English, and in July 1939 was anxious to bring about a better understanding between England and Germany, in the hope of preventing a war between the two countries. He got into contact with Göring as well as with official circles in London, and during the latter part of August, Göring used him as an unofficial intermediary to try and deter the British Government from their opposition to Germany's intentions towards Poland. Dahlerus, of course, had no knowledge at the time of the decision which Hitler had secretly announced on 22 August, nor of the German military directives for the attack on Poland which were already in existence. As he admitted in his evidence, it was not until 26 September, after the conquest of Poland was virtually complete, that he first realized that Göring's aim all along had been to get Great Britain's consent to Germany's seizure of Poland.

After all attempts to persuade Germany to agree to a settlement of her dispute with Poland on a reasonable basis had failed, Hitler, on 31 August, issued his final directive, in which he announced that the attack on Poland would start in the early morning of 1 September, and gave instructions as to what action would be taken if Great Britain and France should enter the war in defense of Poland.

In the opinion of the Tribunal, the events of the days immediately preceding 1 September 1939 demonstrate the determination of Hitler and his associates to carry out the declared intention of invading Poland at all costs, despite appeals from every quarter. With the ever increasing evidence before him that this intention would lead to war with Great Britain and France as well, Hitler was resolved not to depart from the course he had set for himself. The Tribunal is fully satisfied by the evidence that the war initiated by German against Poland on 1 September 1939 was most plainly an aggressive war, which was to develop in due course into a war which embraced almost the whole world, and resulted in the commission of countless crimes, both against the laws and customs of war, and against humanity.

The Invasion of Denmark and Norway

The aggressive war against Poland was but the beginning. The aggression of Nazi Germany quickly spread from country to country. In point of time the first two countries to suffer were Denmark and Norway.

On 31 May 1939 a Treaty of Non-Agression was made between Germany and Denmark, and signed by the Defendant Von Ribbentrop. It was there solemnly stated that the parties to the Treaty were "firmly resolved to maintain peace between Denmark and Germany under all circumstances." Nevertheless, Germany invaded Denmark on 9 April 1940.