copies of this order, identical except for hand-written notations, presumably made by the recipients. C-75, the document I have introduced, is Copy No. 2 of the Order distributed to the Naval War Staff of the Commander- in-Chief of the Navy, the O.K.M. We also have Copy No. 4, designed for the Wehrmacht Fuehrungsstab, the Operations Staff of the High Command of the Armed Forces. The head of this Operations Staff was the defendant Jodl. Copy No. 4 was found in the O.K.W. files at Flensburg. It is our Document 384-PS, and was referred to by the U.S. Chief of Counsel in his opening address. I shall not burden the Tribunal and the record by introducing two identical copies of the same order.

Basic Order No. 24 was the authoritative Nazi policy on collaboration with Japan. I therefore propose to read it in its entirety, some two pages of English translation.

"The Fuehrer had issued the following order regarding collaboration with Japan:
1. It must be the aim of the collaboration based on the Three- Power Pact, to induce Japan, as soon as possible, to take active measures in the Fast East."

"Strong British forces will thereby be tied down, and the centre of gravity of the interests of the United States of America will be diverted to the Pacific.

The sooner she intervenes, the greater will be the prospects of success for Japan in view of the still undeveloped preparedness for war, on the

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part of her adversaries. The 'Barbarossa' operation will create particularly favourable political and military prerequisites for this."
Then there is a marginal note, "Slightly exaggerated".
"2. To prepare the way for the collaboration - "

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