5 Dec. 45

acting at the Nazi bidding in open revolt against the Czechoslovak Government, the Nazi leaders were now in a position to move against Prague. On the evening of the 14th, at the suggestion of the German Legation in Prague, M. Hacha, the President of the Czechoslovak Republic, and M. Chvalkowsky, his Foreign Minister, arrived in Berlin. The atmosphere in which they found themselves might be described as somewhat hostile. Since the preceding weekend, the Nazi press had accused the Czechs of using violence against the Slovaks, and especially against the members of the German minority and citizens of the Reich. Both press and radio proclaimed that the lives of Germans were in danger. Such a situation was intolerable. It was necessary to smother as quickly as possible the focus of trouble, which Prague had become, in the heart of Europe. — These peacemakers!

After midnight on the 15th, at 1:15 in the morning, Hacha and Chvalkowsky were ushered into the Reich Chancellery. They found there Adolf Hitler, the Defendants Ribbentrop, Göring, and Keitel and other high Nazi officials. I now offer in evidence Document 2798-PS as Exhibit USA-118. This document is the captured German Foreign Office account of this infamous meeting. It is a long document. Parts of it are so revealing and give so clear a picture of Nazi behavior and tactics that I should like to read them in full.

It must be remembered that this account of the fateful conference on the night of March 14-15 comes from German sources, and of course it must be read as an account biased by its source, or as counsel for the defendants said last week "a tendentious account". Nevertheless, even without too much discounting of the report on account of its source, it constitutes a complete condemnation of the Nazis who by pure and simple international banditry forced the dissolution of Czechoslovakia. And I interpolate to suggest that international banditry has been a crime against international law for centuries.

I will first read the headings to the minutes. In the English mimeographed version in the document books the time given is an incorrect translation of the original. It should read 0115 to 0215:

"Conversation between the Führer and Reich Chancellor and the President of Czechoslovakia, Hacha, in the presence of the Reich Foreign Minister, Von Ribbentrop, and of the Czechoslovakian Foreign Minister, Chvalkowsky, in the Reich Chancellery on 15 March 1939, 0115 to 0215 hours."
Others present were General Field Marshal Göring, General Keitel, Secretary of the State Von Weizsäcker, Minister of the State Meissner, Secretary of the State Dietrich, Counselor of the Legation Hewel. Hacha opened the conference. He was conciliatory — even