Cornell University Law Library

Donovan Nuremberg Trials Collection

Nuremberg trial transcripts and documents from the Collection of General William J. Donovan

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Volume 004
Subdivision Subdivision 8 / Hitler
Part Not applicable
Section 8.05
Title The Fuhrer's speech to the Cammanders [sic] in Chief on 22 August 1939. / Translation of Document No. 798-PS / Office of U.S. Chief of Counsel.
Pages 4
Pages Supplemental None
Date Unknown
Language English
Author Hitler; the translator is Virigina von Schon, 046318
Witness Not applicable
Other Names Hitler; Goering; Mussolini; Franco; Stalin; Ribbentrop
Other Dates 1914-1918
Abstract In this document, Hitler conveys his reasons for precipitating aggressive war to the Nazi High Command. According to Hitler, the time is ripe to attack Poland and, if necessary, engage England and France as well, for none of these countries has rearmed sufficiently to withstand the German onslaught. In two or three years, as Hitler sees it, Germany will have lost the military advantage she currently holds, particularly in relation to England. Equally important is the consideration of leadership: Hitler conceives of himself as the indispensable leader, the one man ever likely to exist in Germany with adequate authority and popular support to perpetrate a military offensive on the scale he is contemplating: "probably no one will ever again have the confidence of the whole German people as I do. There will probably never again be a man in the future with more authority than I have. My existence is therefore a factor of great value. But I can be eliminated at any time by a criminal or an idiot" (p.1). In sum, Hitler regards himself and Germany as being at the peak of their respective powers in both an absolute sense and in relation to all potential enemies. Given his objectives, the conclusion is plain: "Therefore conflict better now" (p.2). This document is a typewritten copy on brittle, browning paper.
Keywords Poland; Duce; England; France; Italy; Spain; Russia; Non-aggression pact; Rearmament; Neutrality; Hitler speeches; Preparations to wage aggressive war