The PRESIDENT: Now I shall ask M. Falco to continue
the reading of the judgment.
The aggressive war against Poland was but the beginning.
The aggression of Nazi Germany quickly spread from country to country.
In point of time the first two countries to suffer were Denmark and
On the 31st May, 1939, a Treaty of Non-Aggression was
made between Germany and Denmark, and signed by the defendant Ribbentrop.
It was there solemnly stated that the parties to the Treaty were "firmly
resolved to maintain peace between Denmark and Germany under all circumstances."Nevertheless,
Germany invaded Denmark on the 9th April, 1940.
On the 2nd September, 1939, after the outbreak of war
with Poland, Germany sent a solemn assurance to Norway in these terms:
"The German Reich Government is determined in
view of the friendly relations which exist between Norway and Germany,
under no circumstance to prejudice the inviolability and integrity of
Norway, and to respect the territory of the Norwegian State. In making
this declaration the Reich Government naturally expects, on its side,
that Norway will observe an unimpeachable neutrality towards the Reich
and will not tolerate any breaches of Norwegian neutrality by any third
party which might occur. Should the attitude of the Royal Norwegian
Government differ from this so that any such breach of neutrality by
a third party occurs, the Reich Government would then obviously be compelled
to safeguard the interests of the Reich in such a way as the resulting
situation might dictate."
On the 9th April, 1940, in pursuance of her plan of
campaign, Norway was invaded by Germany.
The idea of attacking Norway originated, it appears,
with the defendants Raeder and Rosenberg. On the 3rd October, 1939,
Raeder prepared a memorandum on the subject of "gaining bases in
Norway," and amongst the questions discussed was the question:
"Can bases be gained by military force against Norway's will, if
it is impossible to carry this out without fighting' " Despite
this fact, three days later, further assurances were given to Norway
by Germany, which stated:
"Germany has never had any conflicts of interest
or even points of controversy with the Northern States, and neither
has she any to-day."
Three days later again, the defendant Doenitz prepared
a memorandum on the same subject, namely, bases in Norway, and suggested
the establishment of a base in Trondheim with an alternative of supplying
fuel in Narvik. At the same time the defendant Raeder was in correspondence
with Admiral Karls, who pointed out to him the importance of an occupation
of the Norwegian coast by Germany. On the 10th October, Raeder reported
to Hitler the disadvantages to Germany which an occupation by the British
would have. In the months of October and November Raeder continued to
work on the possible occupation of Norway, in conjunction with the "Rosenberg
Organisation." The "Rosenberg Organisation" was the Foreign
Affairs Bureau of the NSDAP, and Rosenberg as Reichsleiter was in charge
of it. Early in December, Quisling, the notorious Norwegian traitor,
visited Berlin and was seen by the defendants Rosenberg and Raeder.
He put forward a plan for a coup d'etat in Norway. On the 12th December,
the defendant Raeder and the naval staff, together with the defendants
Keitel and Jodl, had a conference with Hitler, when Raeder reported
on his interview with Quisling, and set out Quisling's views. On the
16th December, Hitler himself interviewed Quisling on all these matters.
In the report of the activities of the Foreign Affairs Bureau of the
NSDAP for the years 1933-1943, under the heading of "Political
preparations for the military occupation of Norway," it is stated
that at the interview with Quisling Hitler said that he would prefer
a neutral attitude on the part of Norway as well as the whole of Scandinavia,
as he did not desire to extend the theatre of war, or to draw other
nations into the conflict. If the enemy attempted to extend the war
he would be compelled to guard himself against that undertaking; however
he promised Quisling financial support, and assigned to a special military
staff the examination of the military questions involved.
On the 27th January, 1940, a memorandum was prepared
by the defendant Keitel regarding the plans for the invasion of Norway.
On the 28th February, 1940, the defendant Jodl entered in his diary:
"I proposed first to the Chief of OKW and then
to the Fuehrer that "Case Yellow " (that is the operation
against the Netherlands) and Weser Exercise (that is the operation against
Norway and Denmark) must be prepared in such a way that they will be
independent of one another as regard both time and forces employed."
On the 1st March Hitler issued a directive regarding
the Weser Exercise which contained the words:
"The development of the situation in Scandinavia
requires the making of all preparations for the occupation of Denmark
and Norway by a part of the German Armed Forces. This operation should
prevent British encroachment on Scandinavia and the Baltic; further,
it should guarantee our ore base in Sweden and give our Navy and Air
Force a wider start line against Britain . . . The crossing of the Danish
border and the landings in Norway must take place simultaneously . .
. It is most important that the Scandinavian States as well as the Western
opponents should be taken by surprise by our measures."
On the 24th March, the naval operation orders for
the Weser Exercise were issued, and on the 30th March the defendant
Doenitz as Commander-in-Chief of U-boats issued his operational order
for the occupation of Denmark and Norway. On the 9th April, 1940, the
German forces invaded Norway and Denmark.
