May 10, 1933:
A book burning ceremony (20,000 books) is held by members of Nazi youth groups at Frederick the Great’s Royal Library at Berlin, founded in 1661 by Frederick William of Brandenburg, and renamed the Prussian State Library. Now known as the Berlin State Library.
July 3, 1933:
Statutory religious organizations throughout Germany are forbidden to employ Jews.
July 5, 1933:
The Catholic Center Party publishes its decree of dissolution. Only the Nazis remain as an active political party in the Reichstag. Also: Cardinal Faulhaber complains to the Bavarian Council of Ministers that almost one hundred priests had been arrested in the last few weeks.
July 9, 1933:
The world learns that a Concordat has been initialed by Nazi Germany and the Holy See when Hitler releases a public statement. Public opinion generally regards this as a great diplomatic victory for Hitler and helps to reconcile German Catholics to the new regime.
July 14, 1933:
Hitler's Cabinet approves the Concordat with the Vatican. During the deliberations, Hitler stresses the significance of the Concordat, especially 'in the urgent fight against the international Jews. Possible shortcomings in the Concordat can be rectified later when the foreign policy situation is better.' Also: The new government approves the 'Law for the Prevention of Genetically Diseased Offspring.' It allows for compulsory sterilization in cases of 'congenital mental defects, schizophrenia, manic-depressive psychosis, hereditary epilepsy, and severe alcoholism.' It will not be announced until July 25, so as not to jeopardize the signing of the Concordat.
July 20, 1933 Reichskonkordat:
Vice-Chancellor Papen and Pacelli formally sign the Concordat in an elaborate ceremony at the Vatican.
July 22, 1933:
The text of the Concordat is released to the press, though a secret annex is never announced to the public, or even to party members.
July 24, 1933:
...In view of the special situation existing in Germany, and in view of the guarantee provided through this Concordat of legislation directed to safeguard the rights and privileges of the Roman Catholic Church in the Reich and its component states, the Holy See will prescribe regulations for the exclusion of clergy and members of religious orders from membership of political parties...
The Nazi newspaper Voelkischer Beobachter describes the Concordat as a most solemn recognition of National Socialism by the Catholic Church.
July 31, 1933:
Six months after the Nazis assumption of power, the first concentration camps are full; 26,789 political prisoners are now in detention.
August 19, 1933:
Mussolini meets with Austrian Chancellor Dollfuss at the Italian-Austrian border.
After exchanging 'Secret Letters' with Mussolini, Italy on this day guarantees Austria's independence. To Mussolini, Austria forms a desirable buffer zone against Nazi Germany that is in Italy's interest to maintain. Dollfuss, for his part, stresses the similarity of Hitler's and Stalin's regime, and is convinced that Austrofascism under his reign and Italofascism under Mussolini can counter both national socialism and communism in Europe.
Genetic Health Courts now being organized through out Germany will eventually order the sterilization of almost 400,000 German citizens: 32,268 during 1934; 73,174 in 1935; 63,547 in 1936. Note: In the U.S. 60,166 people were sterilized from 1907-1958.
September 12, 1933:
Voting in a referendum, 89.9% of the voters approve Hitler's withdrawal from the League of Nations. This first one party election for the Reichstag sees 92.1% of the voters cast ballots. Also: Nazi Minister of the Interior Frick receives a letter of protest concerning the 'Law for the Prevention of Genetically Diseased Offspring' from Cardinal Bertram.
September 15, 1933:
Austrian Chancellor Dollfuss, addressing the Austrian Fatherland Front, proposes a 'Christian German state on Fascist lines,' but without discrimination against Jews.
October 3, 1933:
An assassination attempt is made against Dollfuss.
October 11, 1933:
US Ambassador Thomas Dodd criticizes the Nazi regime during an address to the American Chamber of Commerce in Berlin.
October 14, 1933:
Germany withdraws from the Conference for the Reduction and Limitation of Armaments.
October 14, 1933 Untragbare Erniedrigung:
Hitler addresses the Reich by radio:
October 21, 1933:
...The former German governments confidently joined the League of Nations hoping to find there a forum where they could achieve a just resolution of conflicting national interests, and above all genuine reconciliation with their former enemies. This presupposed, however, the ultimate recognition of equal rights for the German nation. Their participation in the disarmament conference was based on the same assumption. Demotion to the status of membership without equal rights in an institution or conference of this nature is an intolerable humiliation for a nation of 65 million people which values its honor and for a government which attaches no less importance to its honor! The German People more than fulfilled its obligation to disarm. It should now be the turn of the nations who are armed to show no less willingness to fulfill the same obligations. In taking part in this conference the German Government's goal is not to negotiate for a few canons or machine guns for the German People, but to work towards universal world peace...
Germany gives notice of withdrawal from the League of Nations.
October 25, 1933:
From a directive issued 11 days after the German withdrawal from the Disarmament Conference and the League of Nations:
1)The enclosed directive gives the basis for preparations of the Armed Forces in the case of sanctions being applied against Germany. 2) I request the Chiefs of the Army and Navy High Commands and the Reichsminister for Air to carry out the preparations in accordance with the following points: (a) Strictest secrecy. It is of the utmost importance that no facts become known to the outside world from which preparation for resistance against sanctions can be inferred or which is incompatible with Germany's existing obligations in the sphere of foreign policy regarding the demilitarized zone. If necessary, the preparations must take second place to this necessity.
November 6, 1933:
From a speech by Hitler: "When an opponent declares, 'I will not come over to your side,' I calmly say: 'Your child belongs to me already.' In a short time they will know nothing else."
December 15, 1933:
Catholic leaders encourage Austrians to do their Christmas shopping in non-Jewish stores.
December 23, 1933:
Pope Pius XI condemns the Nazi sterilization program.
January 28, 1934:
A new map of Germany, drafted by Dr. Hellmuth Nicolai and the cartographers of the Reich Ministry of the Interior, working under the direction of Dr. Paul Joseph Goebbels, is released. The 180,985 square miles of Reich territory is redistributed among thirteen provinces bearing the names of the original Teutonic tribes. There is no Prussia on this map.
January 30, 1934 Stachellose Personen:
Hitler addresses the Reichstag:
April 24, 1934:
...there are those political birds of passage who constantly appear wherever it is harvest time. These spineless individuals seize on any opportunity to join a successful movement and, either to forestall questions about their origins and their past activities, or else by way of response, they "protest too much" and indulge in super-correct behavior. The reason why they are dangerous is that they, whilst posing as supporters of the new regime, seek to pursue purely personal and selfish interests. In so doing they become a real burden to a movement for whose sake millions of decent people have for years made enormous sacrifices, without the thought even crossing their minds they might one day be rewarded for the suffering and deprivation which they accepted...
Joachim von Ribbentrop is appointed delegate of the Reich Government on matters of disarmament.
May 1, 1934:
A new Austrian constitution is approved that makes all the decrees Dollfuss has already passed since March 1933 'legal.' The new constitution sweeps away the last remains of democracy.
June 30, 1934 Blutbereinigung:
The 'Blood Purge' (Night of the Long Knives) occurs.
July 13, 1934:
Hitler speaks before the Reichstag:
July 25, 1934:
...I have for this reason always insisted that in their conduct and behavior higher demands should be made of the National Socialist leaders that of the rest of the people (volksgenossen). He who desires to receive higher respect than others must meet this demand by a higher achievement. The most elementary demand that can be made of him is that in is life he should not give a shameful example to those about him. I do not desire therefore that National Socialist guilty of such offenses should be judged and punished more leniently that are other fellow countrymen of theirs; rather, I expect that a leader who forgets himself in this way should be punished with greater rigor...
Austrian Chancellor Dollfuss is murdered by eight Austrian Nazis. A coup d'état fails, however, and order is soon restored. Kurt Alois Josef Johann Schuschnigg becomes Austria's new federal chancellor. At the age of 36, he is the youngest person to have ever held the position.
August 2, 1934:
The President of Germany, Paul Ludwig Hans Anton von Beneckendorff und von Hindenburg, better known as Paul von Hindenburg, dies. A new service oath is sworn to this day by all members of the armed forces: I swear this holy oath by God that I will implicitly obey the Leader of the German Reich and people, Adolf Hitler, the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces and that, as a brave soldier, I will be willing to stake my life at any time for this oath.
August 19, 1934 Gleichschaltung:
Hitler is Fuehrer und Reichskanzler as 90% of the German electorate approves Hitler's merging the two offices of Chancellor and President.
August 19, 1934:
Polish strongman Pilsudski proposes a war against Germany by Poland and France before Hitler has the chance to rearm. He will find no takers.
September 18, 1934:
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics is admitted into the League of Nations. The Assembly approves the Council's proposal that the Union should be made a permanent Member. (Kennedy II, Gill
November 8, 1934:
Hitler speaks in Munich:
January 13, 1935 Saar Volksabstimmung:
...let us look back in this new Reich upon that which lies behind us and do so in the most distant future, too, and let us bear in mind one article of faith: We shall be resolved at all times to take action! Willing at all times, if necessary, to die! Never willing to capitulate...
90.7 percent of Saar voters cast their ballot in favor of a return to Germany, 0.4 percent vote for union with France.
January 29, 1935:
The American Senate refuses to ratify the accession of the United States to the Permanent Court of International justice.
January 30, 1935:
The Law on Reich Governors (Reichsstatthaltergesetz) dissolves the individual German States governments. Hitler appoints himself formally Governor of Prussia.
March 1, 1935:
Goering is appointed Commander-in-Chief of the German Air Force (Luftwaffe). Germany takes over the Government of the Saar Territory.
March 7, 1935:
Hitler occupies the Rhineland.
March 16, 1935:
Hitler's Germany institutes universal military service.
Law for the Organization of the Armed Forces: The Reich Cabinet has passed the following law which is herewith promulgated: Paragraph 1. Service in the Armed Forces is based upon compulsory military duty. Paragraph 2. In peacetime, the German Army, including the police troops transferred to it, is organized into 12 corps and 36 divisions. Paragraph 3. The Reich Minister of War is charged with the duty of submitting immediately to the Reich Ministry detailed laws on compulsory military duty." Signed by Hitler, Von Neurath, Frick, Schacht, Goering, Hess, and Frank, among others.
April 10, 1935:
Goering weds actress Emmy Sonnemann in Berlin.
May 1, 1935:
Hitler speaks in Berlin:
May 2, 1935:
...What we want lies clear before us: not war and not strife. Just as we have established peace within our own people, so we want nothing else than peace with the world. For we all know that our great work can succeed only in a time of peace. But just as the leadership of the nation in the domestic sphere has never sacrificed its honor in its relations with the German people, so it can never surrender the honor of the German people in its dealings with the world...
From a directive for 'Operation Schulung (schooling, or training)', a top secret plan for the reoccupation of the Rhineland, in violation of the Treaty of Versailles and the Rhine Pact of Locarno. It was written by Blomberg and sent out only to Chief of the Army Command, Fritsch, the Chief of the Navy High Command, Raeder, and the Reich Minister for Air, Goering:
For the operation suggested in the last Staff talks of the Armed Forces, I lay down the code name 'Schulung.' The supreme direction of Operation Schulung rests with the Reich Minister of Defense as this is a joint undertaking of the three services. Preparations for the operation will begin forthwith according to the following directives: General: The operation must, on issue of the code words 'Carry out Schulung', be executed by a surprise blow at lightning speed. Strictest secrecy is necessary in the preparations and only the very smallest number of officers should be informed and employed in the drafting of reports, drawings, et cetera, and these officers only in person. There is no time for mobilization of the forces taking part. These will be employed in their peacetime strength and with their peacetime equipment. The preparation for the operation will be made without regard to the present inadequate state of our armaments. Every improvement of the state of our armaments will make possible a greater measure of preparedness and thus result in better prospects of success.
May 21, 1935:
Hitler's Germany announces that they will respect the territorial limitations of Versailles and Locarno. Hitler:
The German Reich Government refuses to adhere to the Geneva Resolution of 17 March. ...The Treaty of Versailles was not broken by Germany unilaterally, but the well-known paragraphs of the Dictate of Versailles were violated, and consequently invalidated by those powers who could not make up their minds to follow the disarmament requested of Germany with their own disarmament as agreed upon by the Treaty. Because the other powers did not live up to their obligations under the disarmament program, the Government of the German Reich no longer considers itself bound to those articles, which are nothing but a discrimination against the German nation for an unlimited period of time, since through them, Germany is being nailed down in a unilateral manner, contrary to the spirit of the agreement...
