The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Fifty-Fifth Day: Saturday, 9nd February, 1946
(Part 3 of 5)


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And now I shall turn to the documents demonstrating the falsehood and hypocrisy of other declarations made by the Hitlerite conspirators on international questions concerning Poland. For this purpose I shall quote Paragraphs 7, 8, and 9 of the section entitled "Crimes against Peace," again our Exhibit USSR 93. These would be the last paragraphs on Page 4 and the top of Page 5 of the Russian text: In your document book these quotations are marked on Pages 220 and 221 of Volume I, Part 2. I shall announce it when I pass on to Page 221:

"Paragraph 7: On 5th November, 1937, the then Polish Ambassador was received by Hitler in the presence of the defendant von Neurath. On this occasion Hitler declared:

'There will be no changes in the legal and political status of Danzig. The rights of the Polish population in Danzig will be respected. The rights of Poland in Danzig will not be violated.'

Twice on this occasion, Hitler repeated with pathos: 'Danzig ist mit Polen verbunden (Danzig is bound to Poland).'

Paragraph 8: The first hints of the changes in the status of Danzig were made by the defendant Ribbentrop on 25th October, 1938. He hinted at the incorporation of Danzig in the Reich, in exchange for an extension of the German-Polish pact for 25 years, and a guarantee of the German-Polish frontiers. Poland was to keep the Danzig railroads and to retain economic facilities, in return for her assent to the building of an ex-territorial 'Autobahn' and a railroad through Pomerania.

This proposal was rejected.

Paragraph 9 (this is Page 221, Volume I, Part 2 of the document book.) Later on, during his visit to Warsaw, the defendant Ribbentrop assured the Polish Government that there would be no fait accompli on the territory of the Free City (25th-27th January, 1939)."

It is known that during the last months preceding 1st September, 1939, concentrations of German mobilised military forces were carried out. Border clashes then took place. I think that the cause of these clashes will become

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quite obvious after I have read into the record the notes on Plan "Gruen," Document 388-PS, signed by Jodl.

On 15th April, 1939, the late President of the United states of America Franklin Delano Roosevelt, made an appeal to the world and to the leaders of Germany and Poland with a view to preventing further complications in Europe.

On 28th April and 5th May, 1939, the Polish Government proposed to the Government of Hitler Germany a practical solution for the problem of the Free City of Danzig.

On 23rd August, 1939, the King of Belgium addressed to the world a radio appeal for peace.

On 24th August, 1939, the President of the United states of America appealed once again to the leaders of the Reich and Poland.

The Polish Ambassador in Berlin, acting on the advice of the British Ambassador in Warsaw, had a conference with Ribbentrop on 31st August. I should like to quote two paragraphs, 18 and 19, of Exhibit USSR 93, marked with red pencil on Page 6 of the Russian original; in your document book they are found on Page 222, Volume I, Part 2:

"18. The German note stating the conditions for the settlement of the conflict with Poland was broadcast over the German radio on 31st August, 1939, at 9 p.m. This note, however, was not handed to the Polish Ambassador until the evening of 1st September, 1939. This was a few hours after German Armed Forces, both from the air and the land, were in the process of seizing Polish territory, in the early hours of 1st September, 1939.

19. In this way Germany attacked Poland in violation of her international assurances, without a previous declaration of war, and at a time when her actions had convinced the Polish Government that further negotiations between the two countries were pending, with a view to arriving at a peaceful settlement of this dispute."

To-day I have at my disposal the original document concerning the Danzig question, found by the Red Army in the archives of the German Ministry for Foreign Affairs. I present it to the Tribunal as Exhibit USSR 185, and I must inform you that acting upon a request formulated yesterday by the Tribunal, we have added to the photostat copy already on our files, the original copy of this highly important historical document. It has now been placed at the disposal of the Tribunal.

On the first page you will see a telegram form, which proves that on 1st September, 1939, at 5 a.m. a telegram was handed in at the telegraph office at Danzig; this telegram, registered as No. 0166, consisted of 202 words and was addressed to the Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor in Berlin.

On the second page you will see the text of this telegram of 202 words, which bears the seal of the Gauleiter of the Nazi Party in Danzig. I take the liberty of reading to you these 202 words which form a part of the history of the Fascist conspirators' Crimes against Peace:

"Telegram to the Fuehrer.

My Fuehrer:

I have just signed, and by this act have put into force, the following basic State law providing for the reunion of Danzig with the German Reich.

The basic State law of the Free City of Danzig of 1st September, 1939, concerning the reunion of Danzig with the German Reich.

For the purpose of relieving the dire needs of the people and the State of the Free City of Danzig, I promulgate the following basic State law:

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Article I

Hereby the Constitution of the Free City of Danzig is immediately abrogated.

Article II:

Legislative and executive power will, in the future, be exercised exclusively by the Chief of State.

Article III:

The Free City of Danzig, together with its territory and population, immediately becomes an integral part of the German Reich.

Article IV:

Until the definite decision to introduce German State law is made by the Fuehrer, all the laws, the Constitution excepted, in force at the moment of the promulgation of the present basic law, remain in force.

Danzig, 1st September, 1939.

Signed: Albert Foerster, Gauleiter.

I beg you, my Fuehrer, on behalf of Danzig and of its population, to approve this basic State law and to confirm by Reich statute the reunion with the German Reich.

Danzig enthusiastically extends to you, my Fuehrer, a feeling of endless gratitude and eternal devotion.

Heil to my Fuehrer.

Albert Foerster, Gauleiter."

And now that the documents which establish the actual line of conduct of the Fascist conspirators with regard to Poland have been submitted to the Tribunal, it seems to me opportune to refer, be it only summarily, to excerpts from Plan "Weiss" as well as from the statements and pronouncements by Hitler and Ribbentrop, after which I shall read into the record a new document, which is Exhibit USSR 172. This document represents the secret notes by Bormann concerning a conversation on Poland which took place in Hitler's apartment on 2nd October, 1940.

On 30th January, 1934, Hitler made a speech in his capacity of Chancellor of the Reich. It concerned a No. of problems including relations with Poland.

There is no need to quote it in detail. At present, only two or three sentences can be of interest to us. I quote excerpts from Document TC 70:

"...It seems to me that we must show, by a concrete example, that disagreements, however indisputable, need not prevent the finding of a modus vivendi which would usefully serve the cause of peace as well as the welfare of both nations."
I shall now skip several paragraphs and quote one of the concluding sentences...
"The German Government is resolved and prepared to develop its political and economic relations with Poland, in accordance with the present agreement, in such a way as to ensure that a period of useful co-operation may follow one of fruitless reticence.

The Chancellor has here expressed his particular satisfaction with the clarification of relations between Danzig and Poland."

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