7 Dec. 45

COL. PHILLIMORE: It took place on the 18th of March 1600 hours.

THE PRESIDENT: Is that on the original document?

COL. PHILLIMORE: Yes, on the original document.


COL. PHILLIMORE: The document I have referred to show it is submitted, that the Nazi conspirators in accordance with the principle of liquidating any neutral who did not remain disinterested had made every preparation by the end of January and were at this date in the process of moving the necessary troops to ensure the final liquidation of Greece, which was already at war with an getting the better of their Italian allies.

They were not, however, yet ready to deal with Yugoslavia towards which their policy accordingly remained one of lulling the unsuspecting victim. On the 25th of March 1941 in accordance wit] this policy, the adherence of Yugoslavia to the Three Power Pact was secured. This adherence followed a visit on the 15th of February 1941 by the Yugoslav Premier Cvetkovic and the Foreign Minister Cinkar-Markovic to the Defendant Ribbentrop at Salzburg an subsequently to Hitler at Berchtesgaden, after which these minister were induced to sign the Pact at Vienna on the 25th of March. 0 this occasion the Defendant Ribbentrop wrote the two letters of assurance, which are set out in the next document in the bundle 2450-PS, which I put in as GB-123. If I might read from half-way down the page:

"Notes of the Axis Governments to Belgrade.

"At the same time when the protocol on the entry of Yugoslavia to the Tri-Partite Pact was signed, the Governments of the Axis Powers sent to the Yugoslavian Government the following identical notes:

"'Mr. Prime Minister:

" 'In the name of the German Government and at their behest I have the honor to inform Your Excellency of the following:

" 'On the occasion of the Yugoslavian entry today into the Tri-Partite Pact the German Government confirm their determination to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Yugoslavia at all times.'"
That letter was signed by the Defendant Ribbentrop, who you will remember, was present at the meeting in August of 1939 when he and Hitler tried to persuade the Italians to invade Yugoslavia. In fact it was 11 days after this letter was written that the Germans did invade Yugoslavia and 2 days after the letter was written that they issued the necessary order.