4 Jan. 46

Hitler as head of the German Government. He is charged under Counts One, Two, and Three of the Indictment.

Four of these five defendants are reasonably typical of the group as a whole. We must except the Defendant Göring who is primarily a Nazi Party politician nourishing a hobby for aviation as a result of his career in 1914-18. But the other four made soldiering or sailoring their life work. They collaborated with and joined in the most important adventures of the Nazis, but they were not among the early Party members. They differ in no essential respects from the other 125 members of the group. They are, no doubt, abler men in certain respects. They rose to the highest position in the German Armed Forces, and all but Jodl attained highest rank.

But they will serve as excellent case studies and as representatives of the group, and we can examine their ideas as they have expressed them in these documents and their actions, with fair assurance that these ideas and actions are characteristic of the other group members.

I turn first to the criminal activities of the General Staff and High Command group under Counts One and Two of the Indictment, their activities in planning and conspiring to wage illegal wars. Here my task is largely one of recapitulation. The general body of proof relating to aggressive war has already been laid before the Tribunal by my colleague, Mr. Alderman, and the distinguished members of the British Delegation.

Many of the documents to which they drew the Tribunal's attention showed that the defendants here who were members of the General Staff and High Command group participated knowingly and wilfully in crimes under Counts One and Two. I propose to avoid referring again to that evidence so far as I possibly can, but I must refer to one or two of them again to focus the Tribunal's attention on the part which the General Staff and High Command group played in aggressive War Crimes.

Now it is, of course, the normal function of a military staff to prepare military plans. In peacetime, military staffs customarily concern themselves with the preparation of plans for attack or defense based on hypothetical contingencies. There is nothing criminal about carrying on these exercises or preparing these plans. That is not what the defendants and this group are charged with.

We will show that the group agreed with the Nazi objective of aggrandizing Germany by threat of force or force itself, and that they joined knowingly and enthusiastically in developing German armed might for this purpose. They were advised in advance of the Nazi plans to launch aggressive wars. They laid the military plans and directed the initiation and carrying on of the wars. These things we believe to be criminal under Article 6 of the Charter.