openly scoffed at any notion of international obligations, as I shall show in a moment. It is true that the real trump in Germany's hand was its rearmament and more than that, its willingness to go to war. And yet the attitude of the various countries was not influenced by those considerations alone.
BR>With all those countries, and I suppose with all persons, we are not always completely rational, we tend to believe what we want to believe, and if an apparently substantial and conservative person like the Defendant Von Neurath, for example, is saying these things, one might be apt to believe them, or at least to act upon that hypothesis. And it would be the more impressive if one were also under the impression that the person involved was not a Nazi and would not stoop to go along with the designs of the Nazis.
Germany's approach toward Great Britain and France was in terms of limited expansion as the price of peace. They signed a naval limitations treaty with England and discussed a Locarno air pact. In the case of both France and England, they limited their statement of intentions and harped on fears of communism and war.
In making these various promises, Germany was untroubled by notions of the sanctity of international obligations. High ranking Nazis, including Göring, Frick, and Frank, openly stated to Mr. Messersmith that Germany would observe her international undertakings only so long as it suited Germany's interest to do so.
I quote from the affidavit, Document 2385-PS, Page 4, beginning on the 10th line:
"High ranking Nazis with whom I had to maintain official contact, particularly men such as Göring, Goebbels, Ley, Frick, Frank, Darré, and others, repeatedly scoffed at my position as to the binding character of treaties and openly stated to me that Germany would observe her international undertakings only so long as it suited Germany's interest to do so. Although these statements were openly made to me as they were, I am sure, made to others, these Nazi leaders were not really disclosing any secret, for on many occasions they expressed the same idea publicly."
France and Italy worked actively in southeastern Europe to counter Germany's moves.
THE PRESIDENT: Would that be a convenient time to adjourn?
MR. ALDERMAN: Yes, sir.
THE PRESIDENT: We will adjourn until 10 o'clock tomorrow morning.
Last modified: October 10, 1998