June 18, 1935:
Germany neither intends nor wishes to interfere in the internal affairs of Austria, to annex Austria or to conclude an Anschluss. .... Therefore, the Government of the German Reich shall absolutely respect all other articles pertaining to the cooperation (Zusammenleben) of the various nations, including territorial agreements. Revisions which will be unavoidable as time goes by it will carry out by way of a friendly understanding only. The Government of the German Reich has the intention not to sign any treaty which it believes not to be able to fulfill. However, it will live up to every treaty signed voluntarily even if it was composed before this Government took over. Therefore, it will in particular adhere to all the obligations under the Locarno Pact, as long as the other partners of the Pact also adhere to it.
The Anglo-German Naval Agreement, a bilateral agreement between the United Kingdom and the German Reich regulating the size of the Kriegsmarine in relation to the Royal Navy, is signed. This is an enormous victory for Hitler, and the first large nail in the coffin he is constructing to contain the remains of Treaty of Versailles.
June 26, 1935:
From the minutes of the working committee of the Reich Defense Council: Lieutenant Colonel Jodl:
The demilitarized zone requires special treatment. In his speech of the 21st of May and other utterances, the Fuehrer has stated that the stipulations of the Versailles Treaty and the Locarno Pact regarding the demilitarized zone are being observed. To the aide-memoire of the French charged' affaires on recruiting offices in the demilitarized zone, the Reich Government has replied that neither civilian recruiting authorities nor other offices in the demilitarized zone have been entrusted with mobilization tasks, such as the raising, equipping, and arming of any kind of formations for the event of war or in preparation therefor. Since political complications abroad must be avoided at present under all circumstances, only those preparatory measures that are urgently necessary may be carried out. The existence of such preparations or the intention of making such preparations must be kept in strictest secrecy in the zone itself as well as in the rest of the Reich.
June 29, 1935:
The first German U-boat (U-27) is commissioned.
August, 1935 Wehchaftmachung:
Hitler begins rearmament in earnest.
August 35, 1935:
Americans, since the time of George Washington, have, under normal circumstances, displayed a great reluctance to involve themselves in foreign 'attachments,' and legislation ensuring this isolationist tendency have always been popular with the citizens of the US. On this day, the United States Congress passes the first of a series of Neutrality Acts imposing a general embargo on trading in arms and war materials with all parties in any war, and declaring that American citizens traveling on the ships of warring nations do so at their own risk.
September 15, 1935:
Reich Citizenship Law:
The Reichstag has adopted unanimously the following law, which is herewith promulgated: ARTICLE I A subject of the State is a person who belongs to the protective union of the German Reich, and who, therefore, has particular obligations towards the Reich. The status of the subject is acquired in accordance with the provisions of the Reich and State Law of Citizenship. ARTICLE II A citizen of the Reich is only that subject who is of German or kindred blood, and who, through his conduct, shows that he is both desirous and fit to serve faithfully the German people and Reich. The right to citizenship is acquired by the granting of Reich citizenship papers. Only the citizen of the Reich enjoys full political rights in accordance with the provisions of the Laws. ARTICLE III The Reich Minister of the Interior, in conjunction with the Deputy of the Fuehrer, will issue the necessary legal and administrative decrees for the carrying out and supplementing of this law.
September 21, 1935:
Hitler addresses the Hitler Youth in Nuremberg:
October 21, 1935:
...We must educate our entire People so that if at any time anywhere one person is destined to command, the others recognize that it is their duty to obey, because the very next hour it may be their turn to give orders, and this they can do only if in turn others obey them. It is the expression of a nation state which speaks with the voice of authority, not of a weak and wordy democracy, but an authoritarian state in which everyone is proud to have the privilege of obeying, because he knows: if I have to give orders, I shall be obeyed in precisely the same way. Germany is not a chicken coop where everyone runs around and cackles and crows. We are a People who from an early age learn discipline. If others do not understand us, this need not be our concern. It has never been the worst things in the world that most people did not understand, quite the contrary...
Hitler's Germany leaves the League of Nations. (Kennedy II)January 17, 1936
: Goering delivers his famous 'guns versus butter' speech:
From The Devil's Disciples by Anthony Read: Schacht and his Ministry of Economics had been told six months earlier to start making secret economic preparations for war, and he had used considerable sleight of hand to find the necessary funds so far. Along with a number of decidedly dodgy financial maneuvers, he had been forced to create a siege economy, banning virtually all consumer imports and severely restricting foreign currency transactions. But he believed there were limits beyond which he dared not push the long-suffering German public. 'They are being starved of oil to cook with, butter for their bread, meat for a Sunday dinner,' he told Goering. 'Soon there will be a black market, and then we will have to start shooting people. I simply cannot spare you any more money.' Schacht might have been one of the worlds most brilliant economists, but he was no politician and knew little about ordinary people.
March 2, 1936:
Goering, on the other hand, knew nothing about economics, but everything about what the German people really wanted. For three weeks he worked with Pilli Koerner on a major speech, which he then delivered with great panache to a mass rally in Hamburg, the city where the loudest complaints about austerity rations had been made.
Wearing his Luftwaffe uniform and looking quite drawn after his latest bout of slimming, he began by outlining the tremendous progress that had already been made in restoring German pride through rearmament. He then moved on to remind his audience of the shaming restrictions still imposed on their country by Versailles. Only through strength, he told them, could Germany regain her rightful place in the sun. Having softened the meeting up, he delivered the killer punch. 'I must speak clearly,' he cried. 'Some people in international life are very hard of hearing. They can only be made to listen if they hear guns go off. We are getting those guns. We have no butter, comrades, but I ask you: would you rather have butter or guns? Shall we bring in lard, or iron ores? I tell you, being prepared makes us powerful. Butter only makes us fat!' He slapped his hollow belly to emphasize his point, and the meeting erupted into roars of approval. Radio listeners all over Germany joined in. Hitler sent him a telegram of congratulations. Schacht came up with the money for the Luftwaffe. The speech was reported around the world. The defining phrase, 'guns or butter' entered the international vocabulary. Goering, of course, never had to make the choice for himself - he could always have both. But no one ever mentioned that.
From a 'top secret' order signed by the War Minister and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Blomberg, and addressed to the Commander-in-Chief of the Army Fritsch, the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy Raeder, and Air Minister and Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force Goering:
Supreme Command of the Navy: 1) The Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor has made the following decision: By reason of the Franco-Russian Mutual Assistance Pact, the obligations accepted by Germany in the Locarno Treaty, as far as they apply to Articles 42 and 43, of the Treaty of Versailles which referred to the demilitarized zone, are to be regarded as obsolete.
March 7, 1936:
The re-occupation and fortification of the Rhineland occurs.
March 8, 1936:
Germany denounces the treaty of Locarno. From a speech by Hitler, as printed in the Volkischer Beobachter:
Men of the German Reichstag! France has replied to the repeated friendly offers and peaceful assurances made by Germany by infringing the Rhine Pact through a military alliance with the Soviet Union exclusively directed against Germany. In this manner, however, the Locarno Rhine Pact has lost its inner meaning and ceased in practice to exist. Consequently, Germany regards herself, for her part, as no longer bound by this dissolved treaty.
March 20, 1936:
The German Government is now constrained to face the new situation created by this alliance, a situation which is rendered more acute by the fact that the Franco-Soviet treaty has been supplemented by a Treaty of Alliance between Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union exactly parallel in form. In accordance with the fundamental right of a nation to secure its frontiers and ensure its possibilities of defense, the German Government has today restored the full and unrestricted sovereignty of Germany in the demilitarized zone of the Rhineland .... We have no territorial claims to make in Europe. We know above all that all the tensions resulting either from false territorial settlements or from the disproportion of the numbers of inhabitants to their living spaces cannot, in Europe, be solved by war.
Hitler speaks in Hamburg:
July 11, 1936:
I need the German people to demonstrate therewith to the whole world that whatever happens we will not retreat one inch from our equal rights -- not because we want to disturb European order, but because we are convinced, contrary to the opinion of temporary and mortal politicians, that permanent order in Europe is possible only on a foundation of peoples enjoying equal rights. The opinion that European order can be founded permanently on the defamation of a people numbering 67000000 is lunacy and madness. They do not need to think that the German nation has rebelled simply because a certain man, Adolf Hitler, stands at its head. No, if I were not there, another would have come sooner or later...
The Berchtesgaden Agreement regarding the maintenance of Austrian sovereignty is negotiated.
August 13, 1936:
From Henry (Chips) Channon's diary:
Goering, wreathed in smiles and orders and decorations received us gaily, his wife at his side. There is something unchristian about Goering, a strong pagan streak, a touch of the arena, though perhaps, like many who are libidinous-minded like myself, he actually does very little. People say that he can be very hard and ruthless, as are all Nazis when occasion demands, but outwardly he seems all vanity and childish love of display.
January 3, 1937:
Hitler speaks before the Reichstag:
February 16, 1937:
...The Four-Year Plan will give permanent employment to those workmen who are now being released from the armament industry. It is significant for the gigantic economic development of our people that there is today a lack of trained workmen in many industries. There will be no strikes or lockouts in Germany, because every one has to serve the interests of the entire nation. Education of the people will never come to an end, and this education includes the Hitler Youth, the Labor Service, the Party, and the Army...
From remarks made by Goering during a visit to Warsaw:
On the German side, there is no desire whatever to deprive Poland of any part of her territory. Germany is completely reconciled to her present territorial status. Germany would not attack Poland and has no intention of seizing the Polish Corridor. We do not want the Corridor. I say sincerely and categorically that we do not need the Corridor. Just as Germany trusts and believes that Poland has no intention of seizing Eastern Prussia and the remaining part of Silesia, so can Poland believe that Germany has no intention of depriving her of any rights and possessions...
May 1, 1937:
President Roosevelt signs the third US Neutrality Act.
May 1, 1937:
Hitler's Germany is outraged when an Austrian official in the small hamlet of Pinkafeld hauls down a flag of the German Reich. Hitler speaks in Berlin:
...Life imposes on each generation its own struggle for this life. The prejudices and the irrationalities which centuries have created cannot be completely eradicated in four years. It cannot be accomplished overnight! But we do have the will to do this and with this will we shall never capitulate! And you will concede that we are doing a thorough job. In these four years we have established order...
August 5, 1937:
From a letter from Schacht to Goering:
The aim and the idea of the Four Year Plan were and remain entirely correct and necessary! It stands, essentially, for the application of increased energy to the efforts already undertaken by my ministry since 1934 with the results shown in the above statistics. As you will remember, I welcomed it when your energy, my dear Prime Minister, was recruited by the Fuehrer for these tasks, and from the very beginning I gave you my most loyal support and cooperation, with the particular plea that I be given a hearing from time to time, since I believed that my more than thirty years of experience in economic life, half of them in public service, could be of value to you."
November 5, 1937 Hossbach-Konferenz:
Hitler addresses Goering, Raeder, Neurath and other political and military leaders.
January 20, 1938:
Hitler speaks in the Reichstag.
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 differences, not only has there been a detente, but in the course of these 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 attainments as the new commissioner, the most dangerous spot from this 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 friendly understanding has been successfully paved, an understanding which beginning with Danzig has today, in spite of the attempts of certain mischief makers, succeeded in finally taking the poison out of the relations between Germany and Poland and transforming them into a sincere, friendly co-operation. 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.
January 27, 1938:
Among those military figures who openly disagreed with the aims Hitler had been laying out in his speeches to his generals is General Field Marshal von Blomberg, Minister of War and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. Blomberg, then sixty, had married Erna Gruhn, a 26-year-old typist, earlier in the month. Shortly afterwards Goering informed Hitler (both of whom had been honored as best man at the wedding), that Gruhn in 1932 had posed for pornographic photos which had resulted in a criminal record for prostitution. Hitler had ordered Blomberg to annul the marriage in order to avoid a scandal and to preserve the integrity of the army. Blomberg refused to annul the marriage, and when Goering threatens to make his wife's past public knowledge, he resigns all of his posts on this day.
From an account written by Raeder while in captivity in Moscow: At the beginning of the year 1938 I had experiences of a personal nature, which although they did not concern the Navy directly caused me to lose confidence, not only in Goering but also in the sincerity of the Fuehrer. The situation in which Field Marshal Von Blomberg found himself as a result of his unfortunate marriage made his position as a Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces impossible. I came to the belated conclusion that Goering was making every effort to obtain the post of Commander-in-Chief of the Wehrmacht in place of Blomberg. He favored the marriage because it made Blomberg ineligible for this post, while Blomberg believed-and even stated repeatedly-that such a marriage was possible under the present system. Goering had already had him shadowed in the past, as I learned from later remarks.
