4 Dec. 45

So did the draft convention submitted in 1933 by His Majesty's Government to the Disarmament Conference.

However, it is unprofitable to elaborate here the details of the problem or of the definition of aggression. This Tribunal will not allow itself to be deflected from its purpose by attempts to ventilate in this Court what is an academic and, in the circumstances, an utterly unreal controversy as to what is the nature of a war of aggression, for there is no definition of aggression, general or particular, which does not cover and cover abundantly and irresistibly in every detail, the premeditated onslaught by Germany on the territorial integrity and political independence of so many sovereign states.

This, then, being the law as we submit it to be to this Tribunal — that the peoples of the world by the Pact of Paris had finally outlawed war and made it criminal — I turn now to the facts to see how these defendants under their leader and with their associates destroyed the high hopes of mankind and sought to revert to international anarchy. First, let this be said, for it will be established beyond doubt by the documents which you will see, from the moment Hitler became Chancellor in 1933, with the Defendant Von Papen as Reich Chancellor, and with the Defendant Von Neurath as his Foreign Minister, the whole atmosphere of the world darkened. The hopes of the people began to recede. Treaties seemed no longer matters of solemn obligation but were entered into with complete cynicism as a means for deceiving other states of Germany's warlike intentions. International conferences were no longer to be used as a means for securing pacific settlements but as occasions for obtaining by blackmail demands which were eventually to be enlarged by war. The world came to know the "war of nerves", the diplomacy of the fait accompli, of blackmail and bullying.

In October 1933 Hitler told his Cabinet that as the proposed Disarmament Convention did not concede full equality to Germany, "It would be necessary to torpedo the Disarmament Conference. It was out of the question to negotiate: Germany would leave the Conference and the League". On the 21st of October 1933 Germany did so, and by so doing struck a deadly blow at the fabric of security which had been built up on the basis of the League Covenant. From that time on the record of their foreign policy became one of complete disregard of international obligations, and indeed not least of those solemnly concluded by themselves. Hitler himself expressly avowed to his confederates, "Agreements are kept only so long as they serve a certain purpose." He might have added that again and again that purpose was only to lull an intended victim into a false sense of security. So patent, indeed, did this eventually become that to be invited by the Defendant Ribbentrop to enter a nonaggression pact with Germany was almost a sign that Germany