7 Dec. 45

to assist in bridging all difficulties which existed between the Yugoslav State and various nations allied to Germany."
one can only think that when he issued that proclamation Hitler must momentarily have forgotten the meeting with Ciano in August of 1939 and the meeting with the Defendant Ribbentrop and the others on 27th March a few days earlier.

I pass to the last document in the bundle. It is a document which has already been put in, L-172, and it was put in as Exhibit USA-34. It is a record of a lecture delivered by the Defendant Jodl on 7th November 1943. At Page 4 there is a short passage which sets out his views two and a half years later on the action taken in April 1941. 1 refer to Paragraph 11 on Page 4:

"What was, however, less acceptable was the necessity of affording our assistance as an ally in the Balkans in consequence of the 'extra-turn' of the Italians against Greece. The attack which they launched in the autumn of 1940 from Albania with totally inadequate means was contrary to all agreement but in the end led to a decision on our part which — taking a long view of the matter — would have become necessary in any case sooner or later. The planned attack on Greece from the north was not executed merely as an operation in aid of an ally. Its real purpose was to prevent the British from gaining a foothold in Greece and from menacing our Romanian oil area from that country."
If I might summarize the story:

The invasion of Greece was decided on at least as early as December or November 1940 and planned for the end of March or the beginning of April 1941. No consideration was at any time given to any obligations under treaties or conventions which might make such invasion a breach of international law. Care was taken to conceal the preparations so that the German forces might have an unsuspecting victim.

In the meanwhile Yugoslavia, although to be liquidated in due course, was clearly better left for a later stage. Every effort was made to secure her co-operation for the offensive against Greece or at least to ensure that she would abstain from any interference.

The coup d'état of General Simovic upset this plan and it was then decided that irrespective of whether or not his government had any hostile intentions towards Germany, or even of supporting the Greeks, Yugoslavia must be liquidated.

It was not worth while to take any steps to ascertain Yugoslavia's intentions when it would be so little trouble now that the German troops were deployed to destroy her militarily and as a national unit. Accordingly in the early hours of Sunday morning,