From Raeder's IMT testimony: In Moscow, immediately after the collapse, I made a note of the causes of the collapse as seen in the light of my own experience. I wrote this document under the conditions there- where I was treated very chivalrously, and I had no hesitation in informing the highest general of the Commissariat of the Interior of this when I was asked what I was doing there. I wrote these notes, and it is also true that it occurred to me afterwards that Goering might have favored the marriage. I believe that he himself told me that here. He had assisted Blomberg in such a way that, I think, he did not know what the true state of affairs was or how serious the matter was. And it is also true that Goering certainly wanted to become Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, but the Fuehrer himself thwarted him in that. He (Hitler) asked me, and I said that if I were consulted (about a replacement for Blomberg), I would suggest Baron van Fritsch. But the Fuehrer said that that was out of the question. He said, in general terms, that some kind of moral crime existed.
February 4, 1938:
Werner Freiherr von Fritsch, Commander-in-Chief of the Army, is forced to resign on trumped-up charges of homosexuality and is replaced by Walther von Brauchitsch. (See: March 10, 1939)
From Raeder's Moscow account: I was convinced that Goering had a hand in this well prepared situation (concerning von Fritsch), since in order to attain his goal it was necessary to eliminate every possible successor to Von Blomberg.
From Raeder's IMT testimony: I do not remember that now; but I believe that I held that opinion. To be quite just, I must say that Baron von Fritsch's acquittal was due principally to the way in which Goering conducted the proceedings. The witness who was brought up told so many lies and made so many contradictory statements every few minutes, that only Goering could cope with him. After seeing that, I was very thankful that I had not been appointed president, as suggested by the Minister of Justice. I could not have coped with those people. It was entirely due to Goering's intervention that he was acquitted without any difficulties.
February 4, 1938 Konsolidierung:
Hitler's Cabinet meets for the final time. Hitler abolishes the Ministry of War, assumes direct command of the Armed Forces himself, and creates the OKW (Oberkommando der Wehrmacht). Neurath, after resigning as Reich Foreign Minister (replaced by Ribbentrop), will be appointed president of the Secret Cabinet Council (which will never meet), and become a minister without portfolio. This, combined with the recent reshuffling of his top military commanders, eliminates much of the push-back his foreign policy objectives have been encountering. Hitler is, one by one, removing those individuals not inclined to be 'yes men' from positions of authority and assuming a warlord stance.
February 11, 1938:
From the Diary of Alfred Jodl:
In the evening and on 12 February General K (Keitel) with General Von Reichenau and Sperrle at Obersalzberg. Schuschnigg, together with G. Schmidt are being put under the heaviest political and military pressure. At 2300 hours Schuschnigg signs protocol.
February 12, 1938:
The Austro-German Crisis begins as Hitler meets with Austrian Chancellor Kurt Schuschnigg at Berchtesgaden.
February 13, 1938 Jodl's Diary:
In the afternoon General K asks Admiral C (Canaris) and myself to come to his apartment. He tells us that the Fuehrer's order is to the effect that military pressure, by shamming military action, should be kept up until the 15th. Proposals for these deceptive maneuvers are drafted and submitted to the Fuehrer by telephone for approval.
February 14, 1938 Jodl's Diary:
At 2:40 o'clock the agreement of the Fuehrer arrives. Canaris went to Munich to the Counter-Intelligence Office VII and initiates the different measures. The effect is quick and strong. In Austria the impression is created that Germany is undertaking serious military preparations."
February 16, 1938:
Schuschnigg complies with Hitler's demands by appointing Arthur Seyss-Inquart, a pro-Nazi lawyer, as Interior Minister and another Nazi, Edmund Glaise-Horstenau, as a Minister without Portfolio.
February 18, 1938:
British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden resigns in protest of Chamberlain's policy of appeasement with Italy and Germany.
February 19, 1938:
Schuschnigg's government extends full amnesty to imprisoned National Socialists and gives the National Socialists access to the Fatherland Front.
February 20, 1938:
In a speech aimed specifically at Czechoslovakia, Chancellor Adolf Hitler proclaims that the German government vows to protect German minorities outside of the Reich.
February 24, 1938:
Austrian Chancellor Kurt Schuschnigg, in response to an earlier speech by German Chancellor Adolf Hitler; calls for international support to resist future German demands for Austrian concessions; reaffirms the independence of Austria; promises to protect the ten million Germans living outside of the Reich.
March 3-9, 1938:
German Chancellor Adolf Hitler begins an official state visit to Rome to soften Mussolini up in anticipation of Hitler's impending move into Austria.
March 4, 1938:
In response to German Chancellor Adolf Hitler's posturing, Czechoslovak Prime Minister Milan Hodza declares that Czechoslovakia will defend itself against foreign interference.
March 9, 1938:
Austrian Chancellor Schuschnigg schedules a plebiscite on the independence of Austria for 13 March. The question is to be: 'Are you for an independent and social, a Christian, German and united Austria?
March 10, 1938 Jodl's Diary:
By surprise and without consulting his ministers, Schuschnigg ordered a plebiscite for Sunday, 13, March, which should bring strong majority for the Legitimists in the absence of plan or preparation. Fuehrer is determined not to tolerate it. The same night, March 9 to 10, he calls for Goering. General v. Reichenau is called back from Cairo Olympic Committee. General v. Schebert is ordered to come, as well as Minister Glaise Horstenau, who is with the District leader (Gauleiter) Buerckel in the Palatinate. General Keitel communicates the facts at 1:45. He drives to the Reichskanzlei at 10 o'clock. I follow at 10:15, according to the wish of General v. Viebahn, to give him the old draft. Prepare case Otto. 1300 hours: General K informs Chief of Operational Staff (and) Admiral Canaris. Ribbentrop is being detained in London. Neurath takes over the Foreign Office. Fuehrer wants to transmit ultimatum to the Austrian Cabinet. A personal letter is dispatched to Mussolini and the reasons are developed which force the Fuehrer to take action. 1830 hours: Mobilization order is given to the Command of the 8th Army (Corps Area 3) 7th and 13th Army Corps; without reserve Army.
March 11, 1938:
Austrian Chancellor Schuschnigg resigns in an attempt to stall off a threatened German invasion. Hitler meets with Neurath, Goering, and others. From Austrian Chancellor Schuschnigg's farewell speech: The Federal President has commissioned me to inform the Austrian people that we are yielding to force. Since we are at all costs determined not to spill German blood, even in this grave hour, we have given orders to our Armed Forces to withdraw without resistance, if the invasion of Austria is carried out, and to await the decision within the next hours.
From Neurath's testimony before the IMT: ...late in the afternoon, Hitler suddenly rang me up in my apartment and asked me to come and see him. In the anteroom I met, besides Herr Von Papen, General Von Brauchitsch and a number of other high officials and officers of his immediate entourage. Goering was also in the room with Hitler when I came in. Hitler told me that the Anschluss with Austria was a fact, and that German troops would cross the border during the night of the 11th and 12th. When I raised the question whether that had to be, Hitler told me the reason why he did not wish to wait any longer. He asked me what the Foreign Office should do, as the Foreign Minister was absent and in London at the time. I told him quite clearly that we would probably receive protests to which a reply would have to be sent. Apart from that we on our part should make a statement to the powers. There should be no formal negotiations. I also told him that the Foreign Minister should be immediately recalled from London. Goering opposed this. Finally Hitler asked me to tell the State Secretary of the Foreign Office what he had just told me, so that the Foreign Office would know what was happening...
March 11, 1938:
Seyss-Inquart is made Chancellor of Austria by President Wilhelm Miklas.
March 12, 1938 Anschluss:
Seyss-Inquart 'invites' German troops to occupy Austria.
March 12, 1938 Anschluss:
The German Army marches unopposed into Vienna.
March 12, 1938 Anschluss:
Nazi Minister of Propaganda Goebbels reads an address (written by Hitler) on the radio:
March 14, 1938:
...I have therefore decided to offer the millions of Germans in Austria the assistance of the Reich. Since this morning soldiers of the German armed forces have been crossing all of the German-Austrian borders. Armored units, infantry divisions and SS units on the ground and the German Luftwaffe in the skies, summoned by the new National Socialist Government in Vienna, will ensure that the Austrian People are within the very near future finally given the opportunity to determine for themselves their future, and thus their fate, through a genuine plebiscite. And these units are supported by the will and determination of the entire German nation. I myself, as Fuehrer and Chancellor of the German People, will be happy once again to be able to enter the country which is also my homeland as a German and a free citizen. The world, however, shall see for itself that for the German People in Austria these days are filled with hours of blissful joy...
The Czechoslovak government receives assurances from Hitler's government of the German desire to improve relations between the two states.
March 16 - 19, 1938:
As most of Europe is preoccupied with the German absorption of Austria, the Polish government issues a series of demands to the Lithuanians. Faced with the threat of war, the Lithuanian government immediately agrees to all of the Polish demands, including recognition of the status quo in eastern Europe. The Lithuanian capitulation prevents the crisis from escalating.
March 22 - 25, 1938:
German political parties which had joined the Hodza ministry in Czechoslovakia, and the members of the German Activists withdraw from the government. Sudeten Germans are unmoved when Prime Minister Milan Hodza responds by announcing a new Nationality Statute designed to protect Czechoslovakian minorities.
March 25, 1938:
Hitler speaks in Koenigsberg:
March 26, 1938:
...I decided not to wait until April 10, but to effect the unification forthwith. That which has happened in those last weeks is the result of the triumph of an idea, a triumph of will, but also a triumph of endurance and tenacity and, above all, it is the result of the miracle of faith: for only faith has availed to move these mountains. I once went forth with faith in the German people and began this vast fight. With faith in me first thousands, then hundreds of thousands, and at last millions have followed after me. With faith in Germany and in this idea, millions of our fellow countrymen in the New Ostmark in the south of our Reich have held their banners high and have remained loyal to the Reich and to the life of the German people. And now I have faith in this 10th of April. I am convinced that on this day for the first time in history in very truth all Germany will be on the march. And on this day I shall be the Leader of the greatest army in the history of the world; for when on this 10th of April I cast my voting paper into the urn, then I shall know that behind me come 50 millions, and they all know only my watchword: One People and one Reich...
From a speech by Goering in Vienna:
I must address myself with a serious word to the city of Vienna. The city of Vienna can no longer rightfully be called a German city. So many Jews live in this city. Where there are 300,000 Jews, you cannot speak of a German city. Vienna must once more become a German city, because it must perform important tasks for Germany in Germany's Ostmark. These tasks lie in the sphere of culture as well as in the sphere of economics. In neither of them can we, in the long run, put up with the Jew. This, however, should not be attempted by inappropriate interference and stupid measures but must be done systematically and carefully. As Delegate for the Four Year Plan, I commission the Reichsstatthalter in Austria jointly with the Plenipotentiary of the Reich to consider and take any steps necessary for the redirection of Jewish commerce, i.e., for the Aryanization of business and economic life, and to execute this process in accordance with our laws, legally but inexorably.
May 28, 1938:
Hitler calls a conference of his principal military and political advisers in the winter garden of the Reichs Chancellery in Berlin. From an affidavit of Fritz Wiedemann, who at that time was Hitler's adjutant:
I recall that on the afternoon of 28 May 1938 Hitler called a conference in the winter garden of the Reichs Chancellery of all the people who were important, from the Foreign Office, the Army, and the Command Staffs. Those present at this conference, as I recall, included Goering, Ribbentrop, von Neurath, General Beck, Admiral Raeder, General Keitel, and General von Brauchitsch. On this occasion Hitler made the following statement: 'It is my unshakable will that Czechoslovakia shall be wiped off the map.' Hitler then revealed the outlines of the plan to attack Czechoslovakia. Hitler addressed himself to the Generals, saying: 'So, we will first tackle the situation in the East. Then I will give you three to four years' time, and then we will settle the situation in the West.' The situation in the West was meant to be the war against England and France. I was considerably shaken by these statements, and on leaving the Reichs Chancellery I said to Herr von Neurath: 'Well, what do you say to these revelations?' Neurath thought that the situation was not so serious as it appeared and that nothing would happen before the spring of 1939.
April 10, 1938 Annexionvolksabstimmung:
In a national plebiscite, Austrian voters register 99.75% in favor of union with Germany: Austria becomes part of the Reich as a new state, divided into seven Gaue (states). Austria withdraws as a member state from the League of Nations because of the republic's incorporation into Germany.
April 19, 1938:
From a top secret Nazi document, the Direction of War as a Problem of Organization; from the appendix entitled What is the War of the Future?:
...Surprise as the requisite for quick initial success will often require hostilities to begin before mobilization has been completed or the armies are fully in position. A declaration of war is no longer necessarily the first step at the start of a war. According to whether the application of the rules of warfare create greater advantages or disadvantages for the warring nations, will the latter consider themselves at war or not at war with the neutral states...
May 17, 1938:
The British and Turkish governments sign an agreement to promote stability in the eastern Mediterranean.
May 28, 1938:
Hitler calls a conference of his principal military and political advisers in the winter garden of the Reichs Chancellery in Berlin.
From an affidavit of Fritz Wiedemann (Hitler's adjutant): I recall that on the afternoon of 28 May 1938 Hitler called a conference in the winter garden of the Reichs Chancellery of all the people who were important, from the Foreign Office, the Army, and the Command Staffs. Those present at this conference, as I recall, included Goering, Ribbentrop, von Neurath, General Beck, Admiral Raeder, General Keitel, and General von Brauchitsch. On this occasion Hitler made the following statement: 'It is my unshakable will that Czechoslovakia shall be wiped off the map.' Hitler then revealed the outlines of the plan to attack Czechoslovakia. Hitler addressed himself to the Generals, saying: 'So, we will first tackle the situation in the East. Then I will give you three to four years' time, and then we will settle the situation in the West.' The situation in the West was meant to be the war against England and France. I was considerably shaken by these statements, and on leaving the Reichs Chancellery I said to Herr von Neurath: 'Well, what do you say to these revelations?' Neurath thought that the situation was not so serious as it appeared and that nothing would happen before the spring of 1939.
May 30, 1938:
Hitler issues a revised military directive for Case Green:
It is my unalterable decision to smash Czechoslovakia by military action in the near future. It is the job of the political leaders to await or bring about the politically and militarily suitable moment. An inevitable development of conditions inside Czechoslovakia or other political events in Europe creating a surprisingly favorable opportunity and one which may never come again may cause me to take early action. The proper choice and determined and full utilization of a favorable moment is the surest guarantee of success. Accordingly the preparations are to be made at once.
June 2, 1938:
2. Political Possibilities for the Commencement of the Action. The following are necessary prerequisites for the intended invasion: a. suitable obvious cause and, with it b. sufficient political justification, c. action unexpected by the enemy, which will find him prepared to the least possible degree. From a military as well as a political standpoint the most favorable course is a lightning-swift action as the result of an incident through which Germany is provoked in an unbearable way for which at least part of world opinion will grant the moral justification of military action. But even a period of tension, more or less preceding a war, must terminate in sudden action on our part-which must have the elements of surprise as regards time and extent-before the enemy is so advanced in military preparedness that he cannot be surpassed.
3. Conclusions for the Preparation of "Fall Gruen". a. For the Armed War it is essential that the surprise element as the most important factor contributing to success be made full use of by appropriate preparatory measures already in peace-time and by an unexpectedly rapid course of the action. Thus it is essential to create a situation within the first four days which plainly demonstrates, to hostile nations eager to intervene, the hopelessness of the Czechoslovakian military situation and which at the same time will give nations with territorial claims on Czechoslovakia an incentive to intervene immediately against Czechoslovakia. In such a case, intervention by Poland and Hungary against Czechoslovakia may be expected, especially if France-due to the obvious pro-German attitude of Italy-fears, or at least hesitates, to unleash a European war by intervening against Germany. Attempts by Russia to give military support to Czechoslovakia mainly by the Air Force are to be expected. If concrete successes are not achieved by the land operations within the first few days, a European crisis will certainly result. This knowledge must give commanders of all ranks the impetus to decided and bold action. b. The Propaganda War must on the one hand intimidate Czechoslovakia by threats and soften her power of resistance, on the other hand issue directions to national groups for support in the Armed War and influence the neutrals into our way of thinking. I reserve further directions and determination of the date.
4. Tasks of the Armed Forces. Armed Forces Preparations are to be made on the following basis: a. The mass of all forces must be employed against Czechoslovakia. b. For the West, a minimum of forces are to be provided as rear cover which may be required, the other frontiers in the East against Poland and Lithuania are merely to be protected, the Southern frontiers to be watched. c. The sections of the army which can be rapidly employed must force the frontier fortifications with speed and decision and must break into Czechoslovakia with the greatest daring in the certainty that the bulk of the mobile army will follow them with the utmost speed. Preparations for this are to be made and timed in such a way that the sections of the army which can be rapidly employed cross the frontier at the appointed time at the same time as the penetration by the Air Force before the enemy can become aware of our mobilization. For this, a timetable between Army and Air Force is to be worked out in conjunction with OKW and submitted to me for approval.
5. Missions for the branches of the Armed Forces. a. Army: The basic principle of the surprise attack against Czechoslovakia must not be endangered by the inevitable time required for transporting the bulk of the field forces by rail nor the initiative of the Air Force be wasted. Therefore it is first of all essential to the army that as many assault columns as possible be employed at the same time as the surprise attack by the Air Force. These assault columns—the composition of each, according to their tasks at that time—must be formed with troops which can be employed rapidly owing to their proximity to the frontier or to motorization and to special measures of readiness. It must be the purpose of these thrusts to break into the Czechoslovakian fortification lines at numerous points and in a strategically favorable direction, to achieve a breakthrough or to break them down from the rear. For the success of this operation, cooperation with the Sudeten German frontier population, with deserters from the Czechoslovakian army, with parachutists or airborne troops and with units of the sabotage service will be of importance.
The bulk of the army has the task of frustrating the Czechoslovakian plan of defense, of preventing the Czechoslovakian army from escaping into Slovakia, of forcing a battle, of beating the Czechoslovakian army and of occupying Bohemia and Moravia speedily. To this end a thrust into the heart of Czechoslovakia must be made with the strongest possible motorized and armored units using to the full the first successes of the assault columns and the effects of the Air Force operations. The rear cover provided for the West must be limited in numbers and quality to the extent which suits the present state of fortifications. Whether the units assigned this will be transported to the Western frontier immediately or held back for the time being will be decided in my special order. Preparations must however, be made to enable security detachments to be brought up to the Western frontier even during the strategic concentration 'Gruen'. Independent of this, a first security garrison must be improvised from the engineers at present employed in constructing fortifications and from formations of the Labor Corps. The remaining frontiers as well as East Prussia, are to be only weakly protected. But, always depending on the political situation, the transfers by sea, of a part or even the bulk of the active forces of East Prussia, into the Reich must be taken into account. b. Air Force. While leaving a minimum of defensive forces in the West, the Air Force is to be employed in bulk in a surprise attack against Czechoslovakia. The frontier is to be flown over at the same time as it is crossed by the first section of the Army.
Emmy Goering gives birth to a daughter, Edda.
From Justice at Nuremberg by Robert E. Conot: At the time of Goering's marriage to Emma, 'Der Stürmer' had published a photograph of her shopping at a Jewish store - it had been a dig not only at Emma's numerous Jewish friends, but Goering's own relationship to Epenstein. Three years later, when Emma was awaiting the birth of her child, Streicher had suggested that the pregnancy was a product of artificial insemination. Such an allegation had gone beyond the permissible in the Nazis' inner feuds; and the hierarchy had waited for Streicher to take a misstep...Hess had suspended Streicher from his position as Gauleiter. Goering had convened a commission which, in view of Streicher's predilection for adolescents, had placed the investigation in the hands of Josef Meisinger, head of the Gestapo's Office for the Suppression of Homosexuality. Among the specifications against the man who for fifteen years had accused the Jews of sacrificing Christian children had been a complaint of child murder. (Streicher had managed to pin this on one of his lieutenants, who had committed suicide.) After a four-month investigation and a trial before the Supreme Party Court, Streicher had been found guilty of most of the charges. He had been ostracized and removed from all party offices, but permitted to continue as publisher of Der Stuermer.
June 2, 1938:
From Plan Study 1938: Instruction for Deployment and Combat: Case Red: France will a. either interfere in the struggle between the Reich and Czechoslovakia in the course of 'Case Green', or b. start hostilities simultaneously with Czechoslovakia. c. It is possible but not likely that France will begin the fight, while Czechoslovakia still remains aloof... ...Regardless of whether France enters the war as a result of 'Case Green' or whether she makes the opening move of the war simultaneously with Czechoslovakia, in any case the mass of the German offensive formations will, in conjunction with the Army, first deliver the decisive blow against Czechoslovakia.
From The Devil's Disciples by Anthony Read: Schacht and his Ministry of Economics had been told six months earlier to start making secret economic preparations for war, and he had used considerable sleight of hand to find the necessary funds so far. Along with a number of decidedly dodgy financial maneuvers, he had been forced to create a siege economy, banning virtually all consumer imports and severely restricting foreign currency transactions. But he believed there were limits beyond which he dared not push the long-suffering German public. 'They are being starved of oil to cook with, butter for their bread, meat for a Sunday dinner,' he told Goering. 'Soon there will be a black market, and then we will have to start shooting people. I simply cannot spare you any more money.'
June 16, 1938:
Schacht might have been one of the worlds most brilliant economists, but he was no politician and knew little about ordinary people. Goering, on the other hand, knew nothing about economics, but everything about what the German people really wanted. For three weeks he worked with Pilli Koerner on a major speech, which he then delivered with great panache to a mass rally in Hamburg, the city where the loudest complaints about austerity rations had been made. Wearing his Luftwaffe uniform and looking quite drawn after his latest bout of slimming, he began by outlining the tremendous progress that had already been made in restoring German pride through rearmament.
He then moved on to remind his audience of the shaming restrictions still imposed on their country by Versailles. Only through strength, he told them, could Germany regain her rightful place in the sun. Having softened the meeting up, he delivered the killer punch. 'I must speak clearly,' he cried. 'Some people in international life are very hard of hearing. They can only be made to listen if they hear guns go off. We are getting those guns. We have no butter, comrades, but I ask you: would you rather have butter or guns? Shall we bring in lard, or iron ores? I tell you, being prepared makes us powerful. Butter only makes us fat!' He slapped his hollow belly to emphasize his point, and the meeting erupted into roars of approval. Radio listeners all over Germany joined in. Hitler sent him a telegram of congratulations. Schacht came up with the money for the Luftwaffe. The speech was reported around the world. The defining phrase, 'guns or butter' entered the international vocabulary. Goering, of course, never had to make the choice for himself - he could always have both. But no one ever mentioned that.
The German Anschluss results in the extension of anti-Jewish laws to former Austrian provinces. Under the new regulations, Austrian Jews have to register all their property, at home and abroad, within a few weeks.
June 18, 1938:
From a Hitler directive prepared and initialed by Keitel:
The immediate aim is a solution of the Czech problem by my own, free decision; this stands in the foreground of my political intentions. I am determined to use to the full every favorable political opportunity to realize this aim. However, I will decide to take action against Czechoslovakia only if I am firmly convinced as in the case of the occupation of the demilitarized zone and the entry into Austria that France will not march and therefore England will not intervene. The directives necessary for the prosecution of the war itself will be issued by me form time to time.
July 3, 1938:
The French and Turkish governments sign an agreement regarding the future of Alexandretta. The future of the province will be settled by an election and each country will send in 2,500 troops to the sanjak to supervise the voting.
August 7, 1938:
Prisoners from Dachau concentration camp are sent to the town of Mauthausen near Linz, Austria, to begin the construction of a new camp.
From Keitel's IMT testimony: I knew already before the war that concentration camps existed; but at that time I knew only two of them by name; and I supposed and assumed that there were other concentration camps besides the two I knew. I had no further particulars about the existence of concentration camps. As far as internees in such camps were concerned, I knew that they included habitual criminals and political opponents. As Reich Marshal Goering has said, that was the basis of the institution.
August 10, 1938 Jodl's Diary:
The Army chiefs and the chiefs of the Air Forces groups, Lieutenant Colonel Jeschonnek, and I are ordered to the Berghof. After dinner the Fuehrer makes a speech lasting for almost 3 hours, in which he develops his political thoughts. The subsequent attempts to draw the Fuehrer's attention to the defects of our preparations, which are undertaken by a few generals of the Army, are rather unfortunate. This applies especially to the remarks of General Von Wietersheim, in which, to top it off, he claims to quote from General Adams that the Western fortifications can be held for only 3 weeks. The Fuehrer becomes very indignant and flares up, bursting into the remarks that in such a case the whole Army would not be good for anything. 'I assure you, General, the position will be held not only for 3 weeks, but for 3 years.'
