Translated by Charles E. Weber
During 1978 to 1983 a group of patriotic friends founded by the former mayor of Hamburg, Carl Vincent Krogmann, published revisionist letters on a great variety of historical and social questions of importance to Germans. A selection of 34 of these letters was subsequently published by Thies Christophersen in the Kritik series, numbers 60 and 61 (available from Nordwind Versandbuchhandlung, Molevej 12, DK-6340 Kollund, DENMARK or Nordland-Forlag, Postboks 7916, DK-9210, Aalborg SO, DENMARK). Some of the letters pertaining to the history of the Second World War deal with such topics as the “Holocaust” film, the war guilt question, Lidice, the invasion of Denmark and Norway, Admiral Dönitz, the stories about soap and lampshades made from Jewish corpses and the battle of Stalingrad.
As an example of the interesting letters in this series we have chosen the one which deals with the background of the German declaration of war against the United States on 11 December 1941, an event which had even more tragic consequences than the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, which has been far more widely studied by American historians than the origins of the outbreak of war between Germany and the United States.
Having received the kind permission of Thies Christophersen, we plan to publish further translations of these letters.
Please note that the quotations from sources in English are retranslations and thus might not have exactly the original wording.
IT IS THE TRUTH that this declaration of war on 11 December 1941 simply expressed one thing: that Germany would no longer tolerate in the future the American attacks on German submarines without taking action, but was henceforth ready to strike back. The preliminary development was a systematic pushing of the United States into the war by Roosevelt and the “Morgenthau Boys,” as they called themselves, along with the “gray eminence,” Louis Howe. The American people did not want any war. Up to December 1941, in opinion polls there was a steady result of 85% of those asked who were against meddling in the European conflict. Only 9,000 volunteers reported for military service in spite of a campaign toward that end in such newspapers as the New York Times and the Washington Post. Famous persons such as the Democratic Senator Wheeler and the aviator Charles Lindbergh led the movement for peace.
Roosevelt was able to win the presidential election of November 1940 because he advocated a definite program of peace, according to which the United States would participate in the war only if attacked. On 30 October he solemnly swore: “Your boys will not be sent into any foreign war.”
And what was the truth? Even before the beginning of the war, on 23 June 1939, Roosevelt concluded a secret agreement with the English government concerning the delivery of armaments. On 10 August 1939, a committee on war supplies was created. England was subjected to pressure from the United States to declare war on Germany on 3 September 1939. The Secretary of War of the United States, Forrestal, noted in his diary that “neither the French nor the British would have considered Poland a cause for war if it had not been for the steady nudging from Washington.”
As early as 22 September 1939, the United States declared, in contradiction of every marine and international law, a zone of 300-1,000 nautical miles (later 2,000 nautical miles) to be a so-called “zone of neutrality,” in which German submarines and surface naval units were not permitted to attack any British ships. As a result, the British convoys were protected by American destroyers.
On 3 November 1939 Roosevelt had the arms embargo (according to which no weapons were permitted to be delivered to belligerent countries) lifted. In this action he was fully supported by the capitalist circles of Wall Street. At the same time German freighters overseas which wanted to break through to home ports were “shadowed” by American cruisers, which radioed in British ships that sank them. On 19 March 1940 Roosevelt sold the best U.S. airplanes to England and France and on 3 September 1940 he exchanged 50 American destroyers for a couple of islands. The American newspaper, St. Louis Dispatch, correctly observed relative to this on 3 September 1940 that Roosevelt had thus committed “an act of war.” On 16 September 1940 Roosevelt was able to introduce universal conscription. On 12 December 1940 secret British-American general staff discussions began which lasted to the end of March and which led to the establishment of two war plans: one against Germany, the other against Japan (which was competing with the United States for export markets in eastern Asia). Admiral Stark subsequently wrote to his fleet commanders: “The question of our entry into the war now appears to be that of when, and of if.” On 29 December 1940 Roosevelt gave his famous fireside chat in which he said that Hitler would be holding a “pointed revolver” against the United States after a victory over England. It was thus intended that the Americans were to be made ready for further breaches of neutrality.
