4 Dec. 45

to lead to future aggressions, even if he has to embark on open, aggressive war to secure it?"

It was in relation to the remainder of Czechoslovakia and to Poland that the answer to these questions was to be given. So far, up to the time of the Munich Agreement, no direct and immediate threat to Poland had been made. The two documents from which I have just quoted, show of course, that high officers of the Defendant Göring's air staff already regarded the expansion of the Reich and, it would seem, the destruction and absorption of Poland, as a foregone conclusion. They were already anticipating, indeed, the last stage of Hitler's policy as expounded in Mein Kampf — war to destroy France and to secure Lebensraum in Russia. And the writer of the minute to Ribbentrop already took it for granted that, after Czechoslovakia, Poland would be attacked. But more impressive than those two documents is the fact that, as I have said, at the conference of 5 November 1937, war with Poland, if she should dare to prevent German aggression against Czechoslovakia, had been quite coolly and calmly contemplated, and the Nazi leaders were ready to take the risk. So also had the risk of war with England and France under the same circumstances been considered and accepted. As I indicated, such a war would, of course, have been aggressive war on Germany's part, and they were contemplating aggressive warfare. For to force one state to take up arms to defend another state against aggression, in other words, to fulfill its treaty obligations is undoubtedly to initiate aggressive warfare against the first state. But in spite of those plans, in spite of these intentions behind the scenes, it remains true that until Munich the decision for direct attack upon Poland and her destruction by aggressive war had apparently not as yet been taken by Hitler and his associates. It is to the transition from the intention and preparation of initiating aggressive war, evident in regard to Czechoslovakia, to the actual initiation and waging of aggressive war against Poland that I now pass. That transition occupies the 11 months from the 1st of October 1938 to the actual attack on Poland on the 1st of September 1939.

Within 6 months of the signature of the Munich Agreement the Nazi leaders had occupied the remainder of Czechoslovakia, which by that Agreement they had indicated their willingness to guarantee. On the 14th of March 1939 the aged and infirm president of the "rump" of Czechoslovakia, Hacha and his Foreign Minister were summoned to Berlin. At a meeting held between 1 o'clock and 2:15 in the small hours of the 15th of March in the presence of Hitler, of the Defendants Ribbentrop, Göring, and Keitel, they were bullied and threatened and even bluntly told that Hitler "had issued the orders for the German troops to move into Czechoslovakia and for the incorporation of Czechoslovakia into the German Reich."