29 Nov. 45

Then there was envisaged the nature of a war in the near future, specifically against Austria and Czechoslovakia. Hitler said that for the improvement of Germany's military and political positions, it must be the first aim of the Nazis, in every case of entanglement by war, to conquer Czechoslovakia and Austria simultaneously in order to remove any threat from the flanks in case of a possible advance westward.

Hitler then considered that the embodiment into Germany of Czechoslovakia and Austria would constitute the conquest of food for from 5 to 6 million people, including the assumption that the comprehensive forced emigration of 1 million people from Austria could be carried out. And he further pointed out that the annexation of the two States to Germany, both militarily and politically, would constitute a considerable relief since they would provide shorter and better frontiers, would free fighting personnel for other purposes, and would make possible the reconstitution of large new German armies.

Insofar as Austria is concerned, those minutes reveal a crystallization in the policy of the Nazi conspirators. It had always been their aim to acquire Austria. At the outset a revolutionary Putsch was attempted, but that failed. The next period was one of surface recognition of the independence of Austria and the use of devious means to strengthen the position of Nazis internally in Austria.

Now, however, it became clear that the need, or the greed, for Austria, in the light of the larger aggressive purpose of the Nazi conspirators was sufficiently great to warrant the use of force in order to obtain Austria with the speed that was designed. In fact, as we shall see later, the Nazis were actually able to secure Austria, after having weakened it internally and removed from it the support of other nations, merely by setting the German military machine into motion and making a threat of force.

The German armies were able to cross the border and secure the country without the necessity of firing a shot. Their careful planning for war and their readiness to use war as an instrument of political action made it possible, in the end, for them to pluck this plum without having to fight a blow for it.

The German High Command had, of course, previously considered preparation against Austria.

I offer in evidence another German document, C-175, as Exhibit USA-69. It, again, is "top secret", with the added legend in German: "Chefsache nur durch Offizier" (matter for the chief only to be delivered through an officer).

This was a top-secret directive of 24 June 1937 of the Reichsminister for War and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces,