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   Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, Volume II, Chapter XVI

                                                  [Page 496]

The extent to which Ribbentrop had adopted this attitude of
mind of Hitler at this time is shown in the introduction to-
Count Ciano's Diary (2987-PS):

     "In the Summer of 1939 Germany advanced her claim
     against Poland, naturally without our knowledge;
     indeed, Ribbentrop had several times denied to our
     Ambassador that Germany had any intentions of carrying
     the controversy to extremes. Despite these denials I
     remained in doubt; I wanted to make sure for myself,
     and on August 11th I went to Salzburg. It was in his
     residence at Fuschl that Ribbentrop informed me, while
     we were waiting to sit down at the table, of the
     decision to start the fireworks, just as he might have
     told me about the most unimportant and commonplace
     administrative matter. 'Well, Ribbentrop,' I asked him,
     while we were walking in the garden, 'What do you want
     ? The Corridor, or Danzig ?' 'Not any more', and he
     stared at me through those cold Musee Grevin eyes, 'We
     want war.' " (2987-PS).

That extraordinary declaration closely corroborates Hitler's
statement at his Chancellery conference on 23 May -- that it
was no longer a question of Danzig or the Corridor, but a
question of war to achieve lebensraum in the East (L-79).

It should be recalled in this connection that "Fall Weiss",
the plan for operations against Poland, is dated 3 and 11
April 1939, thus showing that preparations were already in
hand (C-120). Another entry in Count Ciano's Diary during
the summer of 1939 makes this point quite clear:

     "I have collected in the conference records verbal
                                                  [Page 497]
     of my conversations with Ribbentrop and Hitler. I shall
     only note some impressions of a general nature.
     Ribbentrop is evasive every time I ask him for
     particulars-of the forthcoming German action. He has a
     guilty conscience. He has lied too many times about
     German intentions toward Poland not to feel
     embarrassment now over what he must tell me and what he
     is preparing to do.
     "The will to fight is unalterable. He rejects any
     solution which might satisfy Germany and prevent the
     struggle. I am certain that even if the Germans were
     given everything they demanded, they would attack just
     the same, because 'they are possessed by the demon of
     "Our conversation sometimes takes a dramatic turn. I do
     not hesitate to speak my mind in the most brutal
     manner. But this doesn't shake him in the least. I
     realize how little weight this view carries in German
     "The atmosphere is icy. And the cold feeling between us
     is reflected in our followers. During dinner we do not
     exchange a word. We distrust each other. But I at least
     have a clear conscience. He has not." (2987-PS)

The next stage in the German plan consisted of sharp
pressure over the claim for Danzig, commencing immediately
after Czechoslovakia had been formally dealt with on 15
March 1939. The first sharp raising of the claim was on 21
March (TC-73, No. 61)

An interesting sidelight during the last days before the war
concerns the return of Herr von Dirksen, the German
Ambassador to the Court of St. James, to Berlin on 18 August
1939. When interrogated (after capture) regarding the
significance of this event Ribbentrop expressed a complete
absence of recollection ever having seen the German
Ambassador to England after his return. Ribbentrop thought
he would have remembered him if he had seen him, and
therefore he accepted the probability that he did not see
him (D-490). Thus when it was well known that war with
Poland would involve England and France, either Ribbentrop
was not sufficiently interested in opinion in London to take
the trouble to see his ambassador, or else, as he rather
suggests, he had appointed so weak and ordinary a career
diplomat to London that his opinion was not taken into
account, either by himself or by Hitler. In either case,
Ribbentrop was completely uninterested in anything which his
Ambassador might have to tell him as to opinion in London or
the possibility of war. It is putting the matter with great
moderation to say that in the last days

                                                  [Page 498]
before 1 September 1939, Ribbentrop did whatever he could to
avoid peace with Poland and to avoid anything which might
hinder the encouraging of the war which he and the Nazis
wanted. He did that, well knowing that war with Poland would
involve Great Britain and France. (See also Section 8 of
Chapter IX on Aggression Against Poland.)
[Transcription note:

M. Lipski, the Polish Ambassador at Berlin, summarized all
these events leading up to the war in his report of 10
October 1939 (TC-73, No. 147).

(6) Norway and Denmark. On 31 May 1939, Ribbentrop, on
behalf of Germany, signed a non-aggression pact with Denmark
which provided that:

     "The German Reich and the Kingdom of Denmark will under
     no circumstances go to war or employ force of any other
     kind against one another." (TC-24)

And on 7 April 1940 the German armed forces invaded Denmark
at the same time they invaded Norway.

