7 Dec. 45

If I might read the second letter:

"Mr. Prime Minister:

"With reference to the conversations that occurred in connection with the entry of Yugoslavia into the Tri-Partite Pact, I have the honor to confirm to Your Excellency herewith in the name of the Reich Cabinet" — Reichsregierung — " that in the agreement between the Axis Powers and the Royal Yugoslavian Government the Governments of the Axis Powers during this war will not direct a demand to Yugoslavia to permit the march or transportation of troops through Yugoslavian national territory."
The position at this stage, the 25th of March 1941, was therefore, that German troops were already in Bulgaria moving towards the Greek frontier, while Yugoslavia had, to use Hitler's own term in his letter to Mussolini, "become disinterested" in the cleaning-up of the Greek question.

The importance of the adherence of Yugoslavia to the Three Power Pact appears very clearly from the next document in the bundle, 2765-PS, which I put in as GB-124. It is an extract from the minutes of a meeting between Hitler and Ciano, and if I might just read the first paragraph:

"The Führer first expressed his satisfaction with Yugoslavia's joining the Tri-Partite Pact and the resulting definition of her position. This is of special importance in view of the proposed military action against Greece, for if one considers that for 350 to 400 kilometers the important line of communication through Bulgaria runs within 20 kilometers of the Yugoslav border, one can judge that with a dubious attitude of Yugoslavia an undertaking against Greece would have been militarily an extremely foolhardy venture."
Again it is a matter of history that on the night of the 26th of March, when the two Yugoslav Ministers returned to Belgrade, General Simovic and his colleagues effected their removal by a coup d'etat; and Yugoslavia emerged on the morning of the 27th of March ready to defend, if need be, her independence. The Yugoslav people had found themselves.

The Nazis reacted to this altered situation with lightning rapidity, and the immediate liquidation of Yugoslavia was decided on.

I ask the Tribunal to turn back to 1746-PS, which I put in as GB-120, to the second part on Page 3 of the document consisting of a record of a conference of Hitler and the German High Command on the situation in Yugoslavia dated 27th of March 1941.

It shows that those present included the Führer the Reich Marshal, that is of course, the Defendant Göring Chief, OKW, that is