August 23, 1938:
The cause of this despondent opinion, which unfortunately enough is held widely within the Army General Staff, is based on various reasons. First of all, it (the General Staff) is prejudiced by old memories and feels responsible also for political decisions instead of obeying and executing its military mission. That is certainly done with traditional devotion, but the vigor of the soul is lacking, because in the end they do not believe in the genius of the Fuehrer. One does perhaps compare him with Charles XII. And since water flows downhill, this defeatism may not only possibly cause immense political damage, for the opposition between the generals' opinion and that of the Fuehrer is common talk, but may also constitute a danger for the morale of the troops. But I have no doubt that this, as well as the morale of the people, will encourage the Fuehrer enormously when the right moment comes.
After Mussolini had sent a message to Berlin - asking that he be told the date on which Case Green would take place - the German response is outlined in a German Foreign Office note of a conversation with Ambassador Attolico, signed by Ribbentrop:
On the voyage of the 'Patria' Ambassador Attolico explained to me that he had instructions to request the notification of a contemplated time for German action against Czechoslovakia from the German government. In case the Czechs should again cause a provocation against Germany, Germany would march. This would be tomorrow, in six months or perhaps in a year. However, I could promise him, that the German government, in case of an increasing gravity of the situation or as soon as the Fuehrer made his decision, would notify the Italian Chief of Government as rapidly as possible. In any case, the Italian government will be the first one who will receive such a notification.
August 24, 1938:
From notes, signed by Jodl:
Fall Grun will start with the creation of an incident in Czechoslovakia which will give Germany a pretext for military intervention. It is of the greatest importance to fix the exact day and hour for staging the incident. This incident must be provoked under weather conditions favorable for our superior air force in carrying out the operation and it should be timed in such a way that the respective notification should authentically reach us by midday of X-1 Day. This will enable us to follow it up immediately by issuing the order X, on X-1 Day, at 1400 hours...The purpose of these statements is to show how greatly interested the Armed Forces are in the incident, and that they should know well in advance the intentions of the Fuehrer, inasmuch as the organization of the incident will be entrusted, in any case, to the Abwehr.
From Jodl's testimony before the IMT: ...after our unsuccessful attack on the bridgehead at Nettuno, southwest of Rome, he ordered the junior officers, who were taking part in these battles, from the regimental commanders down to the company commanders, to come to the Fuehrer's headquarters. For days he personally interrogated each one of them alone without their superiors being present. He did the same thing very, very often with Air Force officers, whom he interrogated without the Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force present.
August 26, 1938:
From a memorandum initialed by Jodl entitled Timing of the X-Order and the Question of Advance Measures (Note: In handwriting at the bottom of this document are the notes of Schmundt, Hitler's adjutant. These reveal that the memorandum was submitted to Hitler on 30 August; that Hitler agreed to act along these lines; and that Jodl was so notified on 31 August):
The Luftwaffe's endeavor to take the enemy air forces by surprise at their peace-time airports justifiably leads them to oppose measures taken in advance of the X-order and to the demand that the X-order itself be given sufficiently late on X minus 1 to prevent the fact of Germany's mobilization becoming known to Czechoslovakia on that day. The army's efforts are tending in the opposite direction. It intends to let OKW initiate all advance measures between X minus 3 and X minus 1, which will contribute to the smooth and rapid working of the mobilization. With this in mind OKW also demands that the X order be given not later than 1400 on X minus 1.
September 6, 1938 Jodl's Diary:
To this the following must be said: Operation (Aktion) Green will be set in motion by means of an 'incident' in Czechoslovakia which will give Germany provocation for military intervention. The fixing of the exact time for this incident is of the utmost importance. It must come at a time when weather conditions are favorable for our superior air forces to go into action and at an hour which will enable authentic news of it to reach us on the afternoon of X minus 1. It can then be spontaneously answered by the giving of the X order at 1400 on X minus 1.
On X minus 2 the Navy, Army and Air Force will merely receive an advance warning. If the Fuehrer intends to follow this plan of action, all further discussion is superfluous. For then no advance measures may be taken before X minus 1 for which there is not an innocent explanation as we shall otherwise appear to have manufactured the incident. orders for absolutely essential advance measures must be given in good time and camouflaged with the help of the numerous maneuvers and exercises. Also, the question raised by the Foreign Office as to whether all Germans should be called back in time from prospective enemy territories must in no way lead to the conspicuous departure from Czechoslovakia of any German subjects before the incident. Even a warning of the diplomatic representatives in Prague is impossible before the first air attack, although the consequences could be very grave in the event of their becoming victims of such an attack (e. g., death of representatives of friendly or confirmed neutral powers.)
If, for technical reasons, the evening hours should be considered desirable for the incident, then the following day cannot be X day, but it must be the day after that. In any case we must act on the principle that nothing must be done before the incident which might point to mobilization, and that the swiftest possible action must be taken after the incident. (X-Fall) It is the purpose of these notes to point out what a great interest the Wehrmacht has in the incident and that it must be informed of the Fuehrer's intentions in good time-in so far as the Abwehr Section is not also charged with the organization of the incident. I request that the Fuehrer's decision be obtained on these points." Note: In handwriting at the bottom of the page are the notes of Schmundt, Hitler's adjutant. These reveal that the memorandum was submitted to Hitler on 30 August, that Hitler agreed to act along these lines, and that Jodl was so notified on 31 August.
Chief of General Staff, General of Artillery Halder, has a conference with the Hungarian Chief of General Staff Fischer. Before that he is briefed by me on the political attitude of the Fuehrer - especially his order not to give any hint on the exact moment. The same with OQI, General v. Stuelpnagel.
September 8, 1938 Jodl's Diary:
General Stulpnagel OQI asks for written assurance that the Army High Command will be informed five days in advance if the plan is to take place. I agree and add that the overall meteorological situation can be estimated to some extent only for two days in advance, and that therefore the plans may be changed up to this moment (D-day-2) (X-2 TAGE). General Stulpnagel mentions that for the first time he wonders whether the previous basis of the plan is not being abandoned. It presupposed that the Western Powers would not interfere decisively. It gradually seems as if the Fuehrer would stick to his decision even though he may no longer be of this opinion. It must be added that Hungary is at least moody and that Italy is reserved.
September 10, 1938:
I must admit that I am worrying too, when comparing the change of opinion about political and military potentialities, according to directives of 24 June, 5 Nov 37, 7 Dec 37, 30 May 38, with the last statements. In spite of that one must be aware of the fact that the other nations will do everything they can to apply pressure to us. We must pass this test of nerves, but because only very few people know the art of withstanding this pressure successfully, the only possible solution is to inform only a very small circle of officers of news that causes us anxiety, and not to have it circulate through anterooms as heretofore. "1800 hours to 2100 hours: Conference with Chief of Army High Command and Chief of General Staff of the Air Force (present were Jeschonnek, Kammhuber, Sternburg and myself). We agree about the promulgation of the D-Day order (X-Befehl), (X-1, 4 o'clock) and pre-announcement to the Air Force (D-Day-1, X-1 day, 7 o'clock). The 'Y time' has yet to be examined; some formations have an approach flight of one hour.
Hitler issues an order bringing the Reichsarbeitsdienst, the German labor service, under the OKW.
1. The whole RAD organization comes under the command of the Supreme Command of the Army effective 15 September. 2. The Chief of OKW decides on the first commitments of this organization in conjunction with the Reichs Labor Leader (Reichsarbeitsfuehrer) and on assignments from time to time to the Supreme Commands of the Navy, Army and Air Force. Where questions arise with regard to competency he will make a final decision in accordance with my instructions. 3. For the time being this order is to be made known only to the departments and personnel immediately concerned.
September 11, 1938 Jodl's Diary:
In the afternoon conference with Secretary of State Jahnke from the Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda on imminent common tasks. The joint preparations for refutation (Wiederlegung) of our own violations of international law, and the exploitation of its violations by the enemy, were considered particularly important.
September 14, 1938 Jodl's Diary:
At noon it was announced that the general order for mobilization had been posted in Czechoslovakia.... This, however, did not take place, although approximately eight age groups were called up at short notice. As the Sudeten Germans are crossing the border en masse, we request at about 1730 hours, at the suggestion of the OKH, Department 2, the calling up of the strengthened frontier guard (GAD) along the Czech border in military districts VIII, IV, XIII, and XVII. The Fuehrer gives his authorization from Munich.
September 15, 1938 Jodl's Diary:
In the morning conference with Chief of Army High Command and Chief of General Staffs of Army and Air Forces; the question was discussed what could be done if the Fuehrer insists on advancement of the date, due to the rapid development of the situation.
September 16, 1938:
From a telegram from the Foreign Office in Berlin to the Legation in Prague:
Tonight 150 subjects of Czechoslovakia of Czech blood were arrested in Germany. This measure is an answer to the arrest of Sudeten Germans since the Fuehrer's speech of 12 September. I request you to ascertain the number of Sudeten-Germans arrested since 12 September as extensively as possible. The number of those arrested there is estimated conservatively at 400 by the Gestapo. Cable report. Woermann.
September 17, 1938:
From a telegram from the Foreign Office in Berlin to the Legation in Prague:
I. Request to inform the local government immediately of the following: The Reich Government has decided that: (a) Immediately as many Czech subjects of Czech descent, Czech-speaking Jews included, will be arrested in Germany as Sudeten Germans have been in Czechoslovakia since the beginning of the week. (b) If any Sudeten Germans should be executed pursuant to a death sentence on the basis of martial law, an equal number of Czechs will be shot in Germany.
September 26, 1938 Jodl's Diary:
It is important that false reports do not induce us to military actions before Prague replies...Chief of the Armed Forces High Command, acting through the Army High Command, has stopped the intended approach march of the advance units to the Czech border, because it is not yet necessary and because the Fuehrer does not intend to march in before the 30th in any case. Order to approach towards the Czech frontier need be given on the 27th only. In the evening of the 26th, fixed radio stations of Breslau, Dresden and Vienna are put at the disposal of the Reich Ministry for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda for interference with possible Czech propaganda transmissions.
September 26, 1938:
Question by Foreign office whether Czechs are to be allowed to leave and cross Germany. Decision from Chief of the Armed Forces High Command: yes. 1515 hours: The Chief of the Armed Forces High Command informs General Stumpf about the result of the Godesberg conversations and about the Fuehrer's opinion. In no case will X day be before the 30th. It is important that we do not permit ourselves to be drawn into military engagements because of false reports, before Prague replied. A question of Stumpf about Y hour results in the reply that on account of the weather situation, a simultaneous intervention of the Air Force and Army cannot be expected. The Army needs the dawn, the Air Force can only start later on account of frequent fogs. The Fuehrer has to make a decision for the commander in chief who is to have priority. The opinion of Stumpf is also that the attack of the Army has to proceed. The Fuehrer has not made any decision as yet about commitment against Prague. 2000 hours: The Fuehrer addresses the people and the world in an important speech at the Sportspalast.
Hitler speaks at the Sportspalast in Berlin:
And now we are confronted with the last problem which must be solved and which will be solved. It is the last territorial claim which I have to make in Europe, but it is a claim from which I will not swerve, and which I will satisfy God willing. I have little to explain. I am grateful to Mr. Chamberlain for all his efforts, and I have assured him that the German people want nothing but peace; but I have also told him that I cannot go back beyond the limits of our patience. I assured him, moreover, and I repeat it here, that when this problem is solved there will be no more territorial problems for Germany in Europe. And I further assured him that from the moment when Czechoslovakia solves its other problems, that is to say when the Czechs have come to an arrangement with their other minorities peacefully and with our oppression, I will no longer be interested in the Czech State. And that as far as I am concerned I will guarantee. We don't want any Czechs at all.
September 27, 1938:
From Conference notes initialed by Jodl:
As a matter of principle, every effort should be made for a coordinated attack by Army and Air Forces on X Day. The Army wishes to attack at dawn, i.e., about 0615. It also wishes to conduct some limited operations in the previous night, which however, would not alarm the entire Czech front. Air Force's time of attack depends on weather conditions. These could change the time of attack and also limit the area of operations. The weather of the last few days, for instance, would have delayed the start until between 0800 and 1100 due to low ceiling in Bavaria... ... Thus it is proposed: Attack by the Army—independent of the attack by the air force—at the time desired by the Army (0615) and permission for limited operations to take place before then, however, only to an extent that will not alarm the entire Czech front. The Luftwaffe will attack at a time most suitable to them.
