29 Nov. 45

"While Italy openly opposed efforts at Anschluss with Austria in 1934, Italian ambitions in, Abyssinia provided Germany with the opportunity to sow discord between Italy and France and England, and to win Italy over to acceptance of Germany's program in exchange for German support of Italy's plans in Abyssinia."

That, if the Tribunal please, paved the way for the Austro-German Declaration or Pact of 11 July 1936; and in the fall of 1936 Germany extended the hand of friendship and common purpose to Italy, in an alliance which they called the "Rome-Berlin Axis." This, together with Germany's alliance with Japan, put increasing pressure on England and greatly increased the relative strength of Germany.

And so by means of careful preparation in the diplomatic field, among others, the Nazi conspirators had woven a position for themselves, so that they could seriously consider plans for war and begin to outline time tables, not binding time tables and not specific ones in terms of months and days, but still general time tables, in terms of years, which were the necessary foundation for further aggressive planning, and a spur to more specific planning. And that time table was developed, as the Tribunal has already seen, in the conference of 5 November 1937, contained in our Document Number 386-PS, Exhibit USA-25, the Hossbach minutes of that conference, which I adverted to in detail on Monday last.

In those minutes, we see the crystallization of the plan to wage aggressive war in Europe, and to seize both Austria and Czechoslovakia, and in that order.

In connection with the exposition of the aggression on Austria, I have shown first the purpose of the Nazi conspiracy, with respect to the absorption of Austria, and then the steps taken by them in Austria up to this period, that is, November 1937.

I have also outlined for the Tribunal the general diplomatic preparations of the Nazi conspirators, with respect to their program in Europe generally, and with respect to Austria in particular.

It may now be profitable to reconsider the minutes of the meeting of 5 November 1937, in the light of this more-detailed background. It will be recalled that in that meeting, the Führer insisted that Germany must have more space in Europe. He concluded that the space required must be taken by force; and three different possible cases were outlined for different eventualities but all reaching the conclusion that the problem would certainly have to be solved before 1943 to 1945.