4 Dec. 45

On the 10th of May Hitler issued an order for the capture of economic installations in Poland. On the 16th of May the Defendant Raeder as Commander-in-Chief of the Navy, issued a memorandum setting out the Führer's instructions to prepare for the operation Fail Weiss at any time from the 1st of September.

But the decisive document is the record of the conference held by Hitler on the 23rd of May 1939, in conference with many high-ranking officers, including the Defendants Göring, Raeder, and Keitel. The details of the whole document will have to be read to the Tribunal later and I am merely summarizing the substantial effect of this part of it now. Hitler stated that the solution of the economic problems with which Germany was beset at first, could not be found without invasion of foreign states and attacks on foreign property. "Danzig" — and I am quoting:

"Danzig is not the subject of the dispute at all. It is a question of expanding our living space in the East. There is, therefore, no question of sparing Poland, and we are left with the decision to attack Poland at the earliest opportunity. We cannot expect a repetition of the Czech affair. There will be fighting. Our task is to isolate Poland. The success of this isolation will be decisive. The isolation of Poland is a matter of skillful politics."
So he explained to his confederates. He anticipated the possibility that war with England and France might result, but a two-front war was to be avoided if possible. Yet England was recognized — and I say it with pride — as the most dangerous enemy which Germany had. "England", he said, I quote, "England is the driving force against Germany . . . the aim will always be to force England to her knees." More than once he repeated that the war with England and France would be a life and death struggle. "But all the same," he concluded, "Germany will not be forced into war but she would not be able to avoid it."

On the 14th of June 1939 General Blaskowitz, then Commander-in-Chief of the 3rd Army group, issued a detailed battle plan for the Fall Weiss. The following day Von Brauchitsch issued a memorandum in which it was stated that the object of the impending operation was to destroy the Polish Armed Forces. "High policy demands,' he said, "High policy demands that the war should be begun by heavy surprise blows in order to achieve quick results." The preparations proceeded apace. On the 22d of June the Defendant Keitel submitted a preliminary timetable for the operation, which Hitler seems to have approved, and suggested that the scheduled maneuver must be camouflaged, "in order not to disquiet the population." On the 3rd of July, Brauchitsch wrote to the Defendant Raeder urging that certain preliminary naval moves