4 Dec. 45

Denmark made on the 31st of May 1939. And it was a breach of the most explicit assurances which had been given. After his annexation of Czechoslovakia had shaken the confidence of the world, Hitler attempted to reassure the Scandinavian states. On the 28th of April 1939 he affirmed that he had never made any request to any of them which was incompatible with their sovereignty and independence. On the 31st of May 1939 he signed a non-aggression pact with Denmark.

On the 2d of September 1939, the day after he had invaded Poland and occupied Danzig, he again expressed his determination, so he said, to observe the inviolability and integrity of Norway in an aide-mémoire which was handed to the Norwegian Foreign Minister by the German Minister in Oslo on that day.

A month later, in a public speech on the 6th of October 1939, he said:

"Germany has never had any conflicts of interest or even points of controversy with the northern states, neither has she any today. Sweden and Norway have both been offered non-aggression pacts by Germany, and have both refused them, solely because they do not feel themselves threatened in any way."
When the invasion of Denmark and Norway was already begun in the early morning of 9 April 1940, a German memorandum was handed to the governments of those countries attempting to justify the German action. Various allegations against the governments of the invaded countries were made. It was said that Norway had been guilty of breaches of neutrality. It was said that she had allowed and tolerated the use of her territorial waters by Great Britain. It was said that Britain and France were themselves making plans to invade and occupy Norway and that the Government of Norway was prepared to acquiesce in such an event.

I do not propose to argue the question whether or not these allegations were true or false. That question is irrelevant to the issues before this Court. Even if the allegations were true — and they were patently false — they would afford no conceivable justification for the action of invading without warning, without declaration of war, without any attempt at mediation or conciliation.

Aggressive war is none the less aggressive war because the state which wages it believes that other states might, in the future, take similar action. The rape of a nation is not justified because it is thought she may be raped by another. Nor even in self-defense are warlike measures justified except after all means of mediation have been tried and failed and force is actually being exercised against the state concerned.