4 Dec. 45

Conciliation signed between Germany and the Netherlands on the 20th of May 1926. It was a breach of a similar treaty with Luxembourg of 11 September 1929. It was a breach of the Kellogg-Briand Pact. But those treaties, perhaps, had not derived in the minds of the Nazi rulers of Germany any added sanctity from the fact that they had been solemnly concluded by the governments of pre-Nazi Germany. Let us then consider the specific assurances and undertakings which the Nazi rulers themselves gave to these states which lay in the way of their plans against France and England and which they had always intended to attack. Not once, not twice, but 11 times the clearest possible assurances were given to Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. On those assurances, solemnly given and formally expressed, these countries were entitled to rely and did rely. In respect of the breach of those assurances these defendants are charged. On the 30th of January 1937, for instance, Hitler had said:

"As for the rest, I have more than once expressed the desire and the hope of entering into similar good and cordial relations with our neighbors. Germany has, and here I repeat this solemnly, given the assurance time and time again that, for instance, between her and France there cannot be any humanly conceivable points of controversy. The German Government has further given the assurance to Belgium and Holland that it is prepared to recognize and to guarantee the inviolability and neutrality of these territories."
After Hitler had remilitarized the Rhineland and had repudiated the Locarno Pact, England and France sought to re-establish the position of security for Belgium which Hitler's action had threatened. And they, therefore, gave to Belgium on the 24th of April 1937 a specific guarantee that they would maintain, in respect of Belgium, the undertakings of assistance which they had entered into with her both under the Locarno Pact and under the Covenant of the League. On the 13th of October 1937 the German Government also made a declaration assuring Belgium of its intention to recognize the integrity of that country.

It is, perhaps, convenient to deal with the remaining assurances as we review the evidence which is available as to the preparations and intentions of the German Government prior to their actual invasion of Belgium on the 10th of May 1940.

As in the case of Poland, as in the case of Norway and Denmark, so also here the dates speak for themselves.

As early as August of 1938 steps were being taken to utilize the Low Countries as bases for decisive action in the West in the event of France and England opposing Germany in the aggressive plan which was on foot at that time against Czechoslovakia.