September 28, 1938 Eine Einzelne Lüge:
Hitler speaks in Berlin:
September 29, 1938 München Konferenz:
...And now we are faced with the final problem that must be solved and will be solved! It is the final territorial demand which I shall make of Europe, but it is the demand which I shall not give up and which with God's help I shall ensure is fulfilled. The history of this problem is this: in 1918, in the spirit of "the right of nations to self-determination" Central Europe was torn apart and reshaped by some insane so-called statesmen. Without regard to the origins of the Peoples, their national aspirations, the economic necessities, Central Europe was fragmented and new states were formed arbitrarily. It is to this process that Czechoslovakia owes its existence. This Czech state began with one single lie...
The Munich Conference concludes.
September 29, 1938 Jodl's Diary:
The Munich Pact is signed, Czechoslovakia as a power is out. Four zones as set forth will be occupied between the 2d and 7th of October. The remaining part of mainly German character will be occupied by the 10th of October. The genius of the Fuehrer and his determination not to shun even a world war have again won the victory without the use of force. The hope remains that the incredulous, the weak, and the doubtful people have been converted and will remain that way.
September 30, 1938:
After it has became clear that the Munich settlement will result in a peaceful occupation of the Sudetenland, Keitel orders that the Free Corps Heinlein in its present composition be placed under command of Himmler:
1. Attachment of Heinlein Free Corps: The Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces has just ordered that the Heinlein Free Corps in its present composition be placed under command of Reichsfuehrer-SS and Chief of German Police. It is therefore at the immediate disposal of OKH as field unit for the invasion, but is to be later drawn in like the rest of the police forces for police duties in agreement with the Reichsfuehrer SS.
October 1, 1938:
From a memorandum of the High Command of the German Armed Forces drawn up in anticipation of the invasion of Czechoslovakia:
Use of prisoners of war and civilians for war work, (construction of roads, digging trenches, making munitions, employment in transport, et cetera)...Captured Czech soldiers or Czech civilians are ordered to construct roads or to load munitions...Article 31 of an agreement signed 27 July 1938 concerning the treatment of prisoners of war forbids their use in tasks directly related to war measures. Compulsion to do such work is in every case contrary to international law. The use of prisoners of war as well as civilians is allowed for road construction but forbidden for the manufacture of munitions...The use of these measures may be based on war needs or on the declaration that the enemy has acted in the same way first.
October 1, 1938:
From a detailed study compiled by Section L, Jodl's section of the OKW, where anticipated violations of International Law in the invasion of Czechoslovakia are listed and counter-propaganda suggested for the use of the propaganda agencies. The first 10 hypothetical incidents:
1. In an air-raid on Prague the British Embassy is destroyed.
October 1, 1938:
2. Englishmen or Frenchmen are injured or killed.
3. The hradschin is destroyed in an air raid on Prague.
4. On account of a report that the Czechs have used gas, the firing of gas projectiles in ordered.
5. Czech civilians, not recognizable as soldiers, are caught in the act of sabotage (destruction of important bridges, destruction of foodstuffs and fodder) are discovered looting wounded or dead soldiers and thereupon shot.
6. Captured Czech soldiers or Czech civilians are detailed to do road work or to load munitions.
7. For military reasons it is necessary to requisition billets, food stuffs and fodder from the Czech population. As a result the latter suffer from want.
8. Czech population is, for military reasons, compulsorily evacuated to the rear area.
9. Churches are used for military accommodation.
10. In the course of their duty, German aircraft fly over Polish territory where they are involved in an air battle with Czech aircraft.
German troops begin the occupation of the Sudetenland.
October 9, 1938:
Hitler speaks in Saarbruecken:
October 14, 1938:
...Inquiries by British statesmen or Parliamentarians concerning the fate of the Reich's subjects inside Germany are out of order. We do not bother about similar things in England. The rest of the world would sometimes have had reason enough to bother about international happenings - happenings in Palestine. We leave this to those who feel themselves pre-ordained by God to solve these problems. And we observe with amazement how they do solve them. We must, however, give these gentlemen advice to attend even more to the solution of their own problems and to leave us in peace. It also is part of the task of securing world peace that responsible statesmen and politicians look after their own affairs and refrain from constantly meddling talk with the problems of other countries and peoples. By such mutual consideration, preconditions are really created for durable peace, of which no one is more earnestly desirous than the German people...
From Top Secret minutes of a conference with Goering in the Air Ministry: The Sudetenland has to be exploited with all the means. General field Marshal Goering counts upon a complete industrial assimilation of the Slovakia. Czechia and Slovakia would become German dominions. Everything possible must be taken out. The Oder-Danube Canal has to be speeded up. Searches for oil and ore have to be conducted in Slovakia, notably by State Secretary Keppler.
October 15, 1938:
German troops complete the occupation of the Sudetenland; the Czech government resigns.
From Keitel's IMT testimony: I believe that recently Reich Marshal Goering enlarged on this question in the course of his examination. It was my impression, as I remember it, that Hitler told me at that time that he did not believe that Czechoslovakia would overcome the loss of the Sudeten-German territories with their strong fortifications; and, moreover, he was concerned about the close relations then existing between Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union and thought that Czechoslovakia could and perhaps would become a military and strategic menace. These were the military reasons which were given to me... ... I was not informed of the last conversation in Munich between the British Prime Minister Chamberlain and the Fuehrer. However, I regarded this question as far as its further treatment was concerned as a political one, and consequently I did not raise any objections, if I may so express myself, especially as a considerable reduction in the military preparations decided on before the Munich meeting was ordered. Whenever the political question was raised, the Fuehrer refused to discuss it.
October 15, 1938:
German troops occupy the Sudetenland; the Czech government resigns.
October 21, 1938:
From a top-secret order signed by Hitler and Keitel:
The future tasks for the Armed Forces and the preparations for the conduct of war resulting from these tasks will be laid down by me in a later directive. Until this directive comes into force the Armed Forces must be prepared at all times for the following eventualities: 1 The securing of the frontiers of Germany and the protection against surprise air attacks. 2 The liquidation of the remainder of Czechoslovakia. 3 The occupation of the Memel. .... Liquidation of the remainder of Czechoslovakia: It must be possible to smash at any time the remainder of Czechoslovakia if her policy should become hostile towards Germany. The preparations to be made by the Armed Forces for this contingency will be considerably smaller in extent than those for Gruen; they must, however, guarantee a continuous and considerably higher state of preparedness, since planned mobilization measures have been dispensed with. The organization, order of battle, and state of readiness of the units earmarked for that purpose are in peacetime to be so arranged for a surprise assault that Czechoslovakia herself will be deprived of all possibility of organized resistance. The object is the swift occupation of Bohemia and Moravia and the cutting off of Slovakia.
November 6, 1938:
The preparations should be such that at the same time 'Grenzsicherung West (the measures of frontier defense in the West) can be carried out. The detailed mission of Army and Air Force is as follows: a. Army: The units stationed in the vicinity of Bohemia-Moravia and several motorized divisions are to be earmarked for a surprise type of attack. Their number will be determined by the forces remaining in Czechoslovakia; a quick and decisive success must be assured. The assembly and preparations for the attack must be worked out. Forces not needed will be kept in readiness in such a manner that they may be either committed in securing the frontiers or sent after the attack army. b. Air Force: The quick advance of the German Army is to be assured by early elimination of the Czech Air Force. For this purpose the commitment in a surprise attack from peacetime bases has to be prepared. Whether for this purpose still stronger forces may be required can be determined from the development of the military-political situation in Czechoslovakia only. At the same time a simultaneous assembly of the remainder of the offensive forces against the West must be prepared.
Hitler speaks in Weimar:
November 12, 1938:
...If today at times in foreign countries Parliamentarians or politicians venture to maintain that Germany has not kept her treaties, then we can give as our answer to these men: the greatest breach of a treaty that ever was practiced on the German people. Every promise which had been made to Germany in the Fourteen Points - those promises on the faith of which Germany had laid down her arms - was afterwards broken. In 1932 Germany was faced with final collapse. The German Reich and people both seemed lost. And then came the German resurrection. It began with a change of faith. While all the German parties before us believed in forces and ideals which lay outside of the German Reich and outside of our people, we National Socialists have resolutely championed belief in our own people, starting from that watchword of eternal validity: God helps only those who are prepared and determined to help themselves...
From a report of a meeting held under Goering's chairmanship: Goering:
...today's meeting is of a decisive nature. I have received a letter written by the chief of staff of the Fuehrer's Deputy, Bormann, on the Fuehrer's orders directing that the Jewish question be now, once and for all, coordinated and solved one way or another..."
November 24, 1938:
Funk: "...I have prepared a law for this case which provides that as from 1 January 1939 Jews shall be prohibited from operating retail stores and mail-order establishments as well as independent workshops. They shall be further prohibited from hiring employees for that purpose or offering any goods on the market. Wherever a Jewish shop is operated, it is to be closed by the police. From 1 January 1939 a Jew can no longer operate a business in the sense of the law for the regulation of national labor of 20 January 1934…
(Fischbock, speaking for Seyss-Inquart:) Your Excellency: In this matter we have already a very complete plan for Austria. There are 12,000 Jewish artisans and 5,000 Jewish retail shops in Vienna. Before the seizure of power we had already a definite plan for tradesmen, regarding this total of 17,000 stores. Of the shops of the 12,000 artisans about 10,000 were to be closed definitely and 2,000 were to be kept open; 4,000 of the 5,000 retail stores should be closed and 1,000 should be kept open, that is, Aryanized. According to this plan, between 3,000 and 3,500 of the total of 17,000 stores would be kept open, all others closed. This was decided following investigations in every single branch and according to local needs, in agreement with all competent authorities, and is ready for publication as soon as we receive the law which we requested in September. This law shall empower us to withdraw licenses from artisans quite independent of the Jewish question. I shall have this decree issued today...Out of 17,000 stores 12,000 or 14,000 would be closed and the remainder Aryanized or handed over to the Bureau of Trustees which is operated by the State.
Goering: I have to say that this proposal is grand. This way the whole affair would be wound up in Vienna, one of the Jewish capitals, so to speak, by Christmas or by the end of the year.
Funk: We can do the same thing over here.
From an appendix issued by Keitel to a previous Hitler Order:
The Fuehrer has ordered that besides the three eventualities mentioned in the previous directive...preparations are also to be made for the surprise occupation by German troops of the Free State of Danzig. For the preparation the following principles are to be borne in mind. The primary assumption is the lightning seizure of Danzig by exploiting a favorable political situation, and not war with Poland. Troops which are going to be used for this purpose must not be held at the same time for the seizure of Memel, so that both operations can take place simultaneously, should such necessity arise.
December 17, 1938:
Keitel issues an appendix to the original order of October 21:
Reference 'Liquidation of the Rest of Czechoslovakia' the Fuehrer has given the following additional order: The preparations for this eventuality are to continue on the assumption that no resistance worth mentioning is to be expected. To the outside world too it must clearly appear that it is merely an action of pacification and not a warlike undertaking. The action must therefore be carried out by the peace time Armed Forces only, without reinforcements from mobilization. The necessary readiness for action, especially the ensuring that the most necessary supplies are brought up, must be effected by adjustment within the units. Similarly the units of the Army detailed for the march must, as a general rule, leave their stations only during the night prior to the crossing of the frontier, and will not previously form up systematically on the frontier. The transport necessary for previous organization should be limited to the minimum and will be camouflaged as much as possible. Necessary movements, if any, of single units and particularly of motorized forces, to the troop-training areas situated near the frontier, must have the approval of the Fuehrer. The Air Force should take action in accordance with the similar general directives. For the same reasons the exercise of executive power by the Supreme Command of the Army is laid down only for the newly occupied territory and only for a short period.
January 7, 1939:
Hitler's new Chancellory is completed in Berlin.
February 10 , 1939:
Pope Pius XI dies.
March 10, 1939:
Goering, Raeder, Brauchitsch and two professional judges convene a Court of Honor to hear the case of the disgraced Wehrmacht Commander General Werner von Fritsch, who is falsely accused of engaging in homosexual activities. During the proceedings, Raeder becomes convinced that Göring had engineered the affair, and is a threat to the Wehrmacht officer corps. The antagonism between the two men will reach a climax in February 1940, when the over-enthusiastic Luftwaffe sinks two of Germany's limited number of destroyers. Goering will try to blame the mishap on the Navy's carelessness and inadequate identification signals. Raeder, livid, will retort that Goering is 'sabotaging naval warfare,' and suggest that the proper action would be 'to arraign the supreme commander of the air force before a court-martial.' Note: Before the day is out, the tribunal will postpone the hearing due to Hitler's desire to devour Czechoslovakia. (Conot)
March 15, 1939:
In defiance of the Munich Pact, the Nazis seize and occupy Bohemia and Moravia. From an account of the conference:
Slovakia was a matter of indifference to him (Hitler). If Slovakia had kept closer to Germany, it would have been an obligation to Germany, but he was glad that he did not have this obligation now. He had no interests whatsoever in the territory east of the Lower Carpathian Mts. Last autumn he had not wanted to draw the final consequences because he had believed that it was possible to live together. But even at that time, and also later in his conversations with Chvalkovsky, he made it clear that he would ruthlessly smash this state if Benes' tendencies were not completely revised. Chvalkovsky understood this and asked the Fuehrer to have patience. The Fuehrer saw this point of view, but the months went by without any change. The new regime did not succeed in eliminating the old one psychologically. He observed this from the press, mouth to mouth propaganda, dismissals of Germans and many other things which, to him, were a symbol of the whole situation. At first he had not understood this but when it became clear to him he drew his conclusions because, had the development continued in this way, the relations with Czechoslovakia would in a few years have become the same as six months ago. Why did Czechoslovakia not immediately reduce its army to a reasonable size? Such an army was a tremendous burden for such a state because it only makes sense if it supports the foreign political mission of the State.
March 15, 1939 Proclamation of the Fuehrer to the German people:
Since Czechoslovakia no longer has a foreign political mission, such an army is meaningless. He enumerates several examples which proved to him that the spirit in the army had not changed. This symptom convinced him that the army would be a severe political burden in the future. Added to this were the inevitable development of economic necessities and, further, the protests from national groups which could no longer endure life as it was. Last Sunday, therefore, for me the die was cast. I summoned the Hungarian envoy and notified him that I was withdrawing my [restraining] hands from that country. We were now confronted with this fact. He had given the order to the German troops to march into Czechoslovakia and to incorporate Czechoslovakia into the German Reich. He wanted to give Czechoslovakia fullest autonomy and a life of her own to a larger extent than she ever had enjoyed during Austrian rule. Germany's attitude towards Czechoslovakia will be determined tomorrow and the day after tomorrow and depends on the attitude of the Czechoslovakian people and the Czechoslovakian military towards the German troops. He no longer trusts the government. He believes in the honesty and straight forwardness of Hacha and Chvalkovsky but doubts that the government will be able to assert itself in the entire nation. The German Army had already started out today, and at one barracks where resistance was offered, it was ruthlessly broken; another barracks had given in at the deployment of heavy artillery.
At 6 o'clock in the morning the German army would invade Czechoslovakia from all sides and the German air force would occupy the Czech airfields. There existed two possibilities. The first one would be that the invasion of the German troops would lead to a battle. In this case the resistance will be broken by all means with physical force. The other possibility is that the invasion of the German troops occurs in bearable form. In that case it would be easy for the Fuehrer to give Czechoslovakia at the new organization of Czech life a generous life of her own, autonomy and a certain national liberty. We witnessed at the moment a great historical turning point. He would not like to torture and de-nationalize the Czechs. He also did not do all that because of hatred but in order to protect Germany. If Czechoslovakia in the fall of last year would not have yielded, the Czech people would have been exterminated. Nobody could have prevented him from doing that. It was his will that the Czech people should live a full national life and he believed firmly that a way could be found which would make far-reaching concessions to the Czech desires. If fighting would break out tomorrow, the pressure would result in counter-pressure. One would annihilate one another and it would then not be possible any more for him to give the promised alleviation’s.
Within two days the Czech army would not exist any more. Of course, Germans would also be killed and this would result in a hatred which would force him because of his instinct of self-preservation not to grant autonomy any more. The world would not move a muscle. He felt pity for the Czech people when he read the foreign press. It gave him the impression expressed in a German proverb: 'The Moor has done his duty, the Moor may go.' That was the state of affairs. There were two courses open to Germany, a harder one which did not want any concessions and wished in memory of the past that Czechoslovakia would be conquered with blood, and another one, the attitude of which corresponded with his proposals stated above. That was the reason why he had asked Hacha to come here. This invitation was the last good deed which he could offer to the Czech people. If it would come to a fight, the bloodshed would also force us to hate. But the visit of Hacha could perhaps prevent the extreme. Perhaps it would contribute to finding a form of construction which would be much more far-reaching for Czechoslovakia than she could ever have hoped for in old Austria. His aim was only to create the necessary security for the German people. The hours went past. At 6 o'clock the troops would march in. He was almost ashamed to say that there was one German division to each Czech battalion. The military action was no small one, but planned with all generosity. He would advise him now to retire with Chvalkovsky in order to discuss what should be done.
To the German People: Only a few months ago Germany was compelled to protect her fellow countrymen, living in well-defined settlements, against the unbearable Czechoslovakian terror regime; and during the last weeks the same thing has happened on an ever-increasing scale. This is bound to create an intolerable state of affairs within an area inhabited by citizens of so many nationalities. These national groups, to counteract the renewed attacks against their freedom and life, have now broken away from the Prague Government. Czechoslovakia has ceased to exist. Since Sunday at many places wild excesses have broken out, amongst the victims of which are again many Germans. Hourly the number of oppressed and persecuted people crying for help is increasing. From areas thickly populated by German-speaking inhabitants, which last autumn Czechoslovakia was allowed by German generosity to retain, refugees robbed of their personal belongings are streaming into the Reich. Continuation of such a state of affairs would lead to the destruction of every vestige of order in an area in which Germany is vitally interested particularly as for over 1,000 years it formed a part of the German Reich. In order definitely to remove this menace to peace and to create the conditions for a necessary new order in this living space, I have today resolved to allow German troops to march into Bohemia and Moravia. They will disarm the terror gangs and the Czechoslovakian forces supporting them, and protect the lives of all who are menaced. Thus they will lay the foundations for introducing a fundamental re-ordering of affairs which will be in accordance with the 1,000-year-old history and will satisfy the practical needs of the German and Czech peoples.
March 16, 1939:
From the Decree of the Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor on the Establishment of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia:
For the purpose of making effective the protection undertaken by the German Reich, the German Armed Forces shall have the right at all times to construct military installations and to keep them garrisoned in the strength they deem necessary in an area delimited on its western side by the frontiers of the State of Slovakia, and on its eastern side by a line formed by the eastern rims of the Lower Carpathians, the White Carpathians, and the Javornik Mountains. The Government of Slovakia will take the necessary steps to assure that the land required for these installations shall be conveyed to the German Armed Forces. Furthermore, the Government of Slovakia will agree to grant exemption from custom duties for imports from the Reich for the maintenance of the German troops and the supply of military installations.
March 17, 1939:
A statement by Acting US Secretary of State Welles:
The Government of the United States has on frequent occasions stated its conviction that only through international support of a program of order based upon law can world peace be assured. This Government, founded upon and dedicated to the principles of human liberty and of democracy, cannot refrain from making known this country's condemnation of the acts which have resulted in the temporary extermination of the liberties of a free and independent people with whom, from the day when the Republic of Czechoslovakia attained its independence, the people of the United States have maintained specially close and friendly relations. The position of the Government of the United States has been made consistently clear. It has emphasized the need for respect for the sanctity of treaties and of the pledged word, and for non-intervention by any nation in the domestic affairs of other nations; and it has on repeated occasions expressed its condemnation of a policy of military aggression. It is manifest that acts of wanton lawlessness and of arbitrary force are threatening the world peace and the very structure of modern civilization. The imperative need for the observance of the principles advocated by this Government has been clearly demonstrated by the developments which have taken place during the past 3 days.
March 18, 1939:
Baron von Fritsch is acquitted of all charges.
March 20, 1939:
In response to the occupation of Bohemia and Moravia, FDR recalls the US ambassador to Berlin.
March 23, 1939:
The German government guarantees Lithuanian independence and integrity while the Lithuanians acquiesce to the peaceful transfer of Memel back to Germany. Also: Hitler issues strong demands to the Polish government for the annexation of Danzig and Posen.
April 1, 1939 Kastanien:
Hitler speaks in Wilhelmshaven:
April 7, 1939:
...When the Allies, without regard or purpose, right, tradition, or even reasonableness, changed the map of Europe, we had not the power to prevent it. If, however, they expect the Germany of today to sit patiently by until the very last day when this same result would again be repeated - while they create satellite States and set them against Germany - then they are mistaking the Germany of today for the Germany of before the war. He who declares himself ready to pull the chestnuts out of the fire for these powers must realize he burns his fingers. Really, we feel no hatred against the Czech people. We have lived together for years. The English statesmen do not know this. They have no idea that Hradcany castle was not built by an Englishman but by a German and that the St. Vitus Cathedral likewise was not erected by Englishmen but that German hands did it...
Italian troops gain an immediate land border with Greece when they occupy Albania this day.
April 15, 1939:
From notes of a conference between Goering, Mussolini, and Ciano: Goering:
However, the heavy armament of Czechoslovakia shows, in any case, how dangerous this country could have been, even after Munich, in the event of a serious conflict. Because of Germany's action the situation of both Axis countries was ameliorated, among other reasons because of the economic possibilities which result from the transfer to Germany of the great production capacity (armament potential) of Czechoslovakia. That contributes toward a considerable strengthening of the axis against the Western powers. Furthermore, Germany now need not keep ready a single division for protection against that country in case of a bigger conflict. This, too, is an advantage by which both axis countries will, in the last analysis, benefit. .... ...the action taken by Germany in Czechoslovakia is to be viewed as an advantage for the axis in case Poland should finally join the enemies of the axis powers. Germany could then attack this country from 2 flanks and would be within only 25 minutes flying distance from the new polish industrial center which had been moved further into the interior of the country, nearer to the other Polish industrial districts, because of its proximity to the border. Now by the turn of events it is located again in the proximity of the border.
May 8, 1939:
Mauthausen-Gusen camp, a prison camp for common criminals, prostitutes and other categories of 'Incorrigible Law Offenders,' is converted to a labor camp which will be mainly used for the incarceration of political prisoners. The prisoners will be marched daily to the stone-quarries at Gusen. Note: Many of the Nazi concentration camps were located near quarries or gravel pits so that prison labor could be used for the production of building materials for Hitler and Speers' many building projects.
May 15, 1940:
The first RAF raid on the interior of Germany occurs.
May 22, 1939:
Italy signs the 'Pact of Steel' with Hitler's Germany.
May 23, 1939:
A conference is held in the Fuehrer's study, with Hitler speaking and Goering, Raeder, Brauchitsch, Keitel, Milch, Halder, and others attending. A summary
May 24, 1939:
General Thomas gives the Fuehrer an update in broad terms of German numerical strength: Army: 51 divisions. Navy: 2 battleships, 4 heavy cruisers, 17 destroyers, one aircraft carrier 47 submarines. Luftwaffe: 21 squadrons, 260,000 men.
May 8, 1939:
Mauthausen-Gusen camp, a prison camp for common criminals, prostitutes and other categories of 'Incorrigible Law Offenders,' is converted to a labor camp which will be mainly used for the incarceration of political prisoners. The prisoners will be marched daily to the stone-quarries at Gusen.
May 22, 1939:
Hitler signs the 'Pact of Steel' with Italy.May 23, 1939
: Hitler tells Goering and Raeder:
If fate forces us to have a conflict in the West, it will be good to have a large territory in the East. During a war we will be able to count on record harvests even less than in peacetime. The inhabitants of non-German territories do no service under arms and are available for labor purposes. (Heydecker)
May 24, 1939:
General Thomas gives the Fuehrer an update in broad terms of German numerical strength: Army: 51 divisions. Navy: 2 battleships, 4 heavy cruisers, 17 destroyers, one aircraft carrier, and 47 submarines. Luftwaffe: 21 squadrons, 260,000 men.
