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 8.04
Title Minutes of a Conference on 23 May 39
Pages 7
Pages Supplemental None
Date 1939-05-23
Language English
Author (Sgd) Schmundt, Lt Col. (Hitler's Adjutant)
Witness Not applicable
Other Names Hitler; Goering; Raeder; Brauchitsch; Keitel; Milch; Halder; Bodenschatz; Schniewindt; Jeschonnek; Warlimont; Engel; Albrecht; Below
Other Dates 1914; 1933-1939; 1943; 1944
Abstract This document illustrates the level of premeditation involved in Hitler's invasion of Poland and in his willingness to fight a general European war, particularly against England. The abiding concern for living space and food supplies is present and continues, at least ostensibly, to fuel Hitler's drive to establish German hegemony in Europe. Terse, somewhat repetitious, these minutes seem to reflect a state of heightened tension, as Hitler and the Nazi High Command realize that the time is ripe to launch the first campaign (that is, the invasion of Poland) of what Hitler foresees as a protracted war - a "life-and-death struggle" in the case of France and England, which might last 10-15 years. In general, the Fuehrer calls for secrecy and study: that no one know anything beyond his sphere of concern, that all possible plans be reviewed and precautions seen to that will tend to ensure success. The first page of this document, which is obviously an English translation of the German original, is marked "TOP SECRET," with the additional directive, "To be transmitted by officer only." Above "TOP SECRET - are two handwritten words enclosed by parentheses; it is not clear whether these words are a person's name or the name of a place, for the words themselves are not quite legible. This document is a typewritten photostatic copy, i.e., white letters on a black background. The paper shows little sign of ageing.
Keywords Germany; Poland; England; France; Italy; Japan; Belgium; Holland; Russia; Plan of attack; Ruhr Basin; Food supply; Living space; Economic problems