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Entries from Jodl's diary, Febru-
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Kellogg-Briand Pact at Paris.
German assurance to Luxemburg,
**Chart No. 12
A. Treaties and Assurances Breached.
The invasions of Greece and of Yugoslavia by the Germans, which took place in the early hours of the morning of 6 April 1941, constituted direct breaches of The Hague Convention of 1899 on the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes, and of the Kellog-Briand Pact of 1928. In the case of Yugoslavia, the invasion further constituted a breach of an express assurance by the Nazis.
The assurance was originally given in a German Foreign Office release made in Berlin on 28 April 1938 (2719-PS), but was subsequently repeated by Hitler himself on 6 October 1939 in a speech he made in the Reichstag. The German Foreign Office release on 28 April 1938 reads, in part:
"Berlin, 28 April 1938. The State Secretary of the German
tary protection for them.” (2719-PS) In a speech made on the occasion of the dinner in honor of the Prince Regent of Yugoslavia on 1 June 1939, Hitler declared :
"The German friendship for the Yugoslav nation is not only
boundaries fixed for all time, will not only guarantee lasting peace between our two peoples and countries, but can also represent an element of calm to our nerve-wracked continent. This peace is the goal of all who are disposed to perform
really constructive work." (TC-92) As is now known this speech was made at the time when Hitler had already decided upon the European war. It occurred a week after the Reichschancellery conference recorded in the Schmundt note (L-79). The reference to "nerve-wracked continent” might perhaps be attributed to the war of nerves which Hitler had himself been conducting for many months. The German Assurance to Yugoslavia on 6 October 1939 was in these terms:
"Immediately after the completion of the Anschluss I informed Yugoslavia that, from now on, the frontier with this country would also be an unalterable one, and that we only
desire to live in peace and friendship with her.” (TC-43) B. Planning for Invasion: Collaboration with Italy and Bulgaria.
Despite the obligation of Germany under the Convention of 1899, and the Kellogg-Briand Pact, and under the foregoing Assurance which I have read, the fate of both Greece and Yugoslavia had, as is now known, been sealed ever since the meeting between Hitler, Ribbentrop, and Ciano at Obersalzberg, 12 and 13 August 1939 (TC-77). The effect of the meeting was that Hitler and Ribbentrop, only two months after the dinner to the Prince Regent, were seeking to persuade Italy to make war on Yugoslavia at the same time that Germany was to commence hostilities against Poland, which Hitler had decided to do in the very near future. Ciano while evidently in entire agreement with Hitler and Ribbentrop as to the desirability of liquidating Yugoslavia, and while himself anxious to secure Salonika, stated that Italy was not yet ready for a general European war. Thus, despite all the persuasion which Hitler and Ribbentrop exerted at the meeting, it became necessary for the Nazi conspirators to reassure their intended victim, Yugoslavia, since in fact Italy maintained its position and did not enter the war when Germany invaded Poland, and since the Germans themselves were not yet ready to strike in the Balkans. It was apparently for this reason that on 6 October, through Hitler's speech, the Nazis repeated the assurance they had made in April 1938. It is a matter of history that after the defeat of the Allied Armies in May and June 1940, the Italian Government declared war on France and that subsequently, at three o'clock in the morning on 28 October