May 28, 1939:
Sir N. Henderson to Viscount Halifax, Berlin:
My Lord: I paid a short visit to Field Marshal Goering at Karinhall yesterday...Field Marshal Goering, who had obviously just been talking to someone else on the subject, began by inveighing against the attitude which was being adopted in England towards everything German and, particularly, in respect of the gold held there on behalf of the National Bank of Czechoslovakia. Before, however, I had time to reply, he was called to the telephone and on his return did not revert to this specific question. He complained, instead, of British hostility in general, of our political and economic encirclement of Germany and the activities of what he described as the war party in England...
July 27, 1939:
I told the Field Marshal that before speaking of British hostility, he must understand why the undoubted change of feeling towards Germany in England had taken place. As he knew quite well, the basis of all the discussions between Mr. Chamberlain and Herr Hitler last year had been to the effect that, once the Sudeten were allowed to enter the Reich, Germany would leave the Czechs alone and would do nothing to interfere with their independence. Herr Hitler had given a definite assurance to that effect in his letter to the Prime Minister of the 27th September. By yielding to the advice of his 'wild men' and deliberately annexing Bohemia and Moravia, Herr Hitler had not only broken his word to Mr. Chamberlain but had infringed the whole principle of self determination on which the Munich Agreement rested.
At this point, the Field Marshal interrupted me with a description of President Hacha's visit to Berlin. I told Field Marshal Goering that it was not possible to talk of free will when I understood that he himself had threatened to bombard Prague with his airplanes, if Doctor Hacha refused to sign. The Field Marshal did not deny the fact but explained how the point had arisen. According to him, Doctor Hacha had from the first been prepared to sign everything but had said that constitutionally he could not do so without reference first to Prague. After considerable difficulty, telephonic communication with Prague was obtained and the Czech Government had agreed, while adding that they could not guarantee that one Czech battalion at least would not fire on German troops. It was, he said, only at that stage that he had warned Doctor Hacha that, if German lives were lost, he would bombard Prague. The Field Marshal also repeated, in reply to some comment of mine, the story that the advance occupation of Vitkovice had been effected solely in order to forestall the Poles who, he said, were known to have the intention of seizing this valuable area at the first opportunity.
From minutes of a conference in Berlin between Goering and a group of officials from the OKW and from other agencies of the German government concerned with war production:
1. In a rather long statement the Field Marshal explained that the incorporation of Bohemia and Moravia into the German economy had taken place, among other reasons, to increase the German war potential by exploitation of the industry there. Letters, such as the decree of the Reich Minister for Economics S 10 402/39 of 10 July 39 as well as a letter with similar meaning to the JUNKERS firm, which might possibly lower the kind and extent of the armament measures in the Protectorate, are contrary to this principle. If it is necessary to issue such directives, this should be done only with his consent. In any case, he insists, in agreement with the directive by Hitler, that the war potential of the Protectorate is definitely to be exploited in part or in full and is to be directed towards mobilization as soon as possible.
July 31, 1939:
An agreement between the military and the SS concerning the task of the Einsatzgruppen (EG) in Poland is defined this day as the 'combating of all anti-German elements in hostile country behind the troops in combat.'
July 29, 1940:
General Halder, Chief of Staff of the German Army, records in his diary remarks that were made by Hitler during a military conference: "Russia is the factor by which England sets the greatest store...If Russia is beaten, England's last hope is gone...Decision: As a result...Russia must be dealt with. Spring 1941." (Baldwin)
August 1, 1940:
Hitler gives Goering the go-ahead for Operation Eagle, the Luftwaffe bombing campaign against Britain. Raeder reports to Hitler that the earliest possible date for an invasion of Britain is September 15. (Read)
August 14, 1939:
Hitler orders his service chiefs to make plans for an attack on Poland in the very near future.
August 22, 1939:
Meeting in Obersalzburg, Hitler tells his generals that the destruction of Poland "starts on Saturday morning" (26 August), the aim of this war is the wholesale destruction of Poland. Hitler proclaims to the commanders of the armed services: "Our strength is in our quickness and our brutality. Genghis Khan had millions of women and children killed by his own will and with a gay heart. History sees him only as a great state builder... Thus for the time being I have sent to the East only my "Death's Head Units" with the order to kill without pity or mercy all men, women, and children of Polish race or language. Only in such a way will we win the vital space that we need. Who still talks nowadays of the extermination of the Armenians?"
August 23, 1939:
The German-Soviet Non-aggression Pact is signed in Moscow. It is sometimes called the Ribbentrop-Molotov Agreement of Non-aggression, or simply the 'Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact.'
August 23, 1939:
Secret Additional Protocol of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact:
On the occasion of the signature of the Non-aggression Pact between the German Reich and the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics the undersigned plenipotentiaries of each of the two parties discussed in strictly confidential conversations the question of the boundary of their respective spheres of influence in Eastern Europe. These conversations led to the following conclusions: 1. In the event of a territorial and political rearrangement in the areas belonging to the Baltic States (Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania), the northern boundary of Lithuania shall represent the boundary of the spheres of influence of Germany and the USSR. In this connection the interest of Lithuania in the Vilna area is recognized by each party. 2. In the event of a territorial and political rearrangement of the areas belonging to the Polish state the spheres of influence of Germany and the USSR shall be bounded approximately by the line of the rivers Narew, Vistula, and San. The question of whether the interests of both parties make desirable the maintenance of an independent Polish state and how such a state should be bounded can only be definitely determined in the course of further political developments. In any event both Governments will resolve this question by means of a friendly agreement. 3. With regard to Southeastern Europe attention is called by the Soviet side to its interest in Bessarabia. The German side declares; its complete political disinterestedness in these areas. This protocol shall be treated by both parties as strictly secret."
August 23, 1939:
Hitler is delighted with the pact, and believes Stalin has just handed him the perfect opportunity to restore the Reich's "rightful possessions" without having to fight a war on two fronts. He is certain that this new treaty with the Russians will allow him to safely reclaim Danzig and take back the Polish Corridor; so certain that he tells his staff that Britain and France, without other major allies, will not go to war in such a situation... "especially over what everyone knows are, by all rights, German territories anyway." Hitler addresses his Commanders-in-Chief: The English empire did not emerge from the last war strengthened. From a maritime point of view, nothing was achieved; conflict between England and Ireland, the South African Union became more independent, concessions had to be made to India, England is in great danger, unhealthy industries. A British statesman can look into the future only with concern.
August 23, 1939:
Hitler sets the date for the invasion of Poland: Saturday, August 26, at 4:30am.
August 24, 1939:
Poland and Great Britain formally sign a treaty of mutual assistance. The British Parliament reconvenes and passes the Emergency Powers Act. Royal Assent is given on the same day and the Royal Navy is ordered to war stations. Soon afterward a general mobilization begins. Hitler predicts that the Chamberlain government will fall. President Roosevelt telegrams the President of Poland:
August 25, 1939:
...It is, I think, well known to you that, speaking on behalf of the United States, I have exerted, and will continue to exert, every influence on behalf of peace. The rank and file of the population of every nation-large and small-want peace. They do not seek military conquest. They recognize that disputes, claims and counter-claims will always arise from time to time between nations, but that all such controversies, without exception, can be solved by a peaceful procedure, if the will on both sides exists so to do...
Hitler writes to Mussolini, informing him of his intent to fall upon Poland and requesting his assistance:
...I have not kept you informed in detail, Duce, since I did not have an idea of the possible extent of these (German-Russian) conversations, or any assurance of the possibility of their success. The readiness on the part of the Kremlin to arrive at a reorientation of its relations with Germany, which became apparent after the departure of Litvinov, has become ever stronger in the last few weeks and has made it possible for me, after successful preparation, to send my Foreign Minister to Moscow for the conclusion of a treaty which is the most extensive non-aggression pact in existence and whose text will be made public. The pact is unconditional and includes also the obligation for consultation about all questions affecting Russia and Germany. I may tell you, Duce, that through these arrangements the favorable attitude of Russia in case of any conflict is assured, and that the possibility of the entry of Rumania into such a conflict no longer exists...
August 25, 1939:
Mussolini replies to Hitler's letter (above):
...Concerning the agreement with Russia, I approve of that completely...As for the practical position of Italy, in case of a military collision, my point of view is as follows: If Germany attacks Poland and the conflict remains localized, Italy will afford Germany every form of political and economic assistance which is requested. If Germany attacks, and Poland's allies open a counterattack against Germany, I want to let you know in advance that it would be better if I did not take the initiative in military activities in view of the present situation of Italian war preparations, which we have repeatedly previously explained to you, Fuehrer, and to Herr von Ribbentrop. Our intervention can, therefore, take place at once if Germany delivers to us immediately the military supplies and the raw materials to resist the attack which the French and English especially would direct against us.
August 25, 1939 Vollkommen Klar:
At our meetings the war was envisaged for after 1942 and at such time I would have been ready on land, on sea, and in the air according to the plans which had been arranged. I am also of the opinion that the purely military preparations which have already been undertaken and the others which will be entered upon in Europe and Africa will serve to immobilize important French and British forces. I consider it my implicit duty as a true friend to tell you the whole truth and inform you about the actual situation in advance. Not to do so might have unpleasant consequences for us all. This is my point of view and since within a short time I must summon the highest governmental bodies of the realm, I ask you to let me know yours as well...
After reading Mussolini's reply, Hitler cancels his invasion of Poland scheduled for 4:30 AM the following morning.
August 25, 1939:
President Roosevelt once again appeals to Hitler for peace.
August 25, 1940:
...Countless human lives can yet be saved and hope may still be restored that the nations of the modern world may even now construct the foundation for a peaceful and happier relationship, if you and the Government of the German Reich will agree to the pacific means of settlement accepted by the Government of Poland. All the world prays that Germany, too, will accept...
The first RAF raid on Berlin takes place, but the damage is slight.
August 27, 1939:
Jodl assumes the office and the tasks of Chief of the General Staff.
From Jodl's testimony before the IMT: I found a completely incomprehensible state of affairs in Berlin - at least it was incomprehensible to me. Nobody knew what was really true or what was bluff. The pact with Russia sustained all our hopes for the preservation of peace, hopes which were immensely increased and strengthened by the surprise cancellation of the attack ordered for 26 August. None of the soldiers to whom I spoke expected a war with the Western Powers at that time. Nothing had been prepared except the operations for the attack on Poland. There was only a defensive deployment of troops on the West Wall. The forces stationed there were so weak that we could not even man all the pillboxes. The actual efforts for the preservation of peace, however, efforts I have heard about here from the Reich Marshal, the name of Dahlerus all these negotiations remained unknown to me insofar as they were not published in the press. But there is one thing I can say in conclusion. When the declaration of war was received from England and France it was like a blow from a cudgel for us soldiers who had fought in the first World War. And I heard in confidence from General Stapf-today the matter is no longer confidential-that the Reich Marshal reacted in exactly the same way...I only know that at the moment when I arrived in Berlin and was being informed by General Von Stulpnagel for the very first time about the situation and our own strength, a Polish deployment was already in progress along the frontier, as well as the German one...Not by a single stroke of the pen did I participate in the preparations for the Polish war.
August 30, 1939:
Unofficial peace envoy Birger Dahlerus continues his shuttle diplomacy:
...I met Goering shortly after midnight on Wednesday, and he told me the nature of the proposals made to Poland. He showed me the note. I called up Forbes to give him this information. He then told me that Ribbentrop had refused to give him the note, after he had read it through very quickly. I went to Goering immediately and told him it was impossible to treat the ambassador of an empire like Great Britain in this way...
August 30, 1939:
Hitler agrees to Britain's request for a 24-hour extension to permit a Polish negotiator to meet with von Ribbentrop.
August 31, 1939:
The British fleet mobilizes; Civilian evacuations begin from London.
August 31, 1939:
At half past noon, Hitler issues a Directive for the conduct of the war:
1. Now that all the political possibilities of disposing by peaceful means of a situation which is intolerable for Germany are exhausted, I have determined on a solution by force. 2. The attack on Poland is to be carried out. Date of attack: September 1, 1939. Time of attack: 4:45 AM.
August 31, 1939:
SS Sturmbannfuehrer Alfred Helmut Naujocks receives the code words "Grandmama dead," thus ending a 14 day wait at the German radio station at Gleiwitz, where he and Gestapo head Heinrich Mueller are to carry out a mock attack. The "canned goods:" a dozen "condemned criminals" dressed in Polish military uniforms and given fatal injections before being shot. Note: See Alfred Naujocks, sworn affidavit, Nuremberg, November 20, 1945, the only documentary evidence for this item. Shortly after signing his affidavit, Naujocks mysteriously disappears from custody.
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