was the policy of the German Government to do nothing in foreign affairs until "the Rhineland had been digested", and that as soon as the fortifications in the Rhineland had been constructed and the countries of central Europe realized that France could not enter Germany at will, "all those countries will begin to feel very differently about their foreign policies and a new constellation will develop".

Von Neurath took part in the Hossbach conference of 5 November 1937. He has testified that he was so shocked by Hitler's statements that he had a heart attack. Shortly thereafter he offered to resign, and his resignation was accepted on 4 February 1938, at the same time that Von Fritsch and Von Blomberg were dismissed. Yet with knowledge of Hider's aggressive plans he retained a formal relationship with the Nazi regime as Reich Minister without Portfolio, President of the Secret Cabinet Council and a member of the Reich Defense Council. He took charge of the Foreign Office at the time of the occupation of Austria, assured the British Ambassador that this had not been caused by a German ultimatum, and informed the Czechoslovakian Minister that Germany intended to abide by its arbitration convention with Czechoslovakia. Von Neurath participated in the last phase of the negotiations preceding the Munich Pact, but contends that he entered these discussions only to urge Hitler to make every effort to settle the issues by peaceful means.

Criminal Activities in Czechoslovakia

Von Neurath was appointed Reich Protector for Bohemia and Moravia on 18 March 1939. Bohemia and Moravia were occupied by military force. Hacha's consent, obtained as it was by duress, cannot be considered as justifying the occupation. Hitler's decree of 16 March 1939, establishing the Protectorate, stated that this new territory should "belong henceforth to the territory of the German Reich", an assumption that the Republic of Czechoslovakia no longer existed. But it also went on the theory that Bohemia and Moravia retained their sovereignty subject only to the interests of Germany as expressed by the Protectorate. Therefore even if the doctrine of subjugation should be considered to be applicable to territory occupied by aggressive action, the Tribunal does not believe that this Proclamation amounted to an incorporation which was sufficient to bring the doctrine into effect. The occupation of Bohemia and Moravia must therefore be considered a military occupation covered by the rules of warfare. Although Czechoslovakia was not a party to the Hague Convention of 1907, the rules of land warfare expressed in this Convention are declaratory of existing international law and hence are applicable.