5 Dec. 45

really wished. He did not wish that reproaches should come from Hungary that he was preserving something which did not wish to be preserved at all. He took a liberal view of unrest and demonstration in general, but in this connection unrest was only an outward indication of interior instability. He would not tolerate it and he had for that reason permitted Tiso to come in order to hear his decision. It was not a question of days, but of hours. He had stated at that time that if Slovakia wished to make herself independent he would support this endeavor and even guarantee it. He would stand by his word so long as Slovakia would make it clear that she wished for independence. If she hesitated or did not wish to dissolve the connection with Prague, he would leave the destiny of Slovakia to the mercy of events for which he was no longer responsible. In that case he would only intercede for German interests, and those did not lie east of the Carpathians. Germany had nothing to do with Slovakia. She had never belonged to Germany.

"The Führer asked the Reich Foreign Minister" — the Defendant Ribbentrop — "if he had any remarks to add. The Reich Foreign Minister also emphasized for his part the conception that in this case a decision was a question of hours not of days. He showed the Führer a message he had just received which reported Hungarian troop movements on the Slovak frontiers. The Führer read this report, mentioned it to Tiso, and expressed the hope that Slovakia would soon decide clearly for herself."
A most extraordinary interview. Germany had no interest in Slovakia; Slovakia had never belonged to Germany, Tiso was invited there. And this is what happened: Those present at that meeting included the Defendant Ribbentrop, the Defendant Keitel, State Secretary Dietrich, State Secretary Keppler, the German Minister of State Meissner. I invite the attention of the Tribunal to the presence of the Defendant Keitel on this occasion, as on so many other occasions, where purely political measures in furtherance of Nazi aggression were under discussion, and where apparently there was no need for technical military advice.

While in Berlin the Slovaks also conferred separately with the Defendant Ribbentrop and with other high Nazi officials, Ribbentrop very solicitously handed Tiso a copy, already drafted in Slovak language, of the law proclaiming the independence of Slovakia. On the night of the 13th a German plane was conveniently placed at Tiso's disposal to carry him home. On 14 March, pursuant to the wishes of the Nazi conspirators, the Diet of Bratislava proclaimed the independence of Slovakia. With Slovak extremeness