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Perhaps even Mussolini did not appreciate what all Germany's aims were, for his offer was turned down in the illuminating letter which Hitler was to write in reply:
"I first want to thank you for your last attempt at mediation.
I would have been ready to accept, but only under condition,
that there would be a possibility to give me certain guaran-
tees that the conference would be successful. Because, for
the last two days the German troops are engaged in an ex-
traordinarily rapid advance in Poland. It would have been
impossible to devaluate the bloody sacrifices made thereby
by diplomatic intrigues. Nevertheless, I believe that a way
could have been found, if England would not have been de-
termined to wage war under all circumstances. I have not
given in to the English, because, Duce, I do not believe that
peace could have been maintained for more than one-half
year or one year. Under these circumstances, I thought that,
in spite of everything, the present moment was better for
resistance. At present, the superiority of the German armed
forces in Poland is so overwhelming in all fields that the
Polish Army will collapse in a very short time. I doubt
whether this fast success could be achieved in one or two
years. England and France would have armed their allies,
to such an extent that the crushing technical superiority of
the German Armed Forces could not have become so appar-
ent anymore. I am aware, Duce, that the fight which I en-
ter, is one for life and death. My own fate does not play any
role in it at all. But I am also aware that one cannot avoid
such a struggle permanently and that one has to choose after
cold deliberation the moment for resistance in such a way
that the probability of the success is guaranteed and I be-
lieve in this success, Duce, with the firmness of a rock. Re-
cently you have given me the kind assurance that you think
you will be able to help me in a few fields. I acknowledge
this in advance with sincere thanks. But I believe also
even if we march now over different roads>that fate will
finally join us. If the National Socialist Germany were de-
stroyed by the Western democracies, the Fascist Italy would
also have to face a grave future. I was personally always
aware of this community of the future of our two govern-
ments and I know that you, Duce, think the same way. To
the situation in Poland, I would like to make the brief re-
mark that we lay aside, of course, all unimportant things,
that we do not waste any man in unimportant tasks, but di-
rect all on acts in the light of great operational considerations. The Northern Polish Army which is the Corridor, has already been completely encircled by our action. It will be either wiped out or will surrender. Otherwise, all operations proceed according to plan. The daily achievements of the troops are far beyond all expectations. The superiority of our air force is complete, although scarcely one-third of it is in Poland. In the West I will be on the defensive. France can here sacrifice its blood first. Then the moment will come when we can confront the enemy also there with the full power of the nation. Accept my thanks, Duce, for all your assistance which you have given to me in the past and I ask you not to deny it to me in the future.” (1831-PS)
LEGAL REFERENCES AND LIST OF DOCUMENTS RELATING TO AGGRESSION AGAINST POLAND, DANZIG,
ENGLAND AND FRANCE
the document, is the official exhibit
number assigned by the court.
Notes on a conference with Hitler
in the Reich Chancellery, Berlin,
5 November 1937, signed by Hit-
ler's adjutant, Hossbach, and
dated 10 November 1937. (USA
File of papers on Case Green (the
plan for the attack on Czechoslo-
vakia), kept by Schmundt, Hit-
ler's adjutant, April-October 1938.
Letter from Funk to Hitler, 25 Au-
gust 1939, reporting on economic
affairs. (GB 49)...
Speech of the Fuehrer at a confer-
ence, 23 November 1939, to which
all Supreme Commanders were
ordered. (USA 23)...
Keitel's conference, 17 August
1939, concerning giving Polish
uniforms to Heydrich. (GB 54)... III
Hitler's speech to Commanders-
in-Chief, at Obersalzberg, 22 Au-
gust 1939. (USA 29)..
Hitler's speech to Commanders-
in-Chief, 22 August 1939. (USA
Mobilization book for the Civil
Administration, 1939 Edition, is-
sued over signature of Keitel.
Excerpts from diary kept by Gen-
eral Jodl, January 1937 to August
1939. (USA 72).
Notes to the War Diary from
March 1939 to January 1940.... IV
Telegram from Minister of Foreign
Affairs in Rome to Minister of
Foreign Affairs in Berlin, 25 Au-
gust 1939, concerning conference
with Mussolini and Ciano...
Hitler reply to Mussolini, 27 Au-
gust 1939, concerning attitude of
Italy in conference of 25 August
Memorandum handed to German
Foreign Office by Count Magis-
trate in Rome, 7 August 1939.... IV
Correspondence between Hitler
and Mussolini, September 1939.
Telephone report of Reich Minis-
ter for Foreign Affairs in Rome,
27 August 1939...
Account of conference of Fuehrer
and Italian Ambassador Attolico,
31 August 1939.....
Two top secret memoranda, 14
June 1939, concerning operation
"Fall Weiss". (USA 539)..
Speech by Hitler before Reichstag,
20 February 1938, published in
Documents of German Politics,
Part VI, 1, pp. 50-52. (GB 30).... IV
Hitler's speech before Reichstag,
30 January 1937, published in
Documents of German Politics,
Part VI, 2, p. 42. (GB 26).....
Ribbentrop's speech in Warsaw,
25 January 1939, published in
Voelkischer Beobachter, 1 Febru-
ary 1939. (GB 36)..
Affidavit of Alfred Naujocks, 20
November 1945. (USA 482)...
Telegram from German Embassy,
Rome, to Ribbentrop, concerning
answer of Duce to Hitler's second
letter, 27 August 1939...
Secret additional protocol to the
Friendship and Alliance Pact be-
tween Germany and Italy. (GB
Letter from Mussolini to Fuehrer,
25 August 1939....
German Foreign Office memoran-
dum on conversation between
Ribbentrop and the Duce, 10
March 1940. (GB 291)..
Affidavit of Edwin Lahousen, 13
Telegram from German Ambassa-
dor in Tokyo, Ott, to Ribbentrop,
13 July 1941. (USA 156)....
“The Nazi Plan”, script of a mo-
tion picture composed of captured
German film. (USA 167)....
Unsigned documents found in offi-
cial Navy files containing notes
year by year from 1927 to 1940 on
reconstruction of the German
Navy, and dated 18 February
1938, 8 March 1938, September
1938. (USA 49)...
Air-Sea Forces Orders for Occupa-
tion Danzig, 27 July 1939. (GB
Directives for Armed Forces 1939–
40 for "Fall Weiss", operation
against Poland. (GB 41).....
Preliminary Time Table for "Fall
Weiss' and directions for secret
mobilization. (GB 45)....