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Joachim von Ribbentrop was not only one of the principal instigators and leaders of the foreign policy of Hitlerite Germany, but he was also one of the most active participants in the criminal conspiracy.

Having officially entered the Nazi Party in 1932, the defendant however, contributed to the seizure of power by the Nazis, before this actually occurred, and he became shortly the official adviser of the Party, inasmuch as he was the "collaborator of the Fuehrer on matters of foreign policy." (2829-PS, USA 5) Ribbentrop's promotion is indissolubly connected with the development of the Nazi conspirators' activity which was directed against the interests of peace.

In his testimony, Ribbentrop declared: "He (Hitler) knew that I was his loyal collaborator". That is why on 4 February 1938, Hitler made the convinced and faithful nazi-Ribbentrop, the official leader of foreign policy, a post which was one of the most important levers for the realization of the entire Nazi conspiracy. However, Ribbentrop did not limit his activities to the field of foreign policy. As member of the Hitlerite Government, the Reich Defense Council and of the Secret Council, he participated in the solution of all the innumerable problems connected with the preparation of aggressive wars. That is why he, Ribbentrop, although he was Minister for Foreign Affairs, took part in the solution and realization of problems, but faintly relevant to foreign policy, such as the utilization of manpower in wartime, the organization of the concentration camps, and so forth. In this connection, it should be noted that Ribbentrop signed a special, large-scale agreement with Himmler on the organization of a common intelligence service. (USSR-120)

Ribbentrop became Reich Foreign Minister precisely at the outset of the realization of the plans of aggression, which visualised the submission of Europe to Germany. This coincidence is no accident, Ribbentrop was considered, not without reason, as the most adequate person for the realization of this criminal conspiracy, he was preferred even to such an expert in matters of foreign provocation as Rosenberg, upon which the latter made an official complaint, not without some reason. And Hitler was not mistaken in his choice, for Ribbentrop fully justified his confidence. As early as 12 February 1938, a week after his nomination, Ribbentrop-together with Hitler and the defendant Papen, who for a long time prior to this date had been directing the diversionist activity of the Nazi agencies in Austria, participated in a conference at the Obersalzberg.

At this meeting he addressed an ultimatum punctuated by threats, to the Austrian Chancellor Schuschnigg and the latter's

Foreign Minister Schmidt, demanding their agreement to sacrificing the independence of Austria, and this object was attained.

As Minister, Ribbentrop was present at the conference of 28 May 1938, during which a decision was made for the execution of plan "Gruen"-the plan for aggression against Czechoslovakia. In conformity to the Nazi tactics of weakening their future victim by striking at the home front, Ribbentrop constantly kept a close contact with and gave material assistance first to the German Sudeten party, and then to the Slovak nationalists, with the object of attaining an internal split and fratricidal war in Czechoslovakia.

Having seized Czechoslovakia, the Nazi conspirators, and Ribbentrop amongst them, began to make preparations for and to realize the next aggressive act, which had already been outlined by them in their criminal plan against peace-the attack on Poland. Being compelled-because of the recently realized annexation of Austria and Czechoslovakia, to conceal temporarily the further intentions of Germany, Ribbentrop personally, and through the agency of his diplomats, endeavoured to allay the vigilance of the European states, by making hypocritical declarations to the effect that Germany had no further territorial demands. On 26 January 1939, in Warsaw, the Foreign Minister of Fascist Germany, Ribbentrop declared: "that the consolidation of friendly relations between Germany and Poland on the basis of existing agreements, constituted the most important factor of Germany's foreign policy". (2530-PS, GB 36) A very short time elapsed, and Poland experienced the value of these assurances of Ribbentrop.

I will not dwell here on the perfidious part played by the defendant Ribbentrop in the German aggression against Denmark, Norway, Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg, for my colleagues have already dealt with this matter convincingly enough

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The defendant Ribbentrop personally participated in the commission of aggression against Jugoslavia and Greece. Reverting to his favourite method of giving false guarantees in order to conceal the future aggression, defendant Ribbentrop assured Jugoslavia in April, 1938, that after the Anschluss Germany's frontiers with Jugoslavia were considered as final and unalterable. At that time manifold preparations for aggression were being carried out with the assistance of the defendant Ribbentrop. On 12 and 13 August 1939 at the conference of Hitler and Ribbentrop with Ciano at Salzburg an agreement was reached concerning the liquidation of the neutrals one after the other.

With the direct and immediate assistance of the defendant Ribbentrop the Nazi conspirators planned, prepared and carried out the treacherous attack on the USSR on the 22nd of June 1941.

The defendant Ribbentrop himself admitted here, in the Court room that at the end of August and the beginning of September 1940, i.e. at the time when the elaborate plans of the plan "Barbarossa" was being carried out as it is evident from the depositions of General Warlimont, General Mueller and Fieldmarshal Paulus the defendant Keitel was discussing with him the question of attacking USSR. (446-PS, USA 31; 447-PS, USA 135; USSR 263; USSR 149; USSR 156) The activity of the defendant and the ministry directed by him, played a primary part in the organization of war against the USSR with the participation of Finland.

