7 Dec. 45

still in progress they began to consider the possibility of launching a war of aggression against the U.S.S.R.

In a speech to Reich- and Gauleiter at Munich in November 1943, which is set forth in our Document L-172 already in evidence as Exhibit Number USA-34, the Defendant Jodl admitted — and I shall read from Page 7 of the English translation, which is at Page 15 of the original German text:

"Parallel with all these developments realization was steadily growing of the danger drawing constantly nearer from the Bolshevik East — that danger which has been only too little perceived in Germany and of late, for diplomatic reasons, had deliberately to be ignored. However, the Führer himself has always kept this danger steadily in view and even as far back as during the Western campaign had informed me of his fundamental decision to take steps against this danger the moment our military position made it at all possible."
At the time this decision was made, however, the Western campaign was still in progress, and so any action in the East necessarily had to be postponed for the time being. On 22 June 1940, however, the Franco-German armistice was signed at Compiégne, and the campaign in the West with the exception of the war against Britain came to an end. The view that Germany's key to political and economic domination lay in the elimination of the U.S.S.R. as a political factor and in the acquisition of Lebensraum at her expense had long been basic in Nazi ideology. As we have seen, this idea had never been completely forgotten even while the war in the West was in progress. Now flushed with the recent success of their arms and yet keenly conscious of both their failure to defeat Britain and the needs of their armies for food and raw materials, the Nazis began serious consideration of the means for achieving their traditional ambition by conquering the Soviet Union.

The situation in which Germany now found herself made such action appear both desirable and practical. As early as August of 1940 General Thomas received a hint from the Defendant Göring that planning for a campaign against the Soviet Union was already under way. Thomas at that time was the Chief of the "Wirtschaftsrüstungsamt" of the OKW.

I should, perhaps, mention that this office is generally referred to in the German documents by the abbreviation Wi Rü.

General Thomas tells of receiving this information from Göring in his draft of a work entitled Basic Facts for a History of German War and Armament Economy, which he prepared during the summer of 1944. This book is our Document 2353-PS and has already been admitted into evidence as Exhibit USA-35. I am sorry, it was