The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Fifty-Fifth Day: Saturday, 9nd February, 1946
(Part 1 of 5)

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COLONEL POKROVSKY: May I continue with my Statement?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, please.

COLONEL POKROVSKY: The end of the session prevented me yesterday from quoting a brief excerpt from a very secret, a very important, State document, dated 22nd September, 1938. I propose to begin to-day's work as from this point, and to read into the record the first six lines of the document, submitted as Exhibit USSR 267, which you will find, Your Honours, in Part 1, Page 202, of your document book.

I quote the first six lines from notes made after a telephone conversation which took place in Berlin, between one of the leaders of the so-called Volksdeutsche Centre and the Government in Berlin, at 19.00 hours, on 22nd September, 1938. Permit me to read these six lines into the record:

"Mr. Schmidt, from the Volksdeutsche Centre, telephoned at 19.00 as follows:

The Command of the Sudetendeutsche Freikorps has just communicated the following:

1st. Lt. Kochling transmitted the following Fuehrer Order: Freikorps has to carry out the occupation of regions evacuated by the Czechs. Large-scale operations, however, may be executed only with the Fuehrer's personal approval."

The rest of this document, signed by von Stechow, is of no interest and I will not read it into the record.

As far as I can judge, the minutes of Hitler's reception of the Czech Minister for Foreign Affairs, Chvalkovsky, on 21st January, 1939, i.e., shortly before the complete occupation of Czechoslovakia -- are of great interest. Hitler's mendacious and pompous statements concerning his respect for the independence of small nations, statements recorded in the document I am about to quote, are characteristic of his perfidious tactics.

The document which I am going to read into the record as Exhibit USSR 266 you will find, Your Honours, on Page 203, Part 1 of Volume I of our document book:

"Chvalkovsky began by thanking the Fuehrer for having done his country the honour of receiving the Minister for Foreign Affairs twice within three months. He had come here to inform the Fuehrer that he had strictly fulfilled the promise made to him on 14th October, although this had put him to a very great deal of trouble.

The Fuehrer thanked him for the fulfillment of his promises, saying that the foreign policy of a State is determined by its home policy. It is quite impossible to carry out a foreign policy of type 'A' and at the same time a home policy of type 'B.' It could succeed only for a short time. From the very beginning the development of events in Czechoslovakia was bound to lead to a catastrophe. This catastrophe had been averted, thanks to Germany.

Had Germany not followed the National Socialist principles, which do not permit of territorial annexations -- the fate of Czechoslovakia would have

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followed another course. Whatever remains to-day of Czechoslovakia has been rescued, not by Benes, but by these National Socialist tendencies."
I omit a few sentences and continue:
"For instance, the strength of the Dutch and Danish armies rests not in themselves alone, but in realising the fact that the whole world was convinced of the absolute neutrality of these states. When war broke out, it was well known that the problem of neutrality was one of extreme importance to these countries. The case of Belgium was somewhat different, as that country had an agreement with the French General Staff. In this particular case Germany was compelled to forestall possible eventualities. These small countries were defended not by their armies but by the trust shown in their neutrality...."
You will find a further part of this quotation on Page 207:
"Chvalkovsky, backed by Mastny, again spoke about the situation in Czechoslovakia and about the total No. of peasants. Before the crisis, the people did not know what to expect of Germany. But when they saw that they would not be exterminated, and that the Germany wished to lead the Czech people along with her, they heaved a sigh of relief. World propaganda, against which the Fuehrer had been struggling for so long a time, was now focused on tiny Czechoslovakia. Chvalkovsky begged the Fuehrer to address, from time to time, a few kind words to the Czech people. That might work miracles. The Fuehrer is unaware of the great value attached to his words by the Czech people. If he would only openly declare that he intended to collaborate with the Czech people -- and with the people itself (not with the Minister for Foreign Affairs) -- all foreign propaganda would be utterly defeated.

The Fuehrer concluded the conversation by expressing his belief in a promising future."

These notes are signed by Hegel.

It would now be opportune to refer once again to a document which has already been mentioned in the Tribunal. I mean a so-called "Document for Superior Officers only" of 30th May, 1938. It bears the No. OKW 42/38, and under Document 388-PS has already been presented to the Tribunal by my honourable colleagues of the United states delegation. The chief prosecutor of the U.S.S.R. likewise referred to this document in his opening Statement.

Leading up to the Fascist conspiracy against Czechoslovakia, Hitler announced that it was his irrevocable decision to defeat Czechoslovakia in the immediate future and by one single military operation.

