5 Dec. 45

"These national groups, to counteract the renewed attacks against their freedom and life, have now broken away from the Prague Government. Czechoslovakia has ceased to exist.

"Since Sunday at many places wild excesses have broken out, amongst the victims of which are again many Germans. Hourly the number of oppressed and persecuted people crying for help is increasing. From areas thickly populated by German-speaking inhabitants, which last autumn Czechoslovakia was allowed by German generosity to retain, refugees robbed of their personal belongings are streaming into the Reich.

"Continuation of such a state of affairs would lead to the destruction of every vestige of order in an area in which Germany is vitally interested particularly as for over 1,000 years it formed a part of the German Reich.

"In order definitely to remove this menace to peace and to create the conditions for a necessary new order in this living space, I have today resolved to allow German troops to march into Bohemia and Moravia. They will disarm the terror gangs and the Czechoslovakian forces supporting them, and protect the lives of all who are menaced. Thus they will lay the foundations for introducing a fundamental re-ordering of affairs which will be in accordance with the 1,000-year-old history and will satisfy the practical needs of the German and Czech peoples."

— Signed — "Adolf Hitler, Berlin, 15 March 1939."
Then there is a footnote, an order of the Führer to the German Armed Forces of the same date, in which the substance is that they are told to march in, to safeguard lives and property of all inhabitants, and not to conduct themselves as enemies, but as an instrument for carrying out the German Reich Government's decision.

I put in, as GB-8, the decrees establishing the Protectorate, which is TC-51.

I think again, as these are public decrees, the Tribunal can take judicial knowledge of them. Their substance has been fully explained by Mr. Alderman. With the permission of the Tribunal, I won't read them in full now.

Then again, as Mr. Alderman requested, I put in, as GB-9, British Document TC-52, the British protest. If I might just read that to the Tribunal — it is from Lord Halifax to Sir Nevile Henderson, our — Ambassador in Berlin:

"Foreign Office, March 17, 1939.

"Please inform the German Government that His Majesty's Government desire to make it plain to them that they cannot but regard the events of the past few days as a complete