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   Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, Volume II, Chapter XVI

                                                  [Page 493]
The effect of these documents is, that it was made clear to
the Italian Government that the German Government was going
to move against Czechoslovakia.

The other interested country was Hungary, for Hungary had
certain territorial desires with regard to parts of the
Czechoslovakian Republic. Accordingly on 23 and 25 August
Ribbentrop as present at the discussions and had discussions
himself with the Hungarian politicians Imredi and Kanya
(2796-PS; 2797-PS). These documents indicate that Ribbentrop
endeavored to the assurances of Hungarian help, and that the
Hungarian Government at the time was not too ready to commit
itself to action, although it was ready enough with

Contacts had been established with the Sudeten Germans, for
heirs was the long-term grievance that had to be exploited.
But the next stage was to have a short-term grievance and to
stir up trouble, preferably at the fountainhead. Therefore,
between 16 and 24 September, the German Foreign Office, of
which Ribbentrop was the head, was engaged in stirring up
trouble in Prague (2858-PS; 2855-PS; 2854-PS; 2853-PS; and
2856-PS). An example of the type of these activities is the
communication of 19 September from the Foreign Office to the
German Embassy in Prague (2858-PS):

     "Please inform Deputy Kundt at Konrad Henlein's
     request, to get in touch with the Slovaks at once and
     induce them to start their demands for autonomy
     tomorrow." (2858-PS)

Another of these documents deals with questions of arrest
and action to be taken against any Czechs in Germany in
order to make the position more difficult (2855-PS).

That was the contribution which Ribbentrop made to the pre-
Munich crisis, which culminated in the Munich agreement of
29 September 1938

A significant aspect of Nazi plotting with regard to
Czechoslovakia, which shows the sort of action and advice
which the Wehrmacht expected from the Foreign Office, is
contained in a long document putting forward an almost
infinite variety of breaches of International Law, which
were likely to arise or might have arisen from the action in
regard to Czechoslovakia (C-2). On all these points the
opinion of the Foreign Office was sought, with a view to
explanation and justification. That, of course, remained a
hypothetical question because at that time no war resulted.

The second stage of the acquisition of Czechoslovakia
occurred when, having obtained the Sudetenland, the Nazis
arranged a crisis in Czechoslovakia which would be an excuse
for taking the

                                                  [Page 494]

rest. This action is important as constituting the first
time that the German Government disregarded its own
commitment that its desires did not go beyond the return of
German blood to the Reich. On that point, again, Ribbentrop
was active. On 13 March, as events were moving to a climax,
he sent a telegram to the German Minister in Prague, his
subordinate, telling him to

     "make a point of not being available if the Czech
     Government wants to get in touch with you in the next
     few days." (2815-PS).

At the same time Ribbentrop attended a conference in Berlin
with Hitler and a delegation of pro-Nazi Slovaks. Tiso, one
of the heads of the pro-Nazi Slovaks, was directed to
declare an independent Slovak State in order to assist in
the disintegration of Czechoslovakia (2802-PS). A previous
meeting along the same lines had been held a month before
(2790-PS). Thus, Ribbentrop was assisting in the task,
again, of fomenting internal trouble.

On 14 March 1939, the following day, Hacha, the President of
Czechoslovakia, was called to Berlin. Ribbentrop was at this
meeting, at which pressure and threats were used to obtain
the aged President's consent to hand over the Czechoslovak
State to Hitler (2798-PS; 3061-PS).

That was the end of the Czech part of Czechoslovakia. The
following week Ribbentrop signed a treaty with Slovakia,
Article II of which granted the German Government the right
to construct military posts and installations, and to keep
them garrisoned within Slovakia (1439-PS). Thus, after
swallowing Bohemia and Moravia as an independent state,
Ribbentrop obtained military control over Slovakia.