He divides his task into two parts; political and military. Then, with his characteristic and unbounded cynicism, he declares (this quotation is to be found on Page 209 of Volume I of the document book):

"The most favourable move, both from the political and military standpoint, would be a lightning blow, to be delivered under the pretext of some incident which will provoke Germany to abrupt action."
The document bears Hitler's signature. Such was the authentic programme of Hitler and his accomplices, concerning Czechoslovakia, drawn up for a long time in advance of the day when Chvalkovsky requested that criminal "to address from time to time a few kind words to the Czech people."

Even if, in his public utterances, Hitler sometimes used what Chvalkovsky called "kind words," the line of the actual relations was developing along entirely different lines. But even this is not all. We shall describe the set-up of the provocative incident in detail.

I would like, at this moment, to present to the Tribunal the "Notes to the Report" on Plan "Gruen" of 24th August, 1938, the greater part of which has

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already been read into the record as Document 388-PS. Here are two paragraphs which your Honours will find on Page 214 of Volume I of the document book:

"The realisation of Plan "Gruen" 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 favourable for our superior Air Force to carry out the operation, and it should be timed in such a way that the respective notification should authentically reach us by mid-day of X-l day. This will enable us to follow it up immediately by issuing the order X, on X-1 Day, at 14.00 hours."

The document concluded as follows (see Page 215 of your document book):
"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 organisation of the incident will be entrusted, in any case, to the Abwehr."
The document is signed by Jodl. These are not mere words. This is a plan of infamous provocation; a plan which, as we already know, was carried into effect.

Document 388-PS has already been accepted by you as evidence presented by the delegation of the United states. I would like only to stress one point: The murderers and invaders not evolved the plans of their crimes, but were also anxious to put them into effect under conditions the most advantageous possible for themselves. They needed fine weather and at least 24 hours for the final preparation. Moreover, they need an incident, provoked by themselves, to justify their foul crimes in the "eyes of at least some part of the world community."

This latter fact demonstrates that the Hitlerites themselves were perfectly aware of the criminality of their actions.

In passing, I wish to draw your attention to one point: O.K.W. bears direct responsibility for the criminal character of these actions. They cannot plead, "We know not what we did." The "agents provocateurs" and aggressors, in the uniform of the highest ranks of the German Army, were the first to name themselves aggressors and "agents provocateurs."

Finally, I have to inform the Tribunal that one of the ultimate aims of the Fascist invasion of Czechoslovakia was the liquidation of this historically constituted Slav State.

On Page 36 of the official report of the Czechoslovak Government, the original of which was submitted to you yesterday, we can read the following quotation from a Statement made by Hitler in the summer of 1932, in the presence of Darre, Rauschning, and other high Fascist officials. I will quote this excerpt, which is on Page 38 of Volume I, Part 1 of your document book:

"The Bohemian-Moravian Basin will be colonised by German peasants. We shall transplant the Czechs to Siberia or the Volhynian district. They must get out of Central Europe."
This same Statement by Hitler is quoted in the Czechoslovak report from Rauschning's book "Hitler Speaks," Page 46.

I consider it necessary to read into the record a passage from the Czechoslovak report, which immediately follows the above-mentioned quotation (Page 36 of the Russian translation, the last paragraph at the end of the page). You will find this quotation on Page 39, Volume I, Part 1 of the document book, in the last paragraph of this page.

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"This criminal plan was approved by Karl Hermann Frank, Secretary of State of the Reich Protector in Prague from 17th March, 1939, and Minister of State in Prague from 1943, known to the world as the `Butcher of Lidice.'
Interrogated on this point by Colonel Ecer, in Wiesbaden on 29th May, 1945, Frank declared:
"The plan for the evacuation of the Czech people to the East, as mentioned above and discussed in Party circles, roughly coincides with the passage quoted."
The defendant Neurath was Reichsprotektor for Bohemia and Moravia from 17th March, 1939, to 28th September, 1941. He did much to destroy Czechoslovakia as a State entity.

Appendix 1 to the Report of the Czechoslovak Government reads as follows (you will find this extract on Page 167 of Volume II, Part 1, of the document book):

"The Reich Protector was superior to all other Reich authorities, agencies and officials in the Protectorate."
The defendant Neurath must not escape responsibility for these crimes.

My colleagues of the Soviet delegation will submit evidence to show to the Tribunal the upheaval in the life of the hardworking Czech people, from the moment that the Fascist aggressors began to put into practice

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