On 9 March 1941 the Lend-Lease Program was whipped through Congress, which meant an unprecedented program of supplying materials, first for England and then – as early as July 1941 – also for the USSR. If the Lend-Lease Program had been sold to American citizens as a “protection of democracy,” the support of Stalin’s régime of terror exposed Roosevelt’s real intentions.
In toto the United States delivered more than $50,000,000,000 (at that time more than 200,000,000,000 Reichsmark) worth of material to the other belligerent powers. U.S. military airplanes began to patrol the North Atlantic from Newfoundland in order to track German submarines. For the purpose of better surveillance, Greenland was occupied by American troops in April 1941 and Iceland in July, and the navy was directed to use force in keeping the sea lanes open. On 25 August 1941 the secret command was issued to the Atlantic fleet to attack and sink “hostile naval forces.” On 1 September 1941 Roosevelt openly declared in a Labor Day speech: “We shall do everything in our power to destroy Hitler and his armed forces.” Naturally, incidents were bound to occur; an American destroyer dropped depth charges on a German submarine which tried to defend itself by shooting a torpedo. Roosevelt gave a misleading report about this on the radio on 11 September 1941 and said: “The time has now come when we have to recognize the cold, inescapable necessity of saying to these inhuman, reckless adventurers of world conquest who are attempting to establish a permanent dominion of the world: You are trying to subject our children and children’s children to your reign of terror and slavery. You have now attacked our own security. You can go this far and no further!” This hypocritical indignation was all the more reprehensible because the British knew the German secret naval radio code and could intercept and translate all of the radio communications. They and their American confidants thus knew the directive which the German naval command had radioed to submarines on 21 June 1941: “The Führer has ordered the avoiding of any incident with the United States during the coming weeks. Act accordingly in all conceivable cases. Until further notice, attack only cruisers, battleships, and aircraft carriers inside and outside of the blockade area, and only if these can be clearly recognized as hostile. In the case of warships, traveling under blackout is not considered proof of a hostile identity.”
In keeping with this command, the German submarines were no longer permitted to attack their most dangerous enemies, the destroyers, frigates, and corvettes, even the English ones. They were not even permitted to defend themselves. Only by a later, supplemental command were the German submarines permitted to counter an attack in progress for the sake of defending themselves as long as the attack continued. On 15 September 1941 the American Secretary of the Navy, Knox, gave the order to “capture or destroy by all means available all merchant destroyers of the Axis powers, no matter whether they appear as surface or underwater pirates.” After this “order to shoot” by the American president, the United States was in a war with Germany as of 15 September 1941, a war which the United States did not declare as a result of the lack of approval by Congress. United States Admiral Hart wrote appropriately to United States Admiral Stark: “In the Atlantic the navy is already at war; whether the country knows it or not, we are at war.”
Even the Military Tribunal in Nuremberg was not inclined to assert, in view of this clear conduct, that Germany had conducted an aggressive war against the United States. This was supplemented by the statement by Grand Admiral Dönitz: “The aggressor in the latest war between the United States and Germany was clearly the United States.”
Since Adolf Hitler could not be provoked, Japan was pushed into a corner by Roosevelt. The intention was to drive Japan into war by means of embargoes, confiscation of assets, and cutting off raw materials. The Japanese acceded to one demand after another, after which the Americans kept making new ones. After the last one was met Roosevelt also demanded that the Japanese apologize publicly to the world. Since this was against their honor and Japan would have lost face, Roosevelt knew that Japan would not be able to take this. By breaking the Japanese radio code the government even knew for certain the subsequent plan of the Japanese to spring a surprise attack on the American navy. It did not, however, warn the naval base at Pearl Harbor. As a result, the Japanese did not refrain from their attack. In order to attain the desired war against Germany, Roosevelt sacrificed a considerable part of the Pacific fleet and thousands of soldiers, which brought about the added result that the battle ships sunk in Pearl Harbor had to be rebuilt, and that was not unwelcome to the armament manufacturers who were behind the Roosevelt administration. That was the back door to war (with Germany), as was revealed by the American Admiral Theobald.