Ribbentrop was fully involved in the earlier preparations
for the aggression against Norway. Along with Rosenberg,
Ribbentrop assisted Quisling in his early activities. A
letter from Rosenberg to Ribbentrop on 24 February states:

     "Dear Party Comrade von Ribbentrop:
     "Party Comrade Scheidt has returned and has made a
     detailed report to Privy Councillor von Gruendherr who
     will address you on this subject. We agreed the other
     day that 2-300,000 RM would be made immediately
     available for the said purpose. Now it turns out that
     Privy Councillor Gruendherr states that the second
     instalment can be made available only after eight days.
     But as it is necessary for Scheidt to go back
     immediately, I request you to make it possible that
     this second instalment is given to him at once. With a
     longer absence of Reichsamtsleiter P. M. Scheidt-also
     the connection with your representatives would be
     broken up, which just now, under certain circumstances,
     could be very unfavorable. "Therefore I trust that it
     is in everybody's interest, if P. M. Scheidt goes back
     immediately." (957-PS)

In a report to Hitler on the Quisling activities, Rosenberg
outlined Ribbentrop's part in the preparation of the
Norwegian operation:

     "*** Apart from financial support which was forthcoming
     from the Reich in currency, Quisling had also been
     promised a shipment of material for immediate use in
     Norway, such as coal and sugar. Additional help was
     promised, These ship-
                                                  [Page 499]
     ments were to be conducted under cover of a new trade
     company, to be established in Germany or through
     especially selected existing firms, while Hagelin was
     to act as consignee in Norway. Hagelin had already
     conferred with the respective Ministers of the
     Nygardsvold Government, as for instance, the Minister
     of Supply and Commerce, and had been assured permission
     for the import of coal. At the same time, the coal
     transports were to serve possibly to supply the
     technical means necessary to launch Quisling's
     political action in Oslo with German help. It was
     Quisling's plan to send a number of selected,
     particularly reliable men to Germany for a brief
     military training course in a completely isolated camp.
     They were then to be detailed as area and language
     specialists to German Special Troops, who were to be
     taken to Oslo on the coal barges to accomplish a
     political action. Thus Quisling planned to get hold of
     his leading opponents in Norway, including the King,
     and to prevent all military resistance from the very
     beginning. Immediately following this political action
     and upon official request of Quisling to the Government
     of the German Reich, the military occupation of Norway
     was to take place. All military preparations were to be
     completed previously. Though this plan contained the
     great advantage of surprise, it also contained a great
     number of dangers which could possibly cause its
     failure. For this reason it received a quite dilatory
     treatment, while at the same time, it was not
     disapproved as far as the Norwegians were concerned.

     "In February, after a conference with General Field
     Marshal Goering, Reichsleiter Rosenberg informed the
     Secretary in the Office of the Four Year Plan, only of
     the intention to prepare coal shipments to Norway to
     the named confidant Hagelin. Further details were
     discussed in a conference between Secretary Wohlthat,
     Staff Director Schickedanz, and Hagelin. Since Wohlthat
     received no further instructions from the General Field
     Marshal, Foreign Minister von Ribbentrop -- after a
     consultation with Reichsleiter Rosenberg -- consented
     to expedite these shipments through his office. Based
     on a report of Reichsleiter Rosenberg to the Fuehrer it
     was also arranged to pay Quisling ten thousand English
     pounds per month for three months, commencing on the 1
     of March, to support his work". (004-PS)

This sum was paid through Scheidt.

In a letter to Ribbentrop dated 3 April 1940, Keitel wrote:

                                                  [Page 500]

     "Dear Herr von Ribbentrop:
     "The military occupation of Denmark and Norway has
     been, by command of the Fuehrer, long in preparation by
     the High Command of the Wehrmacht. The High Command of
     the Wehrmacht has therefore had ample time to occupy
     itself with all the questions connected with the
     carrying out of this operation. The time at your
     disposal for the political preparation of this
     operation, is on the contrary, very much shorter. I
     believe myself therefore to be acting in accordance
     with your own ideas in transmitting to you herewith,
     not only these wishes of the Wehrmacht which would have
     to be fulfilled by the Governments in Oslo, Copenhagen
     and Stockholm for purely military reasons, but also if
     I include a series of requests which certainly concern
     the Wehrmacht only indirectly but which are, however,
     of the greatest importance for the fulfillment of its
     task ***." (D-629)

Keitel then proceeds to ask that the Foreign Office get in
touch with certain commanders. The important point is
Keitel's clear admission to Ribbentrop that the military
occupation of Denmark and Norway had been long in
preparation. It is interesting to connect this letter with
the official Biography of Ribbentrop, in the Archives, which
makes a point of mentioning the invasion of Norway and
Denmark (D-472):

     "With the occupation of Denmark and Norway on 9 April
     1940, only a few hours before the landing of British
     troops in these territories, the battle began against
     the Western Powers." (D-472)

It is clear that whoever else had knowledge or whoever else
was ignorant, Ribbentrop had been thoroughly involved in the
Quisling plottings and knew at least a week before the
invasion started that the Wehrmacht and Keitel had been long
in preparation for this act of aggression. (See also Section
9 of Chapter IX on Aggression against Norway and Denmark.)

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