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“Men of the German Reichstag! France has replied to the repeated friendly offers and peaceful assurances made by Germany by infringing the Reich pact through a military alliance with the Soviet Union exclusively directed against Germany. In this manner, however, the Locarno Rhine Pact has lost its inner meaning and ceased in 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.”
(2289-PS) 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 March 7, 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 March 7, 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.” (2289-PS) The existence of prior plans and preparations for the re-occu
pation and fortification of the Rhineland is indisputable. The method and sequence of these plans and their accomplishments are clearly indicative of the increasingly aggressive character of the Nazi objectives, 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 1933. 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 March 7 1936 they reoccupied and fortified the Rhineland and at the same time, falsely announced that they had no territorial demands in Europe. • 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.
LEGAL REFERENCES AND LIST OF DOCUMENTS RELATING TO PREPARATION FOR AGGRESSION: 1933-1936
Speech of the Fuehrer at a confer-
Secret Defense Law of 4 Septem-
Affidavit by Paul Otto Gustav