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nounced that Germany was building a military air
force. (d) On 16th March, 1935, the Nazi conspirators promul
gated a law for universal military service, in which they stated the peace-time strength of the German
Army would be fixed at 500,000 men. (e) On 21st May, 1935, they falsely announced to the
world, with intent to deceive and allay fears of aggressive intentions, that they would respect the territorial limitations of the Versailles Treaty and comply
with the Locarno Pacts. (f) On 7th March, 1936, they reoccupied and fortified the
Rhineland, in violation of the Treaty of Versailles and the Rhine Pact of Locarno of 16th October, 1925, and falsely announced to the world that "we have no territorial demands to make in Europe."
3. Aggressive action against Austria and Czechoslovakia
(a) The 1936-1938 phase of the plan: planning for the
assault on Austria and Czechoslovakia
The Nazi conspirators next entered upon the specific planning for the acquisition of Austria and Czechoslovakia, realizing it would be necessary, for military reasons, first to seize Austria before assaulting Czechoslovakia. On 21st May, 1935, in a speech to the Reichstag, Hitler stated that: "Germany neither intends nor wishes to interfere in the internal affairs of Austria, to annex Austria or to conclude an Anschluss." On 1st May, 1936, within two months after the re-occupation of the Rhineland, Hitler stated: “The lie goes forth again that Germany tomorrow or the day after will fall upon Austria or Czechoslovakia.” Thereafter, the Nazi conspirators caused a treaty to be entered into between Austria and Germany on 11th July, 1936, Article 1 of which stated that "The German Government recognizes the full sovereignty of the Federated State of Austria in the spirit of the pronouncements of the German Fuehrer and Chancellor of 21st May, 1935." Meanwhile, plans for aggression in violation of that treaty were being made. By the autumn of 1937, all noteworthy opposition within the Reich had been crushed. Military preparation for the Austrian action was virtually concluded. An influen
tial group of the Nazi conspirators met with Hitler on 5th November, 1937, to review the situation. It was reaffirmed that Nazi Germany must have "Lebensraum" in central Europe. It was recognized that such conquest would probably meet resistance which would have to be crushed by force and that their decision might lead to a general war, but this prospect was discounted as a risk worth taking. There emerged from this meeting three possible plans for the conquest of Austria and Czechoslovakia. Which of the three was to be used was to depend upon the developments in the political and military situation in Europe. It was contemplated that the conquest of Austria and Czechoslovakia would, through compulsory emigration of 2,000,000 persons from Czechoslovakia and 1,000,000 persons from Austria, provide additional food to the Reich for 5,000,000 to 6,000,000 people, strengthen it militarily by providing shorter and better frontiers, and make possible the constituting of new armies up to about twelve divisions. Thus, the aim of the plan against Austria and Czechoslovakia was conceived of not as an end to itself but as a preparatory measure toward the next aggressive steps in the Nazi con
spiracy. (6) The execution of the plan to invade Austria: Novem
ber, 1937, to March, 1938
Hitler on 8th February, 1938, called Chancellor Schuschnigg to a conference at Berchtesgaden. At the meeting of 12th February, 1938, under threat of invasion, Schuschnigg yielded a promise of amnesty to imprisoned Nazis and appointment of Nazis to ministerial posts. He agreed to remain silent until Hitler's 20th February speech in which Austria's independence was to be reaffirmed, but Hitler in his speech, instead of affirming Austrian independence, declared himself protector of all Germans. Meanwhile, subversive activities of Nazis in Austria increased. Schuschnigg on 9th March, 1938, announced a plebiscite for the following Sunday on the question of Austrian independence. On 11th March Hitler sent an ultimatum, demanding that the plebiscite be called off or that Germany would invade Austria. Later the same day a second ultimatum threatened invasion unless Schuschnigg should resign in three hours.
