The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Fifty-Sixth Day: Monday,11th February, 1946
(Part 2 of 14)


The Operational Staff of the O.K.W., meticulously following Hitler's directive regarding a cruel and rapid destruction of Yugoslavia, speedily worked out a detailed plan for co- ordinated operations of the German and Italian Armies. It was issued as an official operational directive dated 28th March, 1941. I consider it essential to re-read three lines of this document, already submitted to the Tribunal under the same document, 1746-PS. You will find it on Page 352 of the document book. I read paragraph 4 of this document into the record.

"The German task is to attack Yugoslavia with the greatest possible concentration of forces, to smash its Army and destroy it as a State."
I cannot but remind the Tribunal of the terminology used by Hitler and the other Fascist conspirators. Hitler said:
"There can be no question of sparing Poland."
He demanded:
"Yugoslavia is to be eliminated as a State, ruthlessly and with lightning speed."
Mercilessness, ruthlessness, extermination of peoples and States: such was the style and meaning of the actions of the Fascist conspirators.

The aggression against Czechoslovakia, the attack on Poland, the desire to destroy Yugoslavia, all these were links in the same chain. But the chain does not end with these links.

The task of the next representative of the U.S.S.R. prosecution will be to show your Honors that the fundamental purpose of these criminals, the main link in the center of all of the Hitlerite conspiracies was the attack on the U.S.S.R.

The documents relating to the crimes against Yugoslavia will prove that, in attacking that country, the Fascist conspirators strictly followed their customary methods. Even in detail they repeated their earlier crimes perpetrated against Poland, Austria, and Czechoslovakia. Even in case we did not know who actually organized the attack on Yugoslavia, the very nature of the facts, the sequence of events, the manner in which the crimes were perpetrated, would unmistakably indicate the culprits.

I turn to Exhibit USSR 36, under which number I offer in evidence the official report of the Yugoslav Government.

[Page 225]

The first section, entitled "The Systematic Preparation of the Conspiracy for the Enslavement and the Destruction of Yugoslavia," contains a series of valuable information. I wish to cite that excerpt from this document which you will find on Page 353 of the document book. Sub-paragraph 1 on Page 3 of the Russian text (third paragraph from the top) reads:

"The Government of the Third Reich and the Hitlerite Party secretly organized the German minority. Settled in Yugoslavia by the Austrian emperors over a century ago, the Germans enjoyed as brothers full rights and a cultural autonomy. They had their own schools and their representatives in parliaments as well as in the local government. They numbered half a million (that is about 3 per cent. of the total population).

From 1920 they had their mass organisation -- the Swabian-German Cultural Union ('Kulturbund' for short). And out of this very organisation and through it, as well as out of all the Germans in Yugoslavia, the Nazi Party created a political and military organ for the destruction of Yugoslavia."

I believe I can skip several lines without loss and quote further:
"In Yugoslavia, the Nazi 'Gaue' were secretly formed and 'Gauleiter' appointed. Under the guise of various physical training and sport associations, Hitlerite units were organized half a million strong. Numerous 'tourists,' 'travellers,' 'business men,' and 'relatives' came from the Reich -- in reality they were Nazi instructors and organizers."
I omit a number of details which can be disregarded, and pass to the second paragraph of the same section on Page 4, that would be Page 356 in your document book, where the manner is described in which the Fifth Column was further strengthened. I now shall read into the record paragraph 2, beginning with the second sub-paragraph:
"...The Hitlerites drew into their orbit all the separatist and Chauvinistic elements, as, for instance, Pavelic's `Ustashi,' the `Zbor,' a movement headed by Ljotic; the V.M.R.O. (the Macedonian Fascist movement), headed by Vancia Mihajlovic, and organized them as terrorist organisations with headquarters in Berlin. On the other hand, acting through their agents, Prince Paul, Stojadinovic, Cvetcovic, and Cincar-Marcovic, they attracted the Pan-Serbian centralists and turned them into a terrorist group which, from the vantage points of governmental authority, was 'peacefully' to deliver Yugoslavia into slavery by adhering to the Tripartite Pact."
Further, the report emphasizes the fact that, while organizing numerous branches of the Fifth Column, the Hitlerites continually gave newer and more perfidious assurances about their ostensibly friendly intentions with regard to Yugoslavia. This is discussed in paragraph 3 on Page 5 of the Russian text; our Document USSR 36. You will find this passage, Your Honors, on Page 357 of the document book:
"3. At the time when both the Hitlerite Government and the Party were so thoroughly and with such versatility, preparing their conspiracy to invade and occupy Yugoslavia, Hitler seized every opportunity to declare to the whole world, on behalf of the same Government, the Party, and the whole of Germany, that Yugoslavia could count on them as devoted friends."
On 17th January, 1938, i.e., some weeks before the occupation of Austria, Hitler had a meeting with the then Prime Minister of Yugoslavia at which the defendants Goering and von Neurath were present. The original document from which I shall quote certain passages was submitted to the Tribunal as Document 92-TC. The extract which I shall quote further on as documentary evidence, is dated the 4th December, 1945. You will find it on Page 411 of the document book.

[Page 226]

On 4th December, 1945, a printed collection of German documents dealing with the conflict with Yugoslavia and Greece was offered to you in evidence. In the listing of documentary evidence it is referred to as Document 92-TC.

On Page 68, and you will find it, as I have already stated, on Page 411 in your document book (as Document 28 of that collection), we have a transcript of the conversations which took place during the conference of 17th January, 1938. I consider there is no need to read the entire document into the record. I shall limit myself to the following three remarks made by Hitler on that occasion:

"As regards Yugoslavia, Germany is highly interested in the existence of a strong Yugoslavia."
Somewhat later in the course of the same conversation:
"What ever may happen there, Yugoslavia's present boundary will remain as inviolable as the border on the Brenner is to-day."
In addition Hitler, at this meeting, made the following statement,
"The German nationality group in Yugoslavia was loyal to the Yugoslav Government."
On 30th January, 1939 -- some weeks before the occupation of the Czechoslovak Republic -- Hitler made the following declaration about Yugoslavia in his speech before the Reichstag -- this quotation is to be found on Page 412 in your document book:
"A state which since the Great War has more and more attracted the attention of our people is Yugoslavia. The respect which the German soldier felt for that valiant people in the past has grown ever stronger and developed into sincere friendship."
The Fascist conspirators considered it useful to include this speech, as Document No. 32, in the book from which I just have quoted and presented to the Tribunal as Document 92-TC.

On 1st June, 1939, i.e., before the Fascist attack on Poland, Prince Paul of Yugoslavia, whom the official report of the Yugoslav Government calls a Hitlerite agent, paid a visit to Hitler. On this occasion, Hitler stated in Berlin - - you will find the passage on Page 412 in your document book:

"Germany's friendship with the Yugoslav nation did not spring up suddenly. It was deepened and strengthened by the tragic complications of the World War."
Then, after having made a few more statements which are of no interest to the Tribunal, he continued:
"I am all the more confident that now when, as a result of the historic events, we have become neighbors with common frontiers established for ever, the friendly relations between Germany and Yugoslavia, trustful and steadfast, will not only secure lasting peace between both our peoples, but, moreover will serve as a calming element for our nervous, excitable continent."
I repeat once more that I quote from the book, Document 92-TC.

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