7 Dec. 45

Afternoon Session

MR. ROBERTS: May it please the Tribunal, when the Court adjourned I had just come to the point at 4:30 a.m. on the 10th of May 1940 when the Germans invaded these three small countries without any warning — a violation which, the Prosecution submits, it is clear from the documents had been planned and decided upon months before.

My Lord, before I close this part of the case, may I refer to three documents in conclusion. My Lord, the invasion having taken place at 4:30 in the morning in each of the three countries, the German Ambassadors called upon representatives of the three governments some hours later and handed in a document which was similar in each case and which is described as a memorandum or an ultimatum. My Lord, an account of what happened in Belgium is set out in our Document TC-58, which is about five documents from the end of the bundle. It is headed, "Extract from Belgium — The Official Account of What Happened 1939-1940," and I hand in an original copy, certified by the Belgian Government, which is Exhibit GB-111.

My Lord, might I read short extracts? I read the third paragraph:

"From 4:30 a.m. information was received which left no shadow of doubt: the hour had struck. Aircraft were first reported in the east. At 5 o'clock came news of the bombing of two Netherlands' airdromes, the violation of the Belgian frontier, the landing of German soldiers at the Eben-Emael Fort, the bombing of the Jemelle station."
My Lord, then I think I can go to two paragraphs lower down:

"At 8:30 a.m. the German Ambassador came to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. When he entered the Minister's room, he began to take a paper from his pocket. M. Spaak" — that is the Belgian Minister — "stopped him: 'I beg your pardon, Mr. Ambassador. I will speak first.' And in an indignant voice, he read the Belgian Government's protest: 'Mr. Ambassador, the German Army has just attacked our country. This is the second time in 25 years that Germany has committed a criminal aggression against a neutral and loyal Belgium. What has just happened is perhaps even more odious than the aggression of 1914. No ultimatum, no note, no protest of any kind has ever been placed before the Belgian Government. It is through the attack itself that Belgium has learned that Germany has violated the undertakings given by her on October 13th 1937 and renewed spontaneously at the beginning of the war. The act of aggression committed by Germany for which there is no justification whatever will deeply shock