Although Germany was, for practical purposes, already in a state of war with the United States, Hitler did whatever was still humanly possible. Since the Tripartite Pact with Japan was only a defensive alliance, Germany was not obligated to declare war against the United States following the lead of Japan. As a compensation for the declaration of war that took place on 11 December, Hitler negotiated an agreement with the Japanese that they would not make a separate peace with the United States. Since the Japanese had been willing to compromise up to the end, this was very important for Germany. The United States had already delivered considerable amounts of supplies to the Soviet Union. Adolf Hitler hoped that these deliveries of supplies would be suspended or at least reduced as long as Japan was at war with the United States. Since the Soviet troops had gone over to the attack near Moscow on 6 December 1941 with a strength of 100 armed (Siberian) divisions, by which the German army was put into a great crisis, it was apparent that no Blitzkrieg could henceforth be conducted against the Soviet Union. It was all the more important that the United States commit a large part of its forces in the Pacific.
The fact that this, not something like megalomania, was behind the German declaration of war against the United States on 11 December 1941 was ascertained just recently by the Stuttgart historian, Eberhard Jaeckel. After 40 years, constantly new revelations. But things are to be different now. A new law is being prepared by which a denial or excusing of “National Socialist crimes” is to be subject to punishment. The postwar politicians licensed by the Allies see a threat to the basis of their actions. For that reason, criticism must be choked off by courts before dissident opinions arise.
Let us defend ourselves against the muzzle law. Let us write to the representatives in the Bundestag that in this matter the intention is to shut off once more freedom of opinion. Let us not give up our right to free expression of opinion without a fight!1
The following is the second translation from the Kritik series, nos. 60 and 61. The first translation, which had to do with the involvement of the United States in the Second World War, was published in Bulletin 28 and republished in the Liberty Bell of October 1988, pp. 27-31. For information on the Kritik series, see Bulletin 28. We plan to present further translations from the series.
IT IS A LIE that a whole city was wiped out in a blood bath in the case of Lidice, as is claimed, for example, in the book by L.W. Thayer, Die unruhigen Deutschen.
IT IS THE TRUTH that Lidice was a Czech village whose male inhabitants – not by any means its women and children – were shot by Czech gendarmes of the Prague security police on German orders. The 199 men were shot because the village had given refuge to two Czechs who had been living in exile, who had been flown in from England and who had then murdered Reinhard Heydrich [the Deputy Reichsprotektor of Bohemia and Moravia; died on 4 June 1942]. The Czechs had been flown in because no acts of resistance or sabotage whatsoever had taken place, as a result of the wise policies of Heydrich, who aimed at reconciliation. The British author Alan Burgess writes in his book, Seven Men at Daybreak, concerning the preliminary history: “The Western powers could no longer count on having further resistance carried out. With every passing day Czechoslovakia went further into the Nazi camp. The Czech Secret Service envisaged only the possibility of interrupting the course of things and showing the world that Czechoslovakia was again on the side of the Allies. Heydrich (the Reichsprotektor and Supreme Head of the Sicherheitspolizei [Security Police] had to be killed.” [Note: This and the next quotation are retranslations.]
In the case of the measure taken after the murder, the German leaders were acting on the basis of international law. It is permissible to shoot hostages for the purpose of intimidating partisans; this has also been the practice of the Western Allies. F.J.P. Veale Writes in Advance to Barbarism: “Articles 453 and 454 of the British manual of military law are clear and not to be misunderstood on this point. Article 454 declares that reprisals become a means of exerting pressure by involving individuals who are innocent in most cases. Article 358 of the American manual likewise declares the shooting of hostages to be permissible and to be a measure necessary to preserve the safety of troops.” [This retranslation from Veale’s book corresponds more or less to passages on page 344 of the edition published by the Institute for Historical Review in 1979, but no mention is made of the American manual there.]
