4 Jan. 46

of professional officers with a morale and outlook nourished by German military history. The leaders of these professional officers constitute the group named in the Indictment, the General Staff and High Command of the German Armed Forces. This part of the case concerns that group of men.

Now, needless to say, it is not the Prosecution's position that it is a crime to be a soldier or a sailor or to serve one's country as a soldier or sailor in time of war. The profession of arms is an honorable one and can be honorably practiced. But it is too clear for argument that a man who commits crimes cannot plead as a defense that he committed them in uniform.

It is not in the nature of things, and it is not the Prosecution's position that every member of this group was a wicked man or that they were all equally culpable. But we will show that this group not only collaborated with Hitler and supported the essential Nazi objectives, but we will show that they furnished the one thing which was essential and basic to the success of the Nazi program for Germany; and that was skill and experience in the development and use of armed might.

Why did this group support Hitler and the Nazis? I think Your Honors will see, as the proof is given, that the answer is very simple. The answer is that they agreed with the truly basic objectives of Hitlerism and Nazism and that Hitler gave the generals the opportunity to play a major part in achieving these objectives. The generals, like Hitler, wanted to aggrandize Germany at the expense of neighboring countries and were prepared to do so by force or threat of force. Force, armed might, was the keystone of the arch, the thing without which nothing else would have been possible.

As they came to power and when they had attained power, the Nazis had two alternatives: either to collaborate with and expand the small German Army, known as the Reichswehr, or to ignore the Reichswehr and build up a separate army of their own. The generals feared that the Nazis might do the latter and accordingly were the more inclined to collaborate. Moreover, the Nazis offered the generals the chance of achieving much that they wished to achieve by way of expanding German armies and German frontiers; and so, as we will show, the generals climbed onto the Nazi bandwagon. They saw it was going in their direction for the present. No doubt they hoped later to take over the direction themselves. In fact, as the proof will show, ultimately it was the generals who were taken for a ride by the Nazis.

Hitler, in short, attracted the generals to him with the glitter of conquest and then succeeded in submerging them politically; and, as the war proceeded, they became his tools. But if these military leaders became the tools of Nazism, it is not to be supposed that