had existed in the minds of any of his hearers in November 1937, after March 1939 there could no longer be any question that Hitler was in deadly earnest in his decision to resort to war. The Tribunal is satisfied that Lieutenant Colonel Hossbach's account of the meeting is substantially correct, and that those present knew that Austria and Czechoslovakia would be annexed by Germany at the first possible opportunity.

The Seizure of Austria

The invasion of Austria was a pre-meditated aggressive step in furthering the plan to wage aggressive wars against other countries. As a result Germany's flank was protected, that of Czechoslovakia being greatly weakened. The first step had been taken in the seizure of "Lebensraum"; many new divisions of trained fighting men had been acquired; and with the seizure of foreign exchange reserves, the re-armament program had been greatly strengthened.

On 21 May 1935 Hitler announced in the Reichstag that Germany did not intend either to attack Austria or to interfere in her internal affairs. On 1 May 1936 he publicly coupled Czechoslovakia with Austria in his avowal of peaceful intentions; and so late as 11 July 1936 he recognized by treaty the full sovereignty of Austria.

Austria was in fact seized by Germany in the month of March 1938. For a number of years before that date, the National Socialists in Germany had been cooperating with the National Socialists of Austria with the ultimate object of incorporating Austria into the German Reich. The Putsch of 25 July 1934, which resulted in the assassination of Chancellor Dollfuss, had the seizure of Austria as its object; but the Putsch failed, with the consequence that the National Socialist Party was outlawed in Austria. On 11 July 1936 an agreement was entered into between the two countries, Article 1 of which stated: "The German Government recognizes the full sovereignty of the Federated State of Austria in the spirit of the pronouncements of the German Führer and Chancellor of 21 May 1935."

Article 2 declared: "Each of the two Governments regards the inner political order (including the question of Austrian National Socialism) obtaining in the other country as an internal affair of the other country, upon which it will exercise neither direct nor indirect influence."

The National Socialist movement in Austria however continued its illegal activities under cover of secrecy; and the National Socialists of Germany gave the Party active support. The resulting "incidents" were seized upon by the German National Socialists as an excuse for interfering in Austrian affairs. After the conference of 5 November 1937, these "incidents" rapidly multiplied. The