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ing for her eastern allies is probable in any case, always
Europe.” The writer goes on to discuss the possibility of a strong partnership between Italy and Japan, and then reaches a summary:
“Paragraph five: Therefore, conclusions to be drawn by, us.
considerations which cannot be gone into here." (TC-75) Whoever it was who wrote that document, appears to have been on a fairly high level, because he concludes by saying, "I
should like to give the Fuehrer some of these viewpoints verbally." (TC-75)
On 20 February 1938, Hitler spoke in the Reichstag. In that speech he said:
"In the fifth year following the first great foreign political
for the task which is ahead of us—peace.” (2357-PS) A memorandum dated 2 May 1938, and entitled, “Organizational Study 1950," originated in the office of the Chief of the Organizational Staff of the General Staff of the Air Force. Its purpose was said to be: “The task is to search, within a framework of very broadly-conceived conditions, for the most suitable type of organization of the Air Force." (L-43). The result gained is termed, “Distant Objective.” From this is deduced the goal to be reached in the second phase of the process, which is called, "Final Objective 1942." This in turn yields what is considered the most suitable proposal for the reorganization of the staffs of the Air Force Group Commands, Air Gaus, Air Divisions, etc. (L-43)
The Table of Contents is divided into various sections. Section I is entitled, “Assumptions." In connection with the heading “Assumption I, frontier of Germany”, a map is enclosed (Chart No. 10). The map shows that on 2 May 1938 the Air Force was
in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Austria,
“Consideration of the principles of organization on the basis
and Russia.” (L-43) The study then goes on to show all the one hundred forty-four Geschwader employed against England, very much concentrated in the Western half of the Reich; that is to say, they must be deployed in such a way that by making full use of their range, they can reach all English territory down to the last corner. Under the paragraph “Assumption" double heading 2, the "Organization of Air Force in peacetime" is shown and seven group commands are indicated: (1) Berlin; (2) Brunswick; (3) Munich; (4) Vienna; (5) Budapest; (6) Warsaw; and (7) Koenigsberg. (L-43) Finally, the study declares:
“The more the 'Reich grows in area and the more the Air Force grows in strength, the more imperative it becomes, to have locally bound commands
*" (L-43) The original of this document is signed by an officer who is not at the top rank in the German Air Force, and the inferences that can be drawn from it should therefore not be over-emphasized. At least, however, it shows the lines upon which the General Staff of the Air Force were thinking at that time.
On the 26 August 1938, when Ribbentrop had become Foreign Minister succeeding von Neurath, a document was addressed to him as “The Reich Minister, via the State Secretary.” The document reads as follows:
"The most pressing problem of German policy, the Czech problem, might easily, but must not lead to a conflict with the Entente. Neither France nor England are looking for trouble regarding Czechoslovakia. Both would perhaps leave Czechoslovakia to herself, if she should, without direct foreign interference and through internal signs of disintegration, due to her own faults, suffer the fate she deserves. This process, however, would have to take place step by step and would have to lead to a loss of power in the remaining territory by means of a plebiscite and an annexation of territory. “The Czech problem is not yet politically acute enough for any immediate action, which the Entente would watch inactively, and not even if this action should come quickly and
surprisingly. Germany cannot fix any definite time and this
(TC-76) That was on 26 August 1938, just as the Czech crisis was leading up to the Munich settlement. While at Munich, a day or two before the Munich agreement was signed, Herr Hitler made a speech. On 26 September he said:
“I assured him, moreover, and I repeat it here, that when this problem is solved there will be no more territorial prob
lems for Germany in Europe." (TC-29) A letter from Admiral Carl, dated some time in September, with no precise date, and entitled “Opinion on the 'Draft Study of Naval Warfare against England'," stated as follows: “There is full agreement with the main theme of the study."
* “If according to the Fuehrer's decision Germany is to acquire a position as a world power who needs not only sufficient
colonial possessions but also secure naval communications
and secure access to the ocean.' (C-23) That, then, was the position at the time of the Munich agreement in September 1938. The gains of Munich were not, of course, so great as the Nazi Government had hoped and intended. As a result, the conspirators were not prepared straight away to start any further aggressive action against Poland or elsewhere. But with the advantages that were gained by the seizure of Czechoslovakia, it is obvious now that they intended and had taken the decision to proceed against Poland so soon as Czechoslovakia had been entirely occupied. As Jodl and Hitler said on subsequent occasions, Czechoslovakia was only setting the stage for the attack on Poland.
It is known now from what Hitler said in talking to his military commanders at a later date, that, in his own words, from the first he never intended to abide by the Munich agreement, but that he had to have the whole of Czechoslovakia. As a result, although not ready to proceed in full force against Poland, after September 1938 they did at once begin to approach the Poles on the question of Danzig until the whole of Czechoslovakia had been taken in March. Immediately after the Sudetenland had been occupied, preliminary steps were taken to stir up trouble with Poland, which would and was to eventually lead to the Nazi excuse or justification for their attack on that country.
The earlier discussions between the German and Polish governments on the question of Danzig, which commenced almost immediately after the Munich crisis in September 1938, began as cautious and friendly discussions, until the remainder of Czechoslovakia had finally been seized in March of the following year. A document taken from the Official Polish White Book, gives an account of a luncheon which took place at the Grand Hotel, Berchtesgaden, on 25 October, where Ribbentrop had discussions with M. Lipski, the Polish ambassador to Germany. The report states:
"In a conversation on 24 October, over a luncheon at the Grand Hotel, Berchtesgaden, at which M. Hewel was present, M. von Ribbentrop put forward a proposal for a general settlement of issues (Gesamtloesung) between Poland and Germany. This included the reunion of Danzig with the Reich, while Poland would be assured the retention of railway and economic facilities there. Poland would agree to the building of an extra-territorial motor road and railway line across Pomorze. In exchange M. von Ribbentrop mentioned the possibility of an extension of the Polish-German Agreement