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had built Hitler up into the position of power he occupied: they are the men whose initiative and planning perhaps conceived and certainly made possible the acts of aggression made in Hitler's name, and they are the men who enabled Hitler to build up the Army, Navy and Air Force by which these treacherous attacks were carried out, and to lead his fanatical followers into peaceful countries to murder, to loot and to destroy. They are the men whose cooperation and support made the Nazi Government of Germany possible. The Government of a totalitarian country may be carried on without the assistance of representatives of the people. But it cannot be carried on without any assistance at all. It is no use having a leader unless there are also people willing and ready to serve their personal greed and ambition by helping and following him. The dictator who is set up in control of the destinies of his country does not depend upon himself alone either in acquiring power or in maintaining it. He depends upon the support and backing which lesser men, themselves lusting to share in dictatorial power, anxious to bask in the adulation of their leader, are prepared to give. In the Criminal Courts, where men are put upon their trial for breaches of the municipal laws, it not infrequently happens that of a gang indicted together in the Dock, one has the master mind, the leading personality. But it is no excuse for the common thief to say "I stole because I was told to steal"; for the murderer to plead "I killed because I was asked to kill”. These men are in no different position for all that it was nations they sought to rob, whole peoples they tried to kill. “The warrant of no man excuseth the doing of an illegal act.” Political loyalty, military obedience are excellent things. But they neither require nor do they justify the commission of patently wicked acts. There comes a point where a man must refuse to answer to his leader if he is also to answer to his conscience. Even the common soldier, serving in the ranks of his Army is not called upon to obey illegal orders. But these men were no common soldiers: they were the men whose skill and cunning, whose labour and activity made it possible for the German Reich to tear up existing treaties, to enter into new ones and to flout them, to reduce international negotiations and diplomacy to a hollow mockery, to destroy all respect for and effect in International Law and finally to march against the peoples of the world to secure that domination in which as arrogant members of their self-styled master race they professed their belief. If the crimes were in one sense the crimes of Nazi Germany, they also are guilty as the individuals who aided, abetted, counselled, procured and made possible the commission of what was done. The sum total of the crime these men have committed-s0 awful in its comprehension-has many aspects. Their lust and sadism, their deliberate slaughter and the degradation of so many millions of their fellow creatures that the imagination reels incomprehensively, are but one side only of this matter. Now that an end has been put to this nightmare and we come to consider how the future is to be lived, perhaps their guilt as murderers and robbers is of less importance and of less effect to future generations of mankind than their crime of fraud-the fraud by which they placed themselves in a position to do their murder and their robbery. This is the other aspect of their guilt. The story of their "diplomacy”, founded upon cunning, hypocrisy and bad faith, is a story less gruesome but no less evil and deliberate. And should it be taken as a precedent of benaviour in the conduct of international relations, its consequences to mankind will no less certainly lead to the end of civilized society. Without trust and confidence between Nations, without the faith that what is said is meant and what is undertaken will be observed, all hope of peace and of security is dead. The Governments of the United Kingdom and the British Commonwealth, of the USA, of the USSR, and of France, backed by and on behalf of every other peace-loving Nation of the world, have therefore joined to bring the inventors and perpetrators of this Nazi conception of international relationship before the bar of this Tribunal.
They do so that these Defendants may be punished for their crimes. They do so also that their conduct may be exposed in its naked wickedness. And they do so in the hope that the conscience and good sense of all the world will see the consequences of such conduct and the end to which inevitably it must always lead. Let us once again restore sanity and with it also the sanctity of our obligations towards each other.
6. AGGRESSION AS A BASIC NAZI IDEA: MEIN KAMPF
Hitler's Mein Kampf, which became the Nazi statement of faith, gave to the conspirators adequate foreknowledge of the unlawful aims of the Nazi leadership. It was not only Hitler's political testament; by adoption it became theirs.
Mein Kampf may be described as the blueprint of the Nazi aggression. Its whole tenor and content demonstrate that the Nazi pursuit of aggressive designs was no mere accident arising out of an immediate political situation in Europe and the world. Mein Kampf establishes unequivocally that the use of aggressive war to serve German aims in foreign policy was part of the very creed of the Nazi party.
A great German philosopher once said that ideas have hands and feet. It became the deliberate aim of the conspirators to see to it that the idea, doctrines, and policies of Mein Kampf should become the active faith and guide for action of the German nation, and particularly of its malleable youth. From 1933 to 1939 an extensive indoctrination in the ideas of Mein Kampf was pursued in the schools and universities of Germany, as well as in the Hitler Youth, under the direction of Baldur von Schirach, and in the SA and SS, and amongst the German population as a whole, by the agency of Rosenberg.
A copy of Mein Kampf was officially presented by the Nazis to all newly married couples in Germany. [A copy of Mein Kampf (D-660) submitted by the prosecution to the tribunal contains the following dedication on the fly-leaf :
"To the newly married couple, Friedrich Rosebrock and Else Geborene Zum Beck, with best wishes for a happy and blessed marriage. Presented by the Communal Administration on the occasion of their marriage on the 14th of November,
1940. For the Mayor, the Registrar.” This copy of Mein Kampf, which was the 1945 edition, contains the information that the number of copies published to date amount to 6,250,000.]
