4 Dec. 45

In an Air Force letter dated the 25th of August 1938 which deals with the action to be taken if England and France should interfere in the operation against Czechoslovakia, it is stated:

"It is not expected for the moment that other states will intervene against Germany. The Dutch and the Belgian area assumes in this connection much more importance for the conduct of war in Western Europe than during the World War, mainly as advance base for the air war."
In the last paragraph of that order it is stated: "

Belgium and the Netherlands, when in German hands, represent an extraordinary advantage in the prosecution of the air war against Great Britain as well as against France . . ."
That was in August 1938. Eight months later, on the 28th of April 1939, Hitler is declaring again:

"I was pleased that a number of European states availed themselves of this declaration by the German Government to express and emphasize their desire to have absolute neutrality."
A month later, on the 23rd of May 1939, Hitler held that conference in the Reich Chancellery, to which I already referred. The minutes of that meeting report Hitler as saying:

"The Dutch and Belgian air bases must be occupied by armed forces. Declarations of neutrality cannot be considered of any value. If England and France want a general conflict on the occasion of the war between Germany and Poland they will support Holland and Belgium in their neutrality . . . . Therefore, if England intends to intervene at the occasion of the Polish war, we must attack Holland with lightning speed. It is desirable to secure a defense line on Dutch soil up to the Zuider Zee."
Even after that he was to give his solemn declarations that he would observe the neutrality of these countries. On the 26th of August 1939, when the crisis in regard to Danzig and Poland was reaching its climax, on the very day he had picked for the invasion of Poland, declarations assuring the governments concerned of the intention to respect their neutrality were handed by the German Ambassadors to the King of the Belgians, the Queen of the Netherlands, and to the Government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg in the most solemn form. But to the Army Hitler was saying:

"If Holland and Belgium are successfully occupied and held, a successful war against England will be secured."
On the 1st of September Poland was invaded and 2 days later England and France came into the war against Germany, in