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arouse the horrified and heroic resistance of all civilized peoples but which was to tear down many of the pillars of our civilization.
Once started upon the active achievement of their plan to secure the domination of Europe, if not of the world, the Nazi Government proceeded to attack other countries, as occasion offered. The first actually to be invaded after the attack on Poland were Denmark and Norway.
On the 9th April 1940 the German Armed Forces invaded Norway and Denmark without warning, without any declaration of war. It was a breach of the Hague Convention of 1907. It was a breach of the Convention of Arbitration and Conciliation between Germany and Denmark dated 2d June, 1926. It was, of course, a breach of the Briand-Kellogg Pact of 1928. It was a violation of the Nonaggression Treaty between Germany and Denmark made on the 31st May 1939. And it was a breach of the most explicit assurances which had been given. After his annexation of Czechoslovakia had shaken the confidence of the world, Hitler attempted to reassure the Scandinavian States. On the 28th April, 1939, he affirmed that he had never made any request to them which was incompatible with their sovereignty and independence. On the 31st May, 1939, he signed a nonaggression Pact with Denmark.
On the 2d September, the day after he had invaded Poland and seized Danzig, he again expressed his determination to observe the inviolability and integrity of Norway in an aide memoire which was handed to the Norwegian Foreign Minister by the German Minister in Oslo on that day. (TC-31)
A month later, on the 6th October 1939, he said in a public speech:
“Germany has never had any conflicts of interest or even points of controversy with the Northern States, neither has she any to-day. Sweden and Norway have both been offered nonaggression pacts by Germany and have both refused them solely because they do not feel themselves threatened in any
way.” When the invasion of Norway and Denmark had already begun in the early morning of the 9th April, a German memorandum was handed to the Governments of those countries attempting to justify the German action. Various allegations against the Governments of the invaded countries were made. It was said that Norway had been guilty of breaches of neutrality. It was said that she had allowed and tolerated the use of her territorial waters by Great Britain. It was said that Britain and France were making plans themselves to invade and occupy Norway
and that the Government of that country was prepared to acquiesce in such an event.
I do not propose to argue the question whether or not those allegations were true or false. That question is irrelevant to the issue before this Court. Even if the allegations were true (and they were patently false), they would afford no conceivable justification for the action of invading without warning, without declaration of war and without any attempt at mediation or conciliation. Aggressive war is none the less aggressive war because the State which wages it believes that other states may take similar action. The rape of a nation is not justified because it is thought she may be raped by another. Nor even in selfdefense are.warlike measures justified except after all means of mediation have failed and force is actually being exercised against the State concerned.
In actual fact, with the evidence which we now possess it is clear that the invasion of these countries was undertaken for quite different purposes, that it had been planned long before any question of breach of neutrality or occupation of Norway by England could ever have occurred. It is clear also that the assurances repeated again and again throughout the year 1939 were made for no other purpose than to lull suspicion in those countries and to prevent them taking steps to resist the attack against them which was under active preparation.
For some years, Rosenberg, in his capacity of Chief of the Foreign Affairs Bureau (APA) of the NSDAP, had interested himself in the promotion of fifth column activities in Norway, and close relationship was established with the "Nasjonal Samling", a political group headed by the now notorious traitor, Vidkun Quisling (007-PS). During the winter of 1938/39, APA was in contact with Quisling and later Quisling conferred with Hitler, Raeder, and Rosenberg. In August 1939 a special 14 day course was held at the school of the office of Foreign Relations in Berlin for 25 followers whom Quisling had selected to attend. The plan was to send a number of selected and "reliable" men to Germany for a brief military training in an isolated camp. These were to be area and language specialists to German special troops who were taken to Oslo on coal barges to undertake political action in Norway. The object was a coup in which Quisling would seize his leading opponents in Norway, including the King, and prevent all military resistance from the beginning. Simultaneously Germany was making military preparations. On the 20 September, 1939, Hitler had assured Norway of his intention to respect her neutrality, and on 6th October he said that the
Scandinavian States were not menaced in any way, yet on 3d October 1939 Raeder was pointing out that the occupation of bases, if necessary by force, would greatly improve the strategic and economic position (1546-PS). On the 9th October Doenitz was recommending Trondheim as the main base with Narvik as an alternative base for fuel supplies. Rosenberg was reporting shortly afterwards on the possibility of a coup d'etat by Quisling immediately supported by German military and naval forces. On the 12th December 1939 Raeder advised Hitler, in the presence of Keitel and Jodl, that if Hitler was favourably impressed by Quisling, OKW should prepare for the occupation of Norway, if possible with Quisling's assistance, but if necessary entirely by force. Hitler agreed but there was a doubt whether action should be taken against the Low Countries or Scandinavia first. Weather conditions delayed the march against the Low Countries. In January instructions were given to the Germany Navy for the attack on Norway, and on March 1st, 1940, a Directive for the occupation was issued by Hitler. The general objective was not said to be to prevent occupation by English Forces but in vague and general terms to prevent British encroachment in Scandinavia and the Baltic and “to guarantee our ore bases in Sweden and give our Navy and Air Force a wider start line against Britain.” But the Directive went on:
on principle we will do our utmost to make the operation appear as a peaceful occupation the object of which is the military protection of the Scandinavian States it is important that the Scandinavian States as well as the Western opponents should be taken by surprise by our measures.
In case the preparations for embarkation can no longer be kept secret the leader and the troops will be
deceived with fictitious objectives.” The form and success of the invasion are well known. In the early hours of the 9th April 7 cruisers, 14 destroyers, and several torpedo boats and other small craft carried advance elements of 6 divisions totalling about 10,000 men, forced an entry and landed troops in the outer Oslo Fjord, Kristiansand, Stavanger, Bergen, Trondheim, and Narvik. A small number of troops were also landed at Arendal and Egersund on the southern coast. In addition airborne troops were landed on aerodromes near Oslo and Stavanger. The German attack came as a surprise and all the invaded towns along the coast were captured according to plan with only slight losses. Only the plan to capture the King and members of the Government and the Parliament failed. Brave as the resistance was that was hurriedly organized throughout
the country, nothing could be done in the face of the long-planned surprise attack and on 10 June military resistance ceased. So was another act of aggression brought to completion.
Almost exactly a month after the attack on Norway, on the 10th May 1940 the German Armed Forces, repeating what had been done 25 years before, streamed into Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg according to plan—the plan that is, of invading without warning and without declaration of War.
What was done was of course a breach of the Hague Convention of 1907, and is so charged. It was a violation of the Locarno Agreement and Arbitration Convention with Belgium of 1925 which the Nazi Government affirmed in 1935, only illegally to repudiate it two years later. By that agreement all questions incapable of settlement by ordinary diplomatic means were to be settled by arbitration. You will see the comprehensive terms of these agreements. It was a breach of the Treaty of Arbitration and Conciliation signed between Germany and the Netherlands on the 20th May 1926; it was a violation of the similar Treaty with Luxembourg on the 11th September 1929. It was a breach of the Briand-Kellogg Pact. But those Treaties had not perhaps derived in the minds of the Nazi Rulers of Germany any added sanctity from the fact that they had been solemnly concluded by the Governments of pre-Nazi Germany.
Let us consider the specific assurances and undertakings which the Nazi Rulers themselves gave to the States which lay in the way of their plans against France and England and which they always intended to attack. Not once, not twice, but eleven times the clearest assurances were given to Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. On those assurances solemnly and formally expressed, those countries were entitled to rely. In respect of their breach these Defendants are charged. On the 30th January, 1937 Hitler said:
“As for the rest, I have more than once expressed the desire and the hope of entering into similar good and cordial relations with our neighbours. Germany has, and here I repeat this solemnly, given the assurance time and time again, that, for instance, between her and France there cannot be any humanly conceivable points of controversy. The German Government has further given the assurance to Belgium and Holland that it is prepared to recognize and to guarantee the inviolability and neutrality of these terri
tories." After Hitler had remilitarized the Rhineland and had repudiated the Locarno Pact, England and France sought to reestablish
the position of security for Belgium which Hitler's action had threatened. They, therefore, themselves gave to Belgium on the 24th April 1937, a specific guarantee that they would maintain in respect of Belgium, undertakings of assistance which they had entered into with her both under the Locarno Pact and the Covenant of the League of Nations. On the 13th October 1937 the German Government also made a declaration assuring Belgium of its intention to recognize the inviolability and integrity of that country.
It is, perhaps, convenient to deal with the remaining assurances as we review the evidence which is available as to the preparations and intentions of the German Government prior to their invasion of Belgium on the 10th May 1940.
As in the case of Poland, as in the case of Norway and Denmark, so also here the dates speak for themselves.
As early as August 1938 steps were being made to utilize the Low Countries as defense bases for decisive action in the West in the event of France and England opposing Germany in its aggression upon Czechslovakia.
In an air force letter dated 25th August 1938 which deals with the action to be taken if England and France should interfere in the operation against Czechoslovakia, it is stated :
"It is not expected for the moment that other States will intervene against Germany. The Dutch and the Belgian area assumes in this connection much more importance for the prevention of the war in Western Europe than during the world war. This mainly is an advance base for the air war."
(375-PS) In the last paragraph of that order it is stated "Belgium and the Netherlands when in German hands represent an extraordinary advantage in the prosecution of the air war against Great Britain as well as against France." (375-PS)
That was in August 1938. Eight months later (on the 28th April 1939) Hitler is declaring again, “I was pleased that a number of European states availed themselves of this declaration by the German Government to express and emphasize their desire to have absolute neutrality."
A month later, on the 23d May, 1939, Hitler held the conference in the Reich Chancellery, to which we have already referred. The Minutes of that meeting report Hitler as saying:
"The Dutch and Belgian air bases must be occupied by armed force. Declarations of neutrality must be ignored. If England and France enter the war between Germany and Poland they will support Holland and Belgium in their neutrality.