7 Dec. 45

First, if the Tribunal please, the inception of the plan. As a point of departure for the story of aggression against the Soviet Union, I should like to take the date 23 August 1939. On that date just a week before the invasion of Poland, the Nazi conspirators caused Germany to enter into the Treaty of Non-Aggression with the U.S.S.R. which is referred to in this section of the Indictment which I have just quoted. This treaty, Document Number TC-25, will be introduced in evidence by our British colleagues, but it contains two articles which I should like to bring to the attention of the Tribunal. Article I provides as follows:

"The two contracting parties undertake to refrain from any act of violence, any aggressive action, or any attack against one another, whether individually or jointly with other powers." Article V provides that, should disputes or conflicts arise between the contracting parties regarding questions of any kind whatsoever, the two parties would clear away these disputes or conflicts solely by friendly exchanges of view or, if necessary, by arbitration commissions.

It is well to keep these solemn pledges in mind during the course of the story which is to follow. This treaty was signed for the German Government by the Defendant Ribbentrop. Its announcement came as somewhat of a surprise to the world since it appeared to constitute a reversal of the previous trend of Nazi foreign policy. The explanation for this about-face has been provided, however, by no less eminent a witness than the Defendant Ribbentrop himself in a discussion which he had with the Japanese Ambassador Oshima in Fuschl on 23 February 1941. A report of that conference was forwarded by Ribbentrop to certain German diplomats in the field for their strictly confidential and purely personal information. This report we now have. It is Number 1834-PS. I offer it in evidence as Exhibit USA-129, the original German document.

On Page 2 of the English translation, Ribbentrop tells Oshima the reason for the pact with the U.S.S.R. That is Page 2 of the German:

"Then when it came to war the Führer decided on a compromise with Russia — as a necessity for avoiding a two-front war."
In view of the spirit of opportunism which motivated the Nazis in entering into this solemn pledge of arbitration and non-aggression, it is not very surprising to find that they regarded it as they did all treaties and pledges, as binding on them only so long as it was expedient for them to be bound. That they did so regard it is evidenced by the fact that even while the campaign in the West was