Already after the beginning of the aggression of Germany against the Soviet Union the defendant Ribbentrop continued to apply his effort to attract new accomplices to Germany's side. Thus in a telegram to the German Ambassador in Tokio of 10th July 1941 he said: "I beg you to try all means at your disposal to influence Matsuoka in order to make Japan start war against Russia as soon as possible. The sooner the better. The final aim should be that Japan and we shake hands on the Siberian railway before winter comes on." (2896-PS, USA 155)

As it has been established at this trial Ribbentrop together with the other defendants was preparing the policy of extermination and plunder, planned by the Hitlerites and then applied it in the temporarily occupied territories of Soviet Union. The defendant, Rosenberg who was elaborating the plans of exploitation of the occupied territories in Eastern Europe, held a conference on this question with OKW, the Ministry of Economics, Ministry of the Interior. In his "Report about preparatory work on the Eastern-European question" he wrote: "As a result of the negotiations with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the latter appointed General Consul Mr. Braeutigam as their representative to Rosenberg." (1039-PS, USA 146)

Thus it is indisputable that Ribbentrop not only knew about the preparation for the military attack on USSR, but that he, together with the other conspirators, had planned beforehand the colonization of the territory of the Soviet Union, the enslavement and extermination of the Soviet citizens. The defendant was compelled to admit that he had known the notes of the Public Commissar of Foreign Affairs V. M. Molotov concerning the atrocities of the Hitlerites in the temporarily occupied territories of the Soviet Union. He, as well as the other conspirators, had also known the other declarations of, the Chiefs of the Allied Governments concerning the responsibility imposed upon the Nazi Government for committing the monstrous atrocities in the occupied countries.

Ribbentrop, as the witness for the defense the former Secre

tary of State at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed, had been one of the initiators and was intended to be nominated honorary member of the International Anti-Jewish Congress which the Germans supposed to convene in July 1944 in Cracow. Ribbentrop himself admitted at the Trial that he had negotiated with the Governments of European countries about the banishment of the Jews. According to the record of Ribbentrop's conversation with Horty "The Minister of Foreign Affairs declared to Horty that the Jews should be either exterminated or sent to concentration camps. There could be no other decision". This sufficiently confirms the fact that Ribbentrop was aware of the existence of the concentration camps though he tried hard to prove the contrary.

Ribbentrop lent his support to other Nazi leaders and above all, to the defendant Sauckel, in deporting the inhabitants of the occupied territories for forced labor in Germany.

Besides, defendant Ribbentrop, by carrying out the common plan of conspiracy including the destruction of the national culture of the peoples of the occupied territories, took a most active part in plundering treasures of culture, which are the common property of all nations. In order to carry out this task, and on Ribbentrop's instructions, a "Battalion of Special Service" had been created at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which, during the whole war, followed the advance units, requisitioned and deported to Germany all kinds of treasures of culture from the occupied territories in the East, according to the directives of Ribbentrop.

Thus the defendant Ribbentrop took part in the seizure of power by the Nazis, played a leading role in planning, preparing and waging aggressive plundering wars; together with the other conspirators, he participated, according to the Fascist plans in the leadership, when committing most heavy crimes against the nations, whose territories had been temporarily occupied by the Hitlerite invaders.

The Military Group

Several of the defendants in the dock at this major War Criminals Trial may be said to form a military group. If we do not include Goering who represents a peculiar figure, uniting in one person-politician, administrator, and soldier, there remains Keitel, Jodl, Doenitz and Raeder. In the course of these proceedings not only have all the counts of the indictment against them been sustained, but as a result, even more incriminating evidence has been brought to light.

The documentary evidence, the testimony given by the witnesses, including those applied for the Defense, could not but tip the scales in favor of the Prosecution.

The counsel for the defense tried to convince the Tribunal that their clients had become involved in this sinister tragedy by a whim of fate in spite of themselves.

The defendants themselves-Keitel, Jodl, Doenitz and Raeder here in court, try to appear in the role of noble simpletons. We must do the defense justice: it did its best to aid them in this attempt. We have heard a great deal about the soldier's honor, military discipline, fidelity to duty and oath of allegiance—all making obligatory, therefore, the fulfillment of Hitler's orders, including those which aroused their doubts and direct protest. Such a view of their position completely distorts the actual state of affairs. Before passing to the question of the guilt of Keitel, Jodl, Doenitz and Raeder, I deem it necessary to put the following four questions, and to answer them:

1 Did these defendants know that Hitlerite Germany, in violation of its international obligations had prepared a series of aggressive and predatory wars?

2 Did they take an active part in planning, preparing, unleashing and waging of these wars?

3 Are they guilty of cynically trampling down the laws and customs of warfare?

4 Are they responsible for the atrocities and extermination of the peaceful population, for the sinking of passenger and hospital ships, for the towns and villages destroyed by the Hitlerite Reich military machine?

It seems to me that after this investigation which has so carefully gone into all the details of this case, unless one remains blind to the facts, it is impossible to give other than an affirmative answer to these questions.

The documentary evidence submitted to the Tribunal has fully proved that the military group of criminals is guilty of the heaviest crimes and that they have actively participated in the planning and execution of the common criminal conspiracy.

The fact that these crimes were committed by men in uniform not only does not serve to mitigate their responsibility, but, on the contrary, only heightens it.

How can they try to acquit themselves by referring to "a soldier's duty", "an officer's honor", and the "obligation of fulfilling orders". Since when has "soldier's duty" and "officer's honor" become compatible with shooting without trial and branding as prisoners, extermination of women, children and aged people.

The only true and correct explanation of the amazing fact that these generals and admirals were committing what in substance were capital crimes, lies in the fact that they were generals and

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