Изображения страниц

ing for her eastern allies is probable in any case, always
possible, and thus with it war between Germany and Eng-
land. This applies then even if England does not want war.
England, believing she must attend her borders on the Rhine,
would be dragged in automatically by France. In other words,
peace or war between England and Germany rests solely in
the hands of France, who could bring about such a war be-
tween Germany and England by way of a conflict between
Germany and France. It follows therefore that war between
Germany and England on account of France can be prevented
only if France knows from the start that England's forces
would not be sufficient to guarantee their common victory.
Such a situation might force England, and thereby France,
to accept a lot of things that a strong Anglo-France coali-
tion would never tolerate.
“This position would arise for instance if England, through
insufficient armament or as a result of threats to her em-
pire by a superior coalition of powers, e. g., Germany, Italy,
Japan, thereby tying down her military forces in other places,
would not be able to assure France of sufficient support in

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.
"1. Outwardly, further understanding with England in re-
gard to the protection of the interests of our friends.
“2. Formation under great secrecy, but with whole-hearted
tenacity of a coalition against England, that is to say, a
tightening of our friendship with Italy and Japan; also the
winning over of all nations whose interests conform with
ours directly or indirectly.
"Close and confidential cooperation of the diplomats of the
three great powers towards this purpose. Only in this way
can we confront England be it in a settiement or in war.
England is going to be a hard, astute opponent in this game
of diplomacy.
"The particular question whether in the event of a war by
Germany in central Europe France and thereby England
would interfere, depends on the circumstances and the time
at which such a war commences and ceases, and on military

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
agreement with the Reich, it fills us with sincere gratification
to be able to state that in our relations with the state with
which we had had perhaps the greatest difference, not only
has there been a 'detente,' but in the course of the years
there has been a constant improvement in relations. This
good work, which was regarded with suspicion by so many
at the time, has stood the test, and I may say that since the
League of Nations finally gave up its continual attempts to
unsettle Danzig and appointed a man of great personal at-
tainments as the new commissioner, this most dangerous
spot from the point of view of European peace has entirely
lost its menacing character. The Polish State respects the
national conditions in this state, and both the city of Danzig
and Germany respect Polish rights. And so the way to an
understanding has been successfully paved, an understand-
ing which beginning with Danzig has today, in spite of the
attempts of certain mischief-makers, succeeded in finally tak-
ing the poison out of the relations between Germany and
Poland and transforming them into a sincere, friendly co-
"To rely on her friendships, Germany will not leave a stone
unturned to save that ideal which provides the foundation

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


*" (L-43)

in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Austria,
and Hungary, all of which are shown as within the boundaries
of the Reich.
The following is a pertinent extract from the memorandum:

“Consideration of the principles of organization on the basis
of the assumptions for war and peace made in Section 1:
“1. Attack Forces: Principal adversaries: England, France,

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 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
fruit could be plucked without too great a risk. She can only
prepare the desired developments.
“For this purpose the slogan emanating from England at
present of the right for autonomy of the Sudeten-Germans,
which we have intentionally not used up to now, is to be
taken up gradually. The international conviction that the
choice of nationality was being withheld from these Germans
will do useful spadework, notwithstanding the fact that the
chemical process of dissolution of the Czech form of states
may or may not be finally speeded up by the mechanical
means as well. The fate of the actual body of Czechoslo-
vakia, however, would not as yet be clearly decided by this,
but would nevertheless be definitely sealed.
“This method of approach towards Czechoslovakia is to be
recommended because of our relationship with Poland. It
is unavoidable that the German departure from the problems
of boundaries in the southeast and their transfer to the east
and northeast must make the Poles sit up. The fact [is] that
after the liquidation of the Czech question, it will be gen-
erally assumed that Poland will be the next in turn.
“But the later this assumption sinks in in international poli-
tics as a firm factor, the better. In this sense, however, it is
important for the time being, to carry on the German policy,
under the well known and proved slogans of 'the right to
autonomy' and 'Racial unity'. Anything else might be in-
terpreted as pure imperialism on our part and create the
resistance to our plan by the Entente at an earlier date and
more energetically, than our forces could stand up to."

(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

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »