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expansion of the Armed Forces beyond the limits set by treaties. The objectives which they had in mind are obvious, and in these documents and affidavits we see the Nazis and the generals in agreement upon the basic objective of aggrandizing Germany by force or threat of force and collaborating to build up the armed might of Germany, in order to make possible the subsequent acts of aggression. We turn now to an examination of those particular acts of aggression which have already been described to the Tribunal in general, with the particular purpose of noting participation in these criminal acts by the General Staff and High Command group.

I may say, Your Lordship, that in going over this material, in order to save time I propose to read from a very few documents. There are large numbers of documents. Accordingly, when I cite them I think there is probably no need for the Tribunal to try to find them in the documents before it. Most of them are documents already in evidence and I propose to cite them for purposes of recapitulation, without reading very much.

The Tribunal will recall that Mr. Alderman read into the transcript portions of a document, 386-PS, Exhibit Number USA-25, consisting of notes by Colonel Hossbach on a conference which was held in the German Chancellery in Berlin on the 5th of November 1937. Hitler presided at this conference, which was a small and highly secret one; and the only other participants were the four principal military leaders and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Defendant Neurath. The four chief leaders of the Armed Forces — Blomberg, who was then Reich Minister of War, and the commander-in-chief of the three branches of the Armed Forces: Von Fritsch for the Army, Raeder for the Navy, and Göring for the Air Force — were present. Hitler embarked on a general discussion of Germany's diplomatic and military policy and stated that the conquest of Austria and Czechoslovakia was an essential preliminary "for the improvement of our military and political position" and "in order to remove any threat from the flanks."

The military and political advantages which were envisaged included the acquisition of a new source of food, shorter and better frontiers, the release of troops for other tasks, and the possibility of forming new divisions from the population of the conquered territories. Blomberg and Von Fritsch joined in the discussion and Von Fritsch stated that he was making a study to investigate "the possibilities of carrying out operations against Czechoslovakia with special consideration for the conquest of the Czechoslovakian system of fortifications."

The following spring, in March 1938, the German plans with respect to Austria came to fruition. Mr. Alderman has already read into the record portions of the diary kept by the Defendant Jodl.