As a result of the efforts of the conspirators, this book, blasphemously called “The Bible of the German people," poisoned a generation and distorted the outlook of a whole people. For as the SS General von dem Bach-Zelewski testified before the Tribunal, (on 7 January 1946] if it is preached for years, as long as ten years, that the Slav peoples are inferior races and that the Jews are subhuman, then it must logically follow that the killing of millions of these human beings is accepted as a natural phenomenon. From Mein Kampf the way leads directly to the furnaces of Auschwitz and the gas chambers of Maidanek.
What the commandments of Mein Kampf were may be indicated by quotations from the book which fall into two main categories. The first category is that of general expression of Hitler's belief in the necessity of force as the means of solving international problems. The second category is that of Hitler's more explicit declarations on the policy which Germany should pursue.
Most of the quotations in the second category come from the last three chapters—13, 14, and 15--of Part II of Mein Kampf, in which Hitler's views on foreign policy were expounded. The significance of this may be grasped from the fact that Part II of Mein Kampf was first published in 1927, less than two years after the Locarno Pact and within a few months of Germany's entry into the League of Nations. The date of the publication of these passages, therefore, brands them as a repudiation of the policy of international cooperation embarked upon by Stresseman, and as a deliberate defiance of the attempt to establish, through the League of Nations, the rule of law in international affairs.
The following are quotations showing the general view held by Hitler and accepted and propagated by the conspirators concerning war and aggression generally. On page 556 of Mein Kampf, Hitler wrote:
“The soil on which we now live was not a gift bestowed by Heaven on our forefathers. But they had to conquer it by risking their lives. So also in the future our people will not obtain territory, and therewith the means of existence, as a favour from any other people, but will have to win it by
the power of a triumphant sword.” On page 145, Hitler revealed his own personal attitude toward war. Of the years of peace before 1914 he wrote:
"Thus I used to think it an ill-deserved stroke of bad luck that I had arrived too late on this terrestrial globe, and I felt chagrined at the idea that my life would have to run its course along peaceful and orderly lines. As a boy I was anything but a pacifist and all attempts to make me so turned
out futile." On page 162 Hitler wrote of war in these words:
"In regard to the part played by humane feeling, Moltke stated that in time of war the essential thing is to get a decision as quickly as possible and that the most ruthless methods of fighting are at the same time the most humane. When people attempt to answer this reasoning by highfalutin talk about aesthetics, etc., only one answer can be given. It is that the vital questions involved in the struggle of a nation for its existence must not be subordinated to any
aesthetic considerations." Hitler's assumption of an inevitable law of struggle for survival is linked up in Chapter II of Book I of Mein Kampf, with the doctrine of Aryan superiority over other races and the right of Germans in virtue of this superiority to dominate and use other peoples for their own ends. The whole of Chapter II of Mein Kampf is dedicated to this "master race" theory and, indeed, many of the later speeches of Hitler were mainly repetitive of Chapter II. On page 256, the following sentiments appear:
“Had it not been possible for them to employ members of the inferior race which they conquered, the Aryans would never have been in a position to take the first steps on the road which led them to a later type of culture; just as, without the help of certain suitable animals which they were able to tame, they would never have come to the invention of mechanical power, which has subsequently enabled them to do without these beasts. For the establishment of superior types of civilization the members of inferior races formed
one of the most essential prerequisites." In a later passage in Mein Kampf, at page 344, Hitler applies these general ideas to Germany:
“If in its historical development the German people had possessed the unity of herd instinct by which other people have so much benefited, then the German Reich would probably be mistress of the globe to-day. World history would have taken another course, and in this case no man can tell if what'many blinded pacifists hope to attain by petitioning, whining and crying may not have been reached in this way; namely, a peace which would not be based upon the waving of olive branches and tearful misery-mongering of pacifist old women, but a peace that would be guaranteed by the triumphant sword of a people endowed with the power to master the world and administer it in the service of a higher civiliza
tion.” These passages emphasize clearly Hitler's love of war and scorn of those whom he described as pacifists. The underlying message of this book, which appears again and again, is, firstly, that the struggle for existence requires the organization and use of force; secondly, that the Aryan-German is superior to other races and has the right to conquer and rule them; thirdly, that all doctrines which preach peaceable solutions of international problems represent a disastrous weakness in a nation that adopts them. Implicit in the whole of the argument is a fundamental and arrogant denial of the possibility of any rule of law in international affairs.
It is in the light of these general doctrines of Mein Kampf that the more definite passages should be considered, in which Hitler deals with specific problems of German foreign policy. The very first page of the book contains a remarkable forecast of Nazi policy:
“German-Austria must be restored to the great German Motherland. And not, indeed on any grounds of economic calculation whatsoever. No, no. Even if the union were a matter of economic indifference, and even if it were to be disadvantageous from the economic standpoint, still it ought