Schuschnigg resigned. The defendant SEYSS-INQUART, who was appointed Chancellor, immediately invited Hitler to send German troops into Austria to "preserve order.” The invasion began on 12th March, 1938. On 13th March, Hitler by proclamation assumed office as Chief of State of Austria and took command of its armed forces. By a law of the same
date Austria was annexed to Germany. (c) The execution of the plan to invade Czechoslovakia:
April, 1938, to March, 1939 . 1. Simultaneously with their annexation of Austria the Nazi conspirators gave false assurances to the Czechoslovak Government that they would not attack that country. But within a month they met to plan specific ways and means of attacking Czechoslovakia, and to revise, in the light of the acquisition of Aus. tria, the previous plans for aggression against Czechoslovakia.
2. On 21st April, 1938, the Nazi conspirators met and prepared to launch an attack on Czechoslovakia not later than 1st October, 1938. They planned specifically to create an "incident" to "justify” the attack. They decided to launch a military attack only after a period of diplomatic squabbling which, growing more serious, would lead to the excuse for war, or, in the alternative, to unleash a lightning attack as a result of an "incident" of their own creation. Consideration was given to assassinating the German Ambassador at Prague to create the requisite incident. From and after 21st April, 1938, the Nazi conspirators caused to be prepared detailed and precise military plans designed to carry out such an attack at any opportune moment and calculated to overcome all Czechoslovak resistance within four days, thus presenting the world with a fait accompli, and so forestalling outside resistance. Throughout the months of May, June, July, August and September, these plans were made more specific and detailed, and by 3rd September, 1938, it was decided that all troops were to be ready for action on 28th September, 1938.
3. Throughout this same period, the Nazi conspirators were agitating the minorities question in Czechoslovakia, and particularly in the Sudetenland, leading to a diplomatic crisis in August and September, 1938.
After the Nazi conspirators threatened war, the United Kingdom and France concluded a pact with Germany and Italy at Munich on 29th September, 1938, involving the cession of the Sudetenland by Czechoslovakia to Germany. Czechoslovakia was required to acquiesce. On 1st October, 1938, German troops occupied the Sudetenland.
4. On 15th March, 1939, contrary to the provisions of the Munich Pact itself, the Nazi conspirators caused the completion of their plan by seizing and occupying the major part of Czechoslovakia not ceded to Germany by the Munich Pact.
4. Formulation of the plan to attack Poland: preparation and
initiation of aggressive war: March, 1939, to September,
conspirators had obtained much desired resources and
that war every attempt must be made to overwhelm England with a "Blitzkrieg." It was thereupon determined immediately to prepare detailed plans for an attack on Poland at the first suitable opportunity and thereafter for an attack on England and France, together with plans for the simultaneous occupation by armed force of air bases in the Netherlands and Bel
gium. (6) Accordingly, after having denounced the German
Polish Pact of 1934 on false grounds, the Nazi conspirators proceeded to stir up the Danzig issue to prepare frontier "incidents" to "justify" the attack, and to make demands for the cession of Polish territory. Upon refusal by Poland to yield, they caused German armed forces to invade Poland on 1st September, 1939, thus precipitating war also with the United Kingdom and France.
5. Expansion of the war into a general war of aggression:
planning and execution of attacks on Denmark, Norway, Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, Yugoslavia, and Greece: 1939 to April, 1941
Thus the aggressive war prepared for by the Nazi conspirators through their attacks on Austria and Czechoslovakia was actively launched by their attack on Poland, in violation of the terms of the Briand-Kellogg Pact, 1928. After the total defeat of Poland, in order to facilitate the carrying out of their military operations against France and the United Kingdom, the Nazi conspirators made active preparations for an extension of the war in Europe. In accordance with those plans, they caused the German armed forces to invade Denmark and Norway on 9th April, 1940; Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg on 10th May, 1940; Yugoslavia and Greece on 6th April, 1941. All these invasions had been specifically planned in advance.
6. German invasion on June 22nd, 1941, of the U.S.S.R. terri
tory in violation of Non-Aggression Pact of 23rd August, 1939
On June 22nd, 1941, the Nazi conspirators deceitfully denounced the Non-Aggression Pact between Germany and the U.S.S.R. and without any declaration of war invaded Soviet territory thereby beginning a War of Aggression against the U.S.S.R.
From the first day of launching their attack on Soviet territory