26 Nov. 45

This document also is of such great importance historically and as bearing on the issues now presented to the Tribunal, that I feel obliged to read most of it At the top:

"Top Secret (Geheime Reichssache). To be transmitted by officer only

"Minutes of a conference on 23 May 1939 Place: The Führer's study, New Reich Chancellery. Adjutant on duty Lieutenant Colonel (G. S.) Schmundt.

"Present: The Führer, Field Marshal Göring, Grand Admiral Raeder, Colonel General Von Brauchitsch, Colonel General Raeder, Colonel General Milch General of Artillery) Halder (G. S.) General Bodenschatz, Rear Admiral Schniewindt, Colonel (G. S.) Jeschonnek, Colonel (G.S.) Warlimont, Lieutenant Colonel (G. S. ) Schmundt, Captain Engel (Army), Lieutenant Commander Albrecht, Captain V. Below (Army).

"Subject Indoctrination on the Political Situation and Future Aims.

"The Führer defined as the purpose of the conference

"1. Analysis of the situation;

"2 Definition of the tasks for the Armed Forces arising from that situation

"3.Exposition of the consequences of those tasks

"4. Ensuring the secrecy of all decisions and work resulting from those consequences. Secrecy is the first essential for success.

"The Führer's observations are given in accordance with their meaning. Our present situation must be considered from two points of view: 1) The actual development of events between 1933 and 1939; 2) the permanent and unchanging situation In which Germany lies.

"In the period 1933-39, progress was made in all fields. Our military situation improved enormously.

"Our situation with regard to the rest of the world has remained the same.

"Germany had dropped from the circle of Great Powers. The balance of power had been effected without the participation of Germany.

"This equilibrium is disturbed when Germany's demands for the necessities of life make themselves felt, And Germany re-emerges as a Great Power. All demands are regarded as 'encroachments'. The English are more afraid of dangers in the economic sphere than of the simple threat of force.