(3) Lithuania. An interesting point concerning the Northern
Baltic shows how difficult it was for Ribbentrop to keep his
hands out of the internal affairs of other countries, even
when it did not seem a very important matter. On 3 April
1939 Germany had occupied the Memeland (TC-5-A). It would
have appeared, as far as the Baltic States were concerned,
that the position was satisfactory to the Nazis but in fact
Ribbentrop was acting in close concert with Heydrich, in
stirring up trouble in Lithuania with a group of pro-Nazi
people called the Woldemaras Supporters (2953-PS; 2952-PS).
Heydrich was passing to Ribbentrop a request for financial
support for this group:

     "Dear Party Comrade v. Ribbentrop,
     "Enclosed please find a further report about the
     'Woldemaras Supporters.' As already mentioned in the
     previous report, the 'Woldemaras Supporters' are still
     asking for help
                                                  [Page 495]
     from the Reich. I therefore ask you to examine the
     question of financial support, brought up again by the
     'Woldemaras Supporters' set forth on page 4, para 2 of
     the enclosed report and to make a definite decision.
     "The request of the 'Woldemaras Supporters' for
     financial support could, in my opinion, be granted.
     Deliveries of arms should not, however, be made, under
     any circumstances." (2953-PS)

At the end of a fuller report on the same matter (2952-PS)
there is added in handwriting,

     "I support small regular payments, e.g. 2,000 to 3,000
     marks quarterly." (2952-PS).

It is signed "W", who was the Secretary of State. Such was
the extraordinary interference, even with comparatively
unimportant countries.

(4) Poland. In the aggression against Poland, there were
several periods. The first was what might be called the
Munich period, up to the end of September 1938, and at that
time no language the Nazis could use was too good for
Poland. Examples of German assurances and reassurances to
Poland during this period are Hitler's Reichstag speech on
20 February 1938 (2357-PS), the secret Foreign Office
memorandum of 26 August 1938 (TC-76), and the conversation
between M. Lipski, the Polish ambassador, and Ribbentrop (TC-
73, No. 40). A final illustration of this technique is
Hitler's speech at the Sportzpalast on 26 September 1938, in
which he said that this was the end of his territorial
problems in Europe and expressed an almost violent affection
for the Poles (TC-7, No. 42).

The next stage occupied the period between Munich and the
rape of Prague. With part of the German plan for
Czechoslovakia having been accomplished and parts still
remaining to be done, there was a slight change towards
Poland but still a friendly atmosphere. In a conversation
with M. Lipski, the Polish Ambassador to Berlin, on 24
October 1938, Ribbentrop put forward very peaceful
suggestions for the settlement of the Danzig issue (TC-73,
No. 44). The Polish reply, of 10/31/1938, stated that it was
unacceptable that Danzig should return to the Reich, but
made suggestions of a bilateral agreement (TC-73, No. 45).
Between these dates the German Government had made its
preparations to occupy Danzig by surprise (C-137).

But although these preparations were made, still some two
months later, on 5 January 1939, Hitler was suggesting to M.

                                                  [Page 496]
Beck, the Polish Foreign Minister, a new solution (TC-73,
No. 8).

Ribbentrop saw M. Beck on the next day and said that there
was to be no violent solution of the Danzig issue, but a
further building up of friendly relations (TC-73, No. 49).
Not content with that, Ribbentrop went to Warsaw on 25
January to talk of the continued progress and consolidation
of friendly relations (2530-PS), That was capped by Hitler's
Reichstag speech on 30 January 1939, in the same tone (TC-
73, No. 57). That was the second stage -- the mention of
Danzig in honeyed words, because the rape of Prague had not
yet been attained.

Then, in the meeting at the Reichschancellery on 23 May
1939, Hitler made it quite clear, and so stated, that Danzig
had nothing to do with the real Polish question (L-79). "I
have to deal with Poland because I want lebensraum in the
East" -- that is the effect of Hitler's words at that time:
that Danzig was merely an excuse.

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