4 Dec. 45

breaking resistance and taking risks. Even setbacks are unavoidable: Neither formerly nor today has space been found without an owner. The attacker always comes up against the proprietor. The question for Germany is where the greatest possible conquest can be made at the lowest possible cost."
In the course of that conference Hitler had foreseen and discussed the likelihood that Poland would be involved if the aggressive expansionist aims which he put forward brought about a general European war in the course of their realization by the Nazi State. And when, therefore, on that very day on which that conference was taking place, Hitler assured the Polish Ambassador of the great value of the 1934 Pact with Poland, it can only be concluded that its real value in Hitler's eyes was that of keeping Poland quiet until Germany had acquired such a territorial and strategic position that Poland was no longer a danger.

That view is confirmed by the events which followed. At the beginning of February of 1938 the change from Nazi preparation for aggression to active aggression itself took place. It was marked by the substitution of Ribbentrop for Neurath as Foreign Minister, and of Keitel for Blomberg as head of the OKW. Its first fruits were the bullying of Schuschnigg at Berchtesgaden on February 12, 1938 and the forcible absorption of Austria in March. Thereafter the Green Plan for the destruction of Czechoslovakia was steadily developed in the way which you heard yesterday — the plan partially foiled, or final consummation at least delayed, by the Munich Agreement.

With those aspects, those developments of Nazi aggression, my American colleagues have already dealt. But it is obvious that the acquisition of these two countries, their resources in manpower, their resources in the production of munitions of war, immensely strengthened the position of Germany as against Poland. And it is, therefore, perhaps not surprising that, just as the Defendant Göring assured the Czechoslovak Minister in Berlin, at the time of the Nazi invasion of Austria, that Hitler recognized the validity of the German-Czechoslovak Arbitration Treaty of 1925, and that Germany had no designs against Czechoslovakia herself — you remember, "I give you my word of honor," the Defendant Göring said — just as that is not surprising, so also it is not perhaps surprising that continued assurances should have been given during 1938 to Poland in order to keep that country from interfering with the Nazi aggression on Poland's neighbors.

Thus, on the 20th of February of 1938, on the eve of his invasion of Austria, Hitler, referring to the fourth anniversary of the Polish Pact, permitted himself to say this to the Reichstag — and I quote: