4 Dec. 45

Afternoon Session

THE PRESIDENT: Before the Attorney General continues his opening statement, the Tribunal wishes me to state what they propose to do as to time of sitting for the immediate future. We think it will be more convenient that the Tribunal shall sit from 10:00 o'clock in the morning until 1:00 o'clock, with a break for 10 minutes in the middle of the morning; and that the Tribunal shall sit in the afternoon from 2:00 o'clock until 5:00 o'clock with a break for 10 minutes in the middle of the afternoon; and that there shall be no open sitting of the Tribunal on Saturday morning, as the Tribunal has a very large number of applications by the defendants' counsel for witnesses and documents and other matters of that sort which it has to consider.

SIR HARTLEY SHAWCROSS: May it please the Tribunal, when we broke off I had been saying that the Nazi Government was intent upon aggression, and all that had been taking place in regard to Danzig — the negotiations, the demands that were being made — were really no more than a cover, a pretext and excuse for further domination.

As far back as September 1938 plans for aggressive war against Poland, England, and France were well in hand. While Hitler, at Munich, was telling the world that the German people wanted peace, and that having solved the Czechoslovakian problem, Germany had no more territorial problems in Europe, the staffs of his Armed Forces were already preparing their plans. On the 26th of September 1938 he had stated:

"We have given guarantees to the states in the West. We have assured all our immediate neighbors of the integrity of their territory as far as Germany is concerned. That is no mere phrase. It is our sacred will. We have no interest whatever in a breach of the peace. We want nothing from these peoples."
And the world was entitled to rely on those assurances. International co-operation is utterly impossible unless one can assume good faith in the leaders of the various states and honesty in the public utterances that they make. But, in fact, within 2 months of that solemn and apparently considered undertaking, Hitler and his confederates were preparing for the seizure of Danzig. To recognize those assurances, those pledges, those diplomatic moves as the empty frauds that they were, one must go back to inquire what was happening within the inner councils of the Reich from the time of the Munich Agreement.

Written some time in September 1938 is an extract from a file on the reconstruction of the German Navy. Under the heading