4 Jan. 46

lessen the threat to separated East Prussia, surrounded by Poland and Lithuania, was regarded as a sacred duty, though a sad necessity. This was one of the chief reasons behind the partially secret rearmament which began about 10 years before Hitler came to power and was accentuated under Nazi rule.

"Before 1938-1939 the German generals were not opposed to Hitler. There was no reason to oppose Hitler, since he produced the results which they desired. After this time some generals began to condemn his methods and lost confidence in the power of his judgment. However, they failed as a group to take any definite stand against him, although a few of them tried to do so and as a result had to pay for this with their lives or their positions.

"Shortly before my removal from the post of Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, in January 1938, Hitler asked me to recommend a successor. I suggested Göring, who was the ranking officer, but Hitler objected because of his lack of patience and diligence. I was not replaced as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces by any officer, but Hitler personally took over my function as Commander. Keitel was recommended by me as a chef de bureau. As far as I know, he was never named Commander of the Armed Forces but was always merely a 'chief of staff' under Hitler and in effect conducted the administrative functions of the Ministry of War.

"At my time Keitel was not opposed to Hitler and therefore was qualified to bring about a good understanding between Hitler and the Armed Forces, a thing which I myself desired and had furthered as Reichswehrminister and Reichskriegsminister. To do the opposite would have led to a civil war, for at that time the mass of the German people supported Hitler. Many are no longer willing to admit this. But it is the truth.

"As far as I heard, Keitel did not oppose any of Hitler's measures. He became a willing tool in Hitler's hands for every one of his decisions.

"He did not measure up to what might have been expected of him."
The statement by Von Blomberg which I have just read is paralleled closely in some respects by an affidavit by Colonel General Blaskowitz. That is Affidavit Number 5 in Volume I of the document book Exhibit Number USA-537. Blaskowitz commanded an army in the campaign against Poland and the campaign against France. He subsequently took command of Army Group G in southern France and at the end of the war he was in command of