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8. AGGRESSION AGAINST POLAND, DANZIG, ENGLAND
A. Treaties Breached.
In addition to the general treaties involved–The Hague Convention in respect of the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes (TC-2); other Hague Conventions of 1907 (TC-3; TC-4); the Versailles Treaty (TC-9) in respect of the Free City of Danzig; and the Kellogg-Briand Pact (TC-19)—two specific agreements were violated by the German attack on Poland. These were the Arbitration Treaty between Germany and Poland, signed at Locarno on 16 October 1925, and the Declaration of Non-Aggression which was entered into between Germany and Poland on 26 January 1934.
The German-Polish Arbitration Treaty (TC-15) declares in the preamble and Articles 1 and 2:
"The President of the German Empire and the President of
Thereafter the treaty goes on to lay down the procedure for arbitration and for conciliation. Germany, however, in September 1939 attacked and invaded Poland' without having first attempted to settle its disputes with Poland by peaceful means.
The second specific treaty, the German-Polish Declaration of 26 January 1934, reads in part:
"The German Government and the Polish Government con-
"The declaration shall remain in effect for a period of ten years counting from the day of exchange of instruments of ratification. In case it is not denounced by one of the two governments six months before the expiration of that period of time, it shall continue in effect but can then be denounced by either government at a time of six months and at any time in advance." (TC-21)
B. German Intentions Before March 1939.
It has been previously shown that the actions against Austria and Czechoslovakia were in themselves part of the preparation for further aggression. Even at that time, before the Germans had seized the whole of Czechoslovakia, they were perfectly prepared to fight England, Poland, and France, if necessary, to achieve those aims. They appreciated the whole time that they might well have to do so. Furthermore, although not until after March 1939, did they commence upon their immediate and specific preparations for a specific war against Poland, nevertheless, they had for a considerable, time before had it in mind specifically to attack Poland once Czechoslovakia was completely theirs.
During this period also—and this happens throughout the whole story of the Nazi regime in Germany—as afterwards, while they were making their preparations and carrying out their plans, they were giving to the outside world assurance after assurance so as to lull them out of any suspicion of their real object.
When the agreement with Poland was signed in January 1934, Hitler had this to say:
“When I took over the Government on the 30th of January, the relations between the two countries seemed to me more than unsatisfactory. There was a danger that the existing differences which were due to the Territorial Clauses of the Treaty of Versailles and the mutual tension resulting therefrom would gradually crystalize into a state of hostility which, if persisted, might too easily acquire the character of a dangerous traditional enmity.'
"In the spirit of this Treaty the German Government is willing and prepared to cultivate economic relations with Poland in such a way that here, too, the state of unprofitable suspicion can be succeeded by a period of useful cooperation. It is a matter of particular satisfaction to us that in this same year the National Socialist Government of Danzig has been enabled to effect a similar clarification of its relations with
its Polish neighbor.” (TC-70) That was in 1934. Three years later, again on 30 January, speaking in the Reichstag, Hitler said:
"By a series of agreements we have eliminated existing tension and thereby contributed considerably to an improvement in the European atmosphere. I merely recall an agreement with Poland which has worked out to the advantage of both sides. True statesmanship will not overlook reality but consider them. The Italian nation and the new Italian state are realities. The German nation and the German Reich are equally realities, and to my own fellow citizens I would say that the Polish nation and the Polish state have
also become a reality." (2368-PS) That was on 30 January 1937.
On 24 June 1937, a "Top Secret Order (C-175) was issued by the Reich Minister for War and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, signed "Von Blomberg". There is the notation at the top, “Written by an Officer. Outgoing documents in connection with this matter and dealing with it in principle are to be written by an officer." With it is enclosed a Directive for the Unified Preparation for War of the Armed Forces, to come into force on 1 August 1937. The enclosed directive is divided into Part 1, "General Guiding Principle"; Part 2, "Likely Warlike Eventualities"; Part 3, "Special Preparations". The substance of the document justifies the supposition that Germany need not consider an attack from any side. The second paragraph states:
The intention to unleash a European war is held
just as little by Germany. Nevertheless, the politically fluid
they occur.” (C-175) The preparations which are to be made are then set forth: "*
The further working on mobilization without public announcement in order to put the Armed Forces in a position to begin a war suddenly and by surprise both as regards strength and time."
"Special preparations are to be made for the following eventualities: Armed intervention against Austria; warlike
entanglement with Red Spain." (C-175) Another passage shows clearly how they appreciated at that time that their actions against Austria and Czechoslovakia might well involve them in war.
England, Poland, Lithuania take part in a war against us.” (C-175) Part 2 of this directive, dealing with "Probable warlike eventualities–Concentrations," states:
“1. War on two fronts with focal point in the West.
of Luxembourg." (C-175) Part 3, which deals in part with "Special Case-Extension RedGreen,” declares:
“The military political starting point used as a basis for concentration plans Red and Green can be aggravated if either England, Poland or Lithuania join on the side of our opponents. Thereupon our military position would be worsened to an unbearable, even hopeless, extent. The political leaders will therefore do everything to keep these countries
neutral, above all England and Poland.” (C-175) The date of this order is June 1937, and it seems clear that at that date, anyway, the Nazi Government appreciated the likelihood, if not the probability, of fighting England and Poland and France, and were prepared to do so. On 5 November 1937, Hitler held his conference in the Reichschancellery, the minutes of which, referred to as the Hossbach notes, contain the remarks made by Hitler in respect of England, Poland, and France:
"The Fuehrer then stated: “The aim of German policy is the security and preservation of the nation and its propagation.
This is consequently a problem of space!.” (386-PS) Hitler then went on to discuss what he described as "participation in world economy", and declared:
“The only way out, and one which may appear imaginary, is the securing of greater living space, an endeavor which at all times has been the cause of the formation of states and movements of nations." (386-PS)
“The history of all times, Roman Empire, British Empire, has proved that every space expansion can only be effected by breaking resistance and taking risks. Even setbacks are unavoidable. Neither formerly nor today has space been found without an owner. The attacker always comes up
against the proprietor." (386-PS) On the same day as this Hossbach meeting in the Reichschancellery was taking place, a communique was being issued as a result of the Polish ambassador's audience with Hiter (TC-73 No. 33). In the course of this conversation, the communique stated:
"It was confirmed that Polish-German relations should not meet with difficulty because of the Danzig question." (TC-73
No. 33) On 2 January 1938, some unknown person wrote a memorandum for the Fuehrer. This document is headed, “Very Confidential–Personal Only”, and is entitled “Deduction on the report, German Embassy, London, regarding the future form of Anglo-German relations.” It states in part:
“With the realization that Germany will not tie herself to