The Western Allies acted accordingly even after the Second World War. On 11 February 1957 the village of Danuba in the British protectorate of Aden was completely destroyed by English bombers because its inhabitants refused to hand over residents of the village who were responsible for an ambush of a patrol. During the Algerian war of independence the French air force boasted of having leveled 44 Arabian villages. The French did not even stop at villages in neighboring countries. The Tunisian village of Sakiet-Sidi-Yussef was destroyed because Algerians who had made attacks in Algeria had allegedly found refuge there. The victims numbered 75 dead, 30 severely injured and more than 170 slightly injured.
Whilst in the case of the punitive expedition against Lidice only the men were killed, women and children were also involved in the aforementioned instances. On 9 April 1948 the Israelis slew the entire population of the Palestinian village of Deir Yassin, 250 men, women, and children, and threw their bodies into wells in order to contaminate them. On 13 October 1948, according to the report of the head of the United Nations armistice commission, the Danish general Bennike, the entire population of the Syrian village of Kibya, men, women, and children were slain by regular Israeli troops. Some of the inhabitants were shot in the village and some of them driven into their houses, which were then blown up with those in them.
We could cite further examples. We do not wish to. We cite these examples simply because we assume that they are not well known and because we wish to pose the following question: Why does every German pupil know about Lidice today and why not about Danuba, Sakiet-Sidi-Yussef, Deir Yassin, or Kibya? The objective which is supposed to be attained is clear: Collective shame, as was already urged on us by Federal President [1949-1959] Heuss. And to what does this collective shame lead? To turning one’s back on one’s own nation, to willingness for penitence and expiation, to voluntary payments, to renunciation of one’s own fatherland and turning to such ideologies as Marxism that are uncharacteristic of one’s own nation [volksfremd]. For that reason, we cannot be indifferent about the lies that are being told about our past! And if we do not defend ourselves against the lies, we need not be astonished when the campaign of lies that is being carried on against us is so successful. But if it is successful, we cannot expect any sympathy in the world for our political concerns and we shall be lacking in allies. One of our readers has written us that we should be less concerned about lies about the past and more about lies concerning the present. We can remain silent only when the lies about our past are no longer spread by our enemies. Otherwise our silence will be interpreted as a confession of guilt.
If others cease to lie, then we shall no longer have to set any part of the record straight.
The following is our third translation from the Kritik series, nos. 60 and 61. The first translation, which had to do with the involvement of the United States in the Second World War, was published in Bulletin 28 and republished in the Liberty Bell of October 1988. The second translation dealt with the destruction of the Czech village of Lidice. It was published in Bulletin 34 and republished in the Liberty Bell of June 1989. As in Bulletin 39, which dealt with the “Bromberg Bloody Sunday,” we again turn our attention to the events of 1939 around the outbreak of the war between Poland and Germany on 1 September 1939, which was expanded into the Second World War three days later by the declaration of war against Germany by England and France. For information on the Kritik series, see Bulletin 28. Please note that the quotations from sources in English are retranslations and thus might not have exactly the original wording.
IT IS A LIE that Germany started the Second World War.
On the 40th anniversary of the outbreak of the German-Polish War, politicians and organizations, from Hamburg Mayor Klose to the churches, fell all over themselves in confessions of guilt, how much guilt we had taken on ourselves and in assertions that even those who had not yet been born at the time were burdened with it.
IT IS THE TRUTH that Poland annexed the purely Germany areas of West Prussia and Upper Silesia in 1919. [President] Wilson’s advisor, Major General [T.H.] Bliss, said at the time: “Putting 2.1 million Germans under the rule of a nation which has never demonstrated the capacity for a strong self-government in its entire history will, in my opinion, necessarily lead to a new war in eastern Europe sooner or later.” And the English Prime Minister, Lloyd George, went to the wall map during the peace negotiations in Versailles, pointed to Danzig and West Prussia and said: “This will be the cause of the next war.”
As a matter of fact, already after the First World War Poland drove far more than a million Germans out of West Prussia and Upper Silesia, denounced the minority protection agreement imposed by the League of Nations, closed German schools and cultural institutions in large numbers and forbade German newspapers. [Concerning this, see also Bulletin 18.] Poland answered the German demand for self-determination in Danzig and West Prussia with the mobilization of its troops. The Poles overestimated their own strength and underestimated that of the Germans. The Polish Foreign Minister Lipski told the English Ambassador Henderson: “I do not think of advocating peace. If war comes, there will be revolution in Germany within three days and Poland can march in.” In the Polish army “au revoir in Berlin” was introduced as a toast. During the months before the outbreak of the war, nearly all of the larger newspapers in Poland, such as Dzien Polski, Mosarstwowiec, Ilustrowany Kurier, demanded the annexation of at least East Prussia, but if possible the Oder-Neisse Line as a frontier. And the National Polish Youth League [“der allpolnische Jugendverband,” as given in the German text] gave the following incitement: “In 1410 the Germans were defeated at Tannenberg. Now we shall beat them up at Berlin. Danzig, East Prussia and Silesia are minimal demands.” The Germans in West Prussia and Upper Silesia were persecuted in a bloody manner. Every day Germans were murdered in keeping with the Poland Song of 1848: “May our enemy, the German, perish. Whoever hangs the German dog? will be given God’s reward.” In August 1939 alone more than 2,000 Germans were slain or shot without any indictment by a Polish prosecuting attorney. A country with self-respect cannot allow such provocations and attacks against its ethnic members without a response. The guilty party must be sought not in Berlin, but rather in Warsaw. The march into Poland was a justified police action.
And the war with England and France?
By the formulation that “Hitler started the war” the fact is concealed that the German Reich did not declare war against England and France, but England and France against the Reich. The assertion is made that they were obligated to do this as a result of a guarantee of boundaries given to Poland. But why did they not declare war against the U.S.S.R., which also marched into Poland in September 1939 and occupied the eastern part, and why did they not, along with the United States, see to it that Poland became free in 1945? Poland was only an excuse for a clique which wanted war. As early as 1936 Churchill said: “Germany is getting too strong. We must destroy it.” And in Churchill’s memoirs he writes: “One day President Roosevelt told me that he was about to have the question posed publicly as to what name to give to the war which he was determined to conduct. I gave him the answer at once: ‘The Unforced War!’ This was the case because there was never a war which would have been easier to avoid than that which would soon rage.” And when Lord Halifax was challenged, he smugly said: ‘Now we have forced Hitler into a war.’”
But are we guilty of the war against Russia?
The American ambassador in Moscow at the time, Joseph Davis, observed: “since the Munich discussions in 1938 Soviet industry has been working simply one-hundred percent for war.” The Soviet party journal Communist confirmed this in 1958: “The non-aggression pact with Germany was intended to gain time and to increase our power. It was not England and France that were the real combatants. During May to June 1940 the Soviets decided to go to war and to wipe out fascism.” On 12 November 1940 Molotov [Soviet foreign minister at the time] made unlimited demands on the Reich, in particular a free hand in Romania, which would have cut off the German supply of petroleum. Russia did not want a compromise with Germany, but rather war. In the Russian History of the Great Patriotic War 1941-1945 the following is stated concerning Russian intentions: “In keeping with the theory of achieving a break through the tactical defense of the enemy with the help of deep offensive operations, army units were supposed to make deep thrusts through the enemy defenses.” As early as the spring of 1940 there were 116 infantry divisions and 20 cavalry divisions, as well as 40 armored brigades in deployment, which were opposed by no more than just 12 German divisions. Up to June 1941, 13 armies with 4,700,000 men, 21,000 tanks and 6,500 airplanes had moved into position here. They were opposed on the German side by only 3,000,000 men with 3,500 tanks and 2,700 airplanes. On 5 May 1941 Stalin told high-ranking Soviet leaders: “Within two months we can go to war.” [It seems to me that Rudolf Hess’ lonely flight to Scotland just five days later with the objective of a settlement between England and Germany could have been a specific reaction to Stalin’s speech, about which German intelligence could have learned. – Translator] The high-ranking army commander [Andrej] Vlassov [captured in 1942 by, and then fought with, the Germans, and turned over to Soviet authorities after the war by the Americans as part of “Operation Keelhaul”] confirmed that the attack had been planned for August or September 1941. According to him, the Russians were marching into position since the beginning of the year, a process which lasted rather long as a result of the poor Russian rail connections. Hitler viewed the situation quite correctly, Vlassov said, and thrust right into the Russian deployment. The newspaper Contemporary Review adds: “One of the anomalies of this confused war of 1939-1945 lies in the fact that Hitler perceived the perfidious policies of Russia without any self-deception.” There was only one possibility for Germany: to surprise the Soviet troops deployed for an attack before the Russian steam-roller got a start.