From this narrative it is clear that as early as October,
1939, the question of invading Norway was under consideration. The defense
that has been . made here is that Germany was compelled to attack Norway
to forestall an Allied invasion, and her action was therefore preventive.
It must be remembered that preventive action in foreign
territory is justified only in case of "an instant and overwhelming
necessity for self-defense leaving no choice of means, and no moment
of deliberation." (The Caroline Case, Moore's Digest of International
Law, II, 412)". How widely the view was held in influential German
circles that the Allies intended to occupy Norway cannot be determined
with exactitude. Quisling asserted that the Allies would intervene in
Norway with the tacit consent of the Norwegian Government. The German
Legation at Oslo disagreed with this view, although the Naval Attache
at that Legation shared it.
The War Diary of the German Naval Operations Staff
for 13th January 1940, stated at the Chief of the naval Operations Staff
thought that the most favourable solution would be the maintenance of
the neutrality of Norway, but he harboured the firm conviction that
England intended to occupy Norway in the near future relying on the
tacit agreement of the Norwegian Government.
The directive of Hitler issued on 1st March, 1940,
for the attack on Denmark and Norway stated that the oration "should
prevent British encroachment on Scandinavia and the Baltic."
It is, however, to be remembered that the defendant
Raeder's memorandum of the 3rd October, 1939, makes no reference to
forestalling the Allies, but it is based upon "the aim of improving
our strategical and operational position."
The memorandum itself is headed "Gaining of Bases
in Norway." The same observation applies mutatis mutandis to the
memorandum of the defendant Doenitz of 9th October, 1939.
Furthermore, on the 13th March, the defendant Jodl
recorded in his diary:
"Fuehrer does not give order yet for ' W ' (Weser
Exercise). He is still looking for an excuse." (Justification?)
On the 14th March, 1940, he again wrote:
"Fuehrer has not yet decided what reason to give
for 'Weser Exercise '."
On the 21st March, 1940, he recorded the misgivings
of Task Force XXI about the long interval between building up readiness
positions and the close of the diplomatic negotiations, and added:
"Fuehrer rejects any earlier negotiations, as
otherwise calls for help go out to England and America. If resistance
is put up it must be ruthlessly broken."
On 2nd April he records that all the preparations
are completed, on 4th April the Naval Operation Order was issued; and
on the 9th April, the invasion was begun.
From all this it is clear that when the plans for an
attack on Norway were being made, they were not made for the purpose
of forestalling an imminent Allied landing, but, at ,the most, that
they might prevent an Allied occupation at some future date.
When the final orders for the German invasion of Norway
were given the diary of the Naval Operations Staff for 23rd March, 1940,
"A mass encroachment by the English into Norwegian
territorial waters . . . is not to be expected at the present time."
And Admiral Assmann's entry for 26th Match says:
"British landing in Norway not considered serious."
Documents which were subsequently captured by the
Germans are relied on to show that the Allied plan to occupy harbours
and airports in Western Norway was a definite plan, although in all
points considerably behind the German plans under which the invasion
was actually carried out. These documents indicate that an altered plan
had been finally agreed upon on 20th March, 1940, a convoy should leave
England on 5th April, and that mining in Norwegian waters would begin
the same day; and that on 5th April the sailing time had been postponed
until 8th April. But these plans were not the cause of the German invasion
of Norway. Norway was occupied by Germany to afford her bases from which
a more effective attack on England and France might be made, pursuant
to plans prepared long in advance of the Allied plans which are now
relied on to support the argument of self-defense.
It was further argued that Germany alone could decide,
in accordance with the reservations made by many of the Signatory Powers
at the time of the conclusion of the Briand-Kellogg Pact, whether preventive
action was a necessity, and that in making her decision final judgment
was conclusive. But whether action taken under the claim of seIf-defense
was in fact aggressive or defensive must ultimately be subject to investigation
and adjudication if international law is ever to be enforced.
No suggestion is made by the defendants that there
was any plan by any belligerent, other than Germany, to occupy Denmark.
No excuse for that aggression has ever been offered.
As the German armies entered Norway and Denmark, German
memoranda were handed to the Norwegian and Danish Governments which
gave the assurance that the German troops did not come as enemies, that
they arid not intend to make use of the points occupied by German troops
as bases for operations against England, as long as they were not forced
to do so by measures taken by England and France, and that they had
come to protect the North against proposed occupation of Norwegian strong
points by English-French forces.
The memoranda added that Germany had no intention of
infringing the territorial integrity and political independence of the
Kingdom of Norway then or in the future. Nevertheless, on the 3rd June,
1940, a German Naval memorandum discussed the use to be made of Norway
and Denmark, and put forward one solution for consideration, that the
territories of Denmark and Norway acquired during ,the course of the
war should continue to be occupied and organised so that they could
in the future be considered as German possessions.
In the light of all the available evidence it is impossible
to accept the contention that the invasions of Denmark and Norway were
defensive, and in the opinion of the Tribunal they were acts of aggressive