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Hitler's reply to French Prime
*Chart No. 10
**Chart No. 12
**Chart No. 13
9. AGGRESSION AGAINST NORWAY AND DENMARK
In the early hours of the morning of 9 April 1940 Nazi Germany invaded Norway and Denmark. Those invasions constituted wars of aggression, and also wars in violation of international treaties, agreements, and assurances.
A. Treaties and Assurances Violated.
The invasions constituted violations of the Hague Convention and of the Kellogg-Briand Pact. In addition there were specific agreements between Germany and Norway and Denmark. There was the Treaty of Arbitration and Conciliation between Germany and Denmark, which was signed at Berlin on 2 June, 1926 (TC-17). The first Article of that Treaty is in these terms:
"The Contracting Parties undertake to submit to the pro-
provisions of such Conventions." (TC-17) The remaining Articles deal with the machinery for arbitration.
There was also the treaty of nonaggression between Germany and Denmark which was signed by Ribbentrop on 31 May 1939, ten weeks after the Nazi seizure of Czechoslovakia (TC-24). The preamble and Articles 1 and 2 read as follows:
"His Majesty the King of Denmark and Iceland and the
force for a period of ten years from that date." (TC-24) The Treaty is dated 31 May 1939. At the bottom of the page there appears the signature of Ribbentrop. The invasion of Denmark by the Nazi forces less than a year after the signature of this treaty showed the utter worthlessness of treaties to which Ribbentrop put his signature.
With regard to Norway, Ribbentrop and the Nazi conspirators were party to a similar perfidy. Hitler gave an assurance to Denmark, Norway, and the Netherlands on 28 April 1939 (TC-30). That, of course, was after the annexation of Czechoslovakia had
shaken the confidence of the world, and was presumably an attempt to try to reassure the Scandinavian States. Hitler said:
"I have given binding declarations to a large number of
mark, etc." (TC-30) A further assurance was given by the Nazi Government on 2 September 1939, the day after the Nazi invasion of Poland. On that day an aide memoire was handed to the Norwegian Foreign Minister by the German Minister in Oslo. It reads:
“The German Reich Government is determined, in view of the friendly relations which exist between Norway and Germany, under no circumstances to prejudice the inviolability and integrity of Norway and to respect the territory of the Norwegian State. In making this declaration the Reich Government naturally expects, on its side, that Norway will observe an unimpeachable neutrality towards the Reich and will not tolerate any breaches of Norwegian neutrality by any third party which might occur. Should the attitude of the Royal Norwegian Government differ from this so that any such breach of neutrality by a third party recurs, the Reich Goverment would then obviously be compelled to safeguard the interests of the Reich in such a way as the result
ing situation might dictate.” (TC-31) There followed a further German assurance to Norway in a speech by Hitler on 6 October 1939 in which he said:
"Germany has never had any conflicts of interest or even points of controversy with the Northern States; neither has she any today. Sweden and Norway have both been offered nonaggression pacts by Germany and have both refused them solely because they do not feel themselves threatened in any
way.” (TC-32) These treaties and assurances were the diplomatic background to the Nazi aggression on Norway and Denmark. These assur
ances were simply given to lull suspicion and cause the intended victims of Nazi aggression to be unprepared to meet the Nazi attack. For it is now known that as early as October 1939 the conspirators were plotting the invasion of Norway, and that the most active conspirators in that plot were Raeder and Rosenberg.
B. Early Planning for Invasion.
The Norwegian invasion is in one respect not a typical Nazi aggression, in that Hitler had to be persuaded to embark upon it. The chief instruments of persuasion were Raeder and Rosenberg; Raeder because he thought Norway strategically important, and because he coveted glory for his Navy; Rosenberg because of his political connections in Norway, which he sought to develop. And in the Norwegian, Vidkun Quisling, Rosenberg found a very model of the Fifth Column agent.
The early stages of the Nazi conspiracy to invade Norway are disclosed in a letter which Raeder wrote on 10 January 1944 to Admiral Assmann, the official German Naval historian (C-66). It is headed "Memorandum for Admiral Assmann for his own information; not to be used for publications.” The first part deals with "Barbarossa" (the plan to invade Russia). The next part is headed “(b) Weseruebung," which was the code name for the invasion of Norway and Denmark. The following is a pertinent passage from the letter:
"During the weeks preceding the report on the 10th of October 1939, I was in correspondence with Admiral Carls, who, in a detailed letter to me, first pointed out the importance of an occupation of the Norwegian coast by Germany. I passed this letter on to C/SKI (the Chief of Staff of the Naval War Staff) for their information and prepared some notes based on this letter for my report to the Fuehrer, which I made on the 10th of October 1939, since my opinion was identical with that of Admiral Carls, while at that time the SKI was more dubious about the matter. In these notes, I stressed the disadvantages which an occupation of Norway by the British would have for us—control of the approaches to the Baltic, outflanking of our naval operations and of air attacks on Britain, pressure on Sweden. I also stressed the advantages for us of the occupation of the Norwegian coast-outlet to the North Atlantic, no possibility of a British mine barrier, as in the year 1917-18. Naturally at the time, only the coast and bases were considered; I included Narvik, though Admiral Carls, in the course of our correspondence thought that Narvik could be excluded. The Fuehrer saw at once the sig
nificance of the Norwegian problem; he asked me to leave the notes and stated that he wished to consider the question him
self.” (C-66) This report of Raeder shows that the evolution of this Nazi campaign against Norway affords a good example of the participation of the German High Command in the Nazi conspiracy to attack inoffensive neighbors.
Before this report of October 1939 was made to the Fuehrer, Raeder sought a second opinion on the Norwegian invasion. On 3 October 1939, he made out a questionnaire headed, "Gaining of Bases in Norway (extract from War Diary)" (C-122). It reads:
“The Chief of the Naval War Staff considers it necessary
gen?” (C-122) A memorandum written by Doenitz on Norwegian bases presumably relates to the questionnaire of Raeder, which was in circulation about that time. Doenitz's document is headed, "Flag Officer Submarines, Operations Division," and is marked "Most Secret.” The subject is “Base in Norway." Then there are set out "suppositions", "advantages and disadvantages”, and then "conclusions”. The last paragraph (III) reads:
“The following is therefore proposed: