27 Nov. 45

"In the period 1933 to 1939 progress was made in all fields. Our military system improved enormously."

And then, just above the middle of the second page of the English translation:

"The period which lies behind us has indeed been put to good use. All measures have been taken in the correct sequence and in harmony with our aims."

One of the most significant direct preparations for aggressive war is found in the secret Reich Defense Law of 21 May 1935, which I offered in evidence yesterday as Exhibit USA-24 and commented on then. I need not repeat that comment. The law went into effect upon its passage. It stated at the outset that it was to be made public instantly, but at the end of it Adolf Hitler signed the decree ordering that it be kept secret. I commented on that sufficiently yesterday.

General Thomas, Thomas, as we call him, who was in charge of War and Armament Economy and for some time a high ranking member of the German High Council, refers to this law as "the cornerstone of war preparations." He points out that, although the law was not made public until the outbreak of war, it was put into immediate execution as a program of preparation.

I ask the Tribunal to take judicial notice of General Thomas' work, A History of the German War- and Armament-Economy, 1923-1944, Page 25. We have the volume here, in German, so that anyone who wishes may examine it. I don't care to offer the entire volume in evidence unless the Court think I should. We do give it an exhibit number, Exhibit USA-35, but I simply should like to place it in the files as a reference work implementing judicial notice, if that is practicable.

THE PRESIDENT: You want it simply for the purpose of showing that General Thomas said that that law was the cornerstone of war? That has already been passed into the record.

MR. ALDERMAN: I want to say to counsel for the defendants that it is here if they care to consult it at any time.


MR. ALDERMAN: I should have identified it by our number, 2353-PS.

This secret law remained in effect until 4 September 1938, at which time it was replaced by another secret Defense Law, revising the system of defense organization and directing more detailed preparations for the approaching status of mobilization, which I think was the euphemism for war.