However, instead of proceeding against the lie of the German main guilt in the war, as have the American professors Charles C. Tansill, Harry Elmer Barnes, David L. Hoggan, and others, as well as Taylor, the professor of history at the English University of Oxford, and instead of rejecting decisively the demands made on account of the “German war guilt,” “our” politicians befoul their own nests with self-reproaches. People who befoul their own nest are not respected anywhere; they have an embarrassing effect. Anyone can go around in sackcloth and ashes as he wishes. We could be indifferent to this if it were not for the phrase used by Klose, “joint responsibility” [Mithaftung]. This is the case because these accusations of guilt have consequences: unlimited demands for reparations, obtaining economic favors through blackmail, and weakening of our own political position in the world. Instead of averting harm from the German nation in keeping with their oath, many of the politicians do unlimited harm to our nation. For that reason the historical truth must not simply be discussed in congresses of philologists [sic] but belongs to the people in general!
Let us work toward that end!
April 1940 witnessed the first large-scale military action of the Second World War other than that in Poland and naval engagements. In conjunction with the fiftieth anniversary of the struggle between England and Germany for the control of Norway, it is appropriate that we reëxamine the background of this struggle.
The following is the fourth translation from the Kritik series, nos. 60 and 61, letter no. 17. Previous translations were published in Bulletins nos. 28 (on the German declaration of war against the United States), 34 (on the reprisal action against the town of Lidice) and 40 (on the responsibility for the outbreak of the Second World War). These three previous translations were republished in the Liberty Bell, issues of October 1988, June 1989 and October 1989.
For information about the Kritik series, nos. 61 and 62, see the introduction of Bulletin 28.
IT IS A LIE that Adolf Hitler ordered the occupation of Denmark and Norway 40 years ago because this was a further preliminary step in his “program of world conquest.”
IT IS THE TRUTH that after the victorious conclusion of the campaign in Poland there were no intentions on the part of Germany whatsoever to impair the neutrality of the Scandinavian countries. In a secret memorandum from Adolf Hitler for the General Staff dated 9 October 1939 there is the following in this connection: “The Nordic countries: Their neutrality, even in the future, must be assumed to be probable unless entirely unforeseen factors arise. The continuation of German trade with these countries seems possible even if the war lasts a rather long time.” (Brennecke, Die Nürnberger Geschichtsentstellung, page 234 [=The Nuremberg Distortion of History]).
On the following day Grand Admiral Raeder called Hitler’s attention to the fact that intelligence information in this regard existed to the effect that England was planning to occupy strongpoints in Norway. As early as 12 September 1939 Churchill [at that time First Lord of the Admiralty] had requested in a memorandum that Germany be cut off from the importation of iron ore from Scandinavia. On 19 September 1939 he presented a further memorandum to the Cabinet, about which he writes in his own memoirs: “This morning I pointed out to the Cabinet how important it is to prevent the transportation of Swedish iron ore from Narvik along the Norwegian coast.” (Der Zweite Weltkrieg, volume II, page 50). On 29 September 1939 Churchill urged the mining of Norwegian waters.
