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                           of the
               International Military Tribunal
                           For The
             Trial of German Major War Criminals

               His Majesty's Stationery Office
                                                  [Page 124]
M. De Vabres:

                         VON NEURATH

Von Neurath is indicted under all four Counts. He is a
professional diplomat who served as German Ambassador to
Great Britain from 1930 to 1932. On 2nd June, 1932 he was
appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs in the von Papen
Cabinet, a position which he held under the Cabinets of von
Schleicher and Hitler. Von Neurath resigned as Minister of
Foreign Affairs on 4th February, 1938, and was made Reich
Minister without Portfolio, President of the Secret Cabinet
Council and a member of the Reich

                                                  [Page 125]

Defense Council. On 18th March, 1939, he was appointed Reich
Protector for Bohemia and Moravia, and served in this
capacity until 27th September, 1941. He held the formal rank
of Obergruppenfuehrer in the SS.

Crimes against Peace

As Minister of Foreign Affairs, von Neurath advised Hitler
in connection with the withdrawal from the Disarmament
Conference and the League of Nations on 14th October,  1933,
, the institution of rearmament, the passage on 16th March,
1935 of the law for universal military service, and the
passage on 21st May, 1935 of the secret Reich Defense Law.
He was a key figure in the negotiation of the Naval Accord
entered into between Germany and England on 18th June, 1935.
He played an important part in Hitler's decision to reoccupy
the Rhineland on 7th March, 1936, and predicted that the
occupation could be carried through without any reprisals
from the French. On 18th March, 1936 he told the American
Ambassador to France that it was the policy of the German
Government to do nothing in foreign affairs until "the
Rhineland had been digested", and that as soon as the
fortifications in the Rhineland had been constructed and the
countries of central Europe realized that France could not
enter Germany at will, "all those countries will begin to
feel very differently about their foreign policies and a new
constellation will develop".

Von Neurath took part in the Hoszbach conference of 5th
November, 1937. He has testified that he was so shocked by
Hitler's statements that he had a heart attack. Shortly
thereafter he offered to resign, and his resignation was
accepted on 4th February, 1938, at the same time that von
Fritsch and von Blomberg were dismissed. Yet with knowledge
of Hitler's aggressive plans he retained a formal
relationship with the Nazi regime as Reich Minister without
Portfolio, President of the Secret Cabinet Council and a
member of the Reich Defense Council. He took charge of the
Foreign Office at the time of the occupation of Austria,
assured the British Ambassador that this had not been caused
by a German ultimatum, and informed the Czechoslovakian
Minister that Germany intended to abide by its arbitration
convention with Czechoslovakia. Von Neurath participated in
the last phase of the negotiations preceding the Munich
Pact, but contends that he entered these discussions only to
urge Hitler to make every effort to settle the issues by
peaceful means.

Criminal Activities in Czechoslovakia

Von Neurath was appointed Reich Protector for Bohemia and
Moravia on 18th March,  1939. Bohemia and Moravia were
occupied by military force. Hacha's consent, obtained as it
was by duress, cannot be considered as justifying the
occupation. Hitler's decree of 16th March, 1939,
establishing the Protectorate, stated that this new
territory should "belong henceforth to the territory of the
German Reich", an assumption that the Republic of
Czechoslovakia no longer existed. But it also went on the
theory that Bohemia and Moravia retained their sovereignty
subject only to the interests of Germany as expressed by the
Protectorate. Therefore even if the doctrine of subjugation
should be considered to be applicable to territory occupied
by aggressive action, the Tribunal does not believe that
this Proclamation amounted to an incorporation which was
sufficient to bring the doctrine into effect. The occupation
of Bohemia and Moravia must therefore be considered a
military occupation covered by the rules of warfare.
Although Czechoslovakia was not a party to the Hague
Convention of 1907, the rules of land warfare expressed in
this Convention are declaratory of existing international
law and hence are applicable.

                                                  [Page 126]

As Reich Protector, von Neurath instituted an administration
in Bohemia and Moravia similar to that in effect in Germany.
The free press, political parties, and trade unions were
abolished. All groups which might serve as opposition were
outlawed. Czechoslovakian industry was worked into the
structure of German war production, and exploited for the
German war effort. Nazi anti-Semitic policies and laws were
also introduced. Jews were barred from leading positions in
Government and business.

In August, 1939 von Neurath issued a proclamation warning
against any acts of sabotage and stating that "the
responsibility for all acts of sabotage is attributed not
only to individual perpetrators but to the entire Czech
population." When the war broke out on 1st September, 1939,
8,000 prominent Czechs were arrested by the Security Police
in Bohemia and Moravia and put into protective custody. Many
of this group died in concentration camps as a result of

In October and November, 1939, Czechoslovakian students held
a series of demonstrations. As a result, on Hitler's orders,
all universities were closed, 1,200 students imprisoned, and
the nine leaders of the demonstration shot by Security
Police and SD. Von Neurath testified that he was not
informed of this action in advance, but it was announced by
proclamation over his signature posted on placards
throughout the Protectorate, which he claims, however, was
done without his authority.

On 31st August, 1940, von Neurath transmitted to Lammers a
memorandum which he had prepared dealing with the future of
the Protectorate, and a memorandum with his approval
prepared by Carl Herman Frank on the same subject. Both
dealt with the question of Germanization and proposed that
the majority of the Czechs might be assimilated racially
into the German Nation. Both advocated the elimination of
the Czechoslovakian intelligentsia and other groups which
might resist Germanization, von Neurath's by expulsion,
Frank's by expulsion or "special treatment."

Von Neurath has argued that the actual enforcement of the
repressive measures was carried out by the Security Police
and SD who were under the control of his State Secretary,
Carl Herman Frank, who was appointed at the suggestion of
Himmler and who, as a Higher SS and Police Leader, reported
directly to Himmler. Von Neurath further argues that anti-
Semitic measures and those resulting in economic
exploitation were put into effect in the Protectorate as the
result of policies decided upon in the Reich. However this
may be, he served as the chief German official in the
Protectorate when the administration of this territory
played an important role in the wars of aggression which
Germany was waging in the East knowing that war crimes and
Crimes against Humanity were being committed under his

In mitigation it must be remembered that von Neurath did
intervene with the Security Police and SD for the release of
many of the Czechoslovaks who were arrested on 1st
September, 1939, and for the release of students arrested
later in the fall. On 23rd September, 1941, he was summoned
before Hitler and told that he was not being harsh enough
and that Heydrich was being sent to the Protectorate to
combat the Czechoslovakian resistance groups. Von Neurath
attempted to dissuade Hitler from sending Heydrich, but in
vain, and when he was not successful, offered to resign.
When his resignation was not accepted he went on leave, on
27th September, 1941, and refused to act as Protector after
that date. His resignation was formally accepted in August,

Conclusion: The Tribunal finds that von Neurath is guilty
under all four Counts.

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