At first, Hitler reacted to these questions simply by saying that he would investigate them. In the winter of 1939-1940 reports were accumulating that English spies were gathering information about landing possibilities and harbor capacities in Norway and investigating the capacity of Norwegian railways and the location of land and sea airfields. On 16 December 1939 the Allied chiefs of staff were ordered to prepare plans for a possible invasion of Scandinavia. It was even publicly known that the British were not about to respect Scandinavian neutrality. On 6 February 1940 they demanded of Norway and Sweden, almost as an ultimatum, that they were to be given permission to land several divisions in Narvik and, using the Norwegian-Swedish ore railway, to proceed as far as the ore region of Gällivare and to occupy the Swedish harbor of Lulea. Aid to Finland in opposition to the U.S.S.R. was given as a reason, but this was only a pretext, since the western powers had also not declared war against the U.S.S.R. after the invasion of Allied Poland by the Russians.
On 16 February 1940 British sailors of the destroyer Cossack boarded the unarmed German supply ship Altmark in Norwegian waters and shot seven men of the merchant marine crew. Following that, on 1 March 1940, Hitler approved the “Weser Exercise” Plan, that is, the occupation of Norway and (as a country of passage) Denmark, “if the situation demands it.” Three days prior to that Churchill had declared that he was tired of considering the rights of neutral countries.
By this time, on both sides preparations were underway for an occupation, in the case of which the western powers were contemplating the occupation of Norway and Sweden, while Germany contemplated the occupation of Denmark and Norway. For the British home fleet the order was issued to commence the occupation of Norway by British, French and Polish troops on 5 April 1940. Accordingly, on 5 April 1940, at the same hour in London and Paris, the British Foreign Minister, Lord Halifax, and the French Prime Minister Reynaud received the ambassadors of Sweden and Norway and handed them a note in which it was stated: “England and France have the right to block off the supplying of Germany with raw materials necessary for its conduct of the war….”
For reasons which have never been fully explained, even today, the start of the British-French action was postponed to 8 April 1940, so that German troops, which landed on 9 April, were ahead of the Allies by a few hours. Thereupon the Allied landing troops turned back.
On 9 April 1940 the German ambassadors explained in notes the reason for the German occupation, which was undertaken for the protection of the neutrality of the countries because these countries could not take on the protection themselves. The Danish Council of Ministers decided to accept the German protection and to order that no military actions be undertaken against the German troops. The Norwegian government, however, had already mobilized its troops during the night, which then offered resistance. As early as December 1939 Vidkun Quisling had already expressed his fear to Raeder that an agreement between England and Norway concerning the occupation of Norway was already extant. French and British general staff officers had investigated the terrain. They had been oriented by Norwegian military authorities about the logistic conditions of the country. The boarding of the Altmark had not been protested before German pressure was exerted, and only with a limp protest at that.
When, on 6 April 1940, British and French ships laid mines at three locations in Norwegian territorial waters, the Norwegian government responded simply with a note of protest without making an attempt to attack with Norwegian naval vessels the British ships which were guarding the mine barriers.
Previously 1,000,000 tons of Norwegian shipping space had already been chartered to England on a long-term basis with the approval of the Norwegian government, space which England needed urgently for supply. The order had been given to the Norwegian coastal batteries and ships not to fire on English naval vessels, but certainly to fire on German naval vessels in case they penetrated Norwegian territorial waters. Likewise, English and French landing troops were not to be resisted.
Norway had thus distanced itself from a strict neutrality. Since it was neither willing nor able to maintain its neutrality, Germany had to intervene. On account of the icing over of the Baltic Sea during the winter, it was absolutely necessary that the possibility of transporting Swedish iron ore by way of the harbor of Narvik be maintained throughout the year. The English government knew why it refused during the Nuremberg Trials to put its cards on the table; its lie that it had never intended to occupy Norway unless it had been called upon to do so would have been refuted by such an action.
Only if the young people of Germany and Norway learn the truth will it be possible to put an end to the work of those who poison the nations.
1 This article reprinted from Bulletin No. 28, published by the Committee for the Reexamination of the History of the Second World War, Charles E. Weber, Ph.D., Chairman, 1628 So. College, Tulsa, OK 74104.
SOURCE: Liberty Bell, Oct. 1988, June 1989, Oct. 1989, May 1990