Hitler's Obersalzberg Speech // DOCUMENTS 1014-PS, 798-PS and Raeder 27

All aspects including lead-in to hostilities and results.

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Re: Hitler's Obersalzberg Speech // DOCUMENTS 1014-PS, 798-PS and Raeder 27

Postby zapper » 2 months 3 weeks ago (Sun May 09, 2021 8:06 pm)

HMSendeavour wrote: All of Hitler's considerations were preoccupied with Danzig and the Corridor, not with Polish territories.


Is that why he mentions Danzig and the Corridor only once in this speech to his generals about invading a major country with the full might of the German army, in doing so possibly entering into war with the greatest European powers?

Instead he says, to quote Halder: “Trigger: Means indifferent. The winner will never be questioned as to whether his reasons were justified. It is not a question of having the law on our side, it is all about victory."

And he also says, quoting Raeder: "Providence has made us the leaders of this people and thereby given us the task of securing the necessary living space for the German people who are compressed 140 persons to a square kilometre."

I suppose we can end this here and people can make up their own mind. Hopefully Goebbels diaries will clarify a few things once I am able to track them down.

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Re: Hitler's Obersalzberg Speech // DOCUMENTS 1014-PS, 798-PS and Raeder 27

Postby HMSendeavour » 2 months 3 weeks ago (Sun May 09, 2021 8:31 pm)

zapper wrote:Is that why he mentions Danzig and the Corridor only once in this speech to his generals about invading a major country with the full might of the German army


Yes. Because AGAIN Hitler's plan in a war against Poland was to defeat Poland, which is obvious. This means more than just simply taking back the territories that belonged to Germany. The defeat of Poland in a war, and securing the territories that belong to you are two entirely separate things dependant on vastly different circumstances. The circumstance in which war prevails is the one where simply taking back your own territory cannot be done without significant push-back from your enemy. If Hitler could achieve that, then he wouldn't have had to go to war with Poland in the first place, that he had to do so goes to show that the Poles for their part had no intention of just letting Germany take back Danzig and the Corridor.

Even if your assertion was true Zapper, this wouldn't precipitate a war with any other countries other than Poland.

To reiterate, it doesn't mean that Hitler desired or sought a war that was larger than just that between Germany and Poland.

The reference to crushing ‘the living daylights’ – die lebendigen Kräfte – out of Poland was misinterpreted by the Allied prosecutors at Nuremberg. In fact Hitler was just stating the basic military fact that the strategic objective was to destroy the enemy, not attain some line on a map. The professional soldiers present understood this perfectly (see, e.g., Bock’s diary). Note that Hitler used precisely the same turn of phrase in his harangue to the generals before the Battle of the Ardennes, on Dec 12, 1944 (Heiber, op. cit., 721)

David Irving, Hitler's War and the War Path (Focal Point Publications, 2019), Pp. 861.


What this means, is that defeating Poland was the objective, by whatever means. It was not therefore, Hitler's intention to just annex Poland. He would have to "crush her" (figure of speech) in order to achieve his aim of reclaiming lost German lands. You're making the same misinterpretation that those crooks at Nuremberg were making, because for some reason, you cannot tell the difference between a military necessity to achieve an objective, and a war-aim.

zapper wrote:in doing so possibly entering into war with the greatest European powers?


Possibly, although Hitler didn't consider it likely as he says in this speech and as he wrote in his directive for Case White:

2.) Military Conclusions


The great objectives in the reconstruction of the German Wehrmacht will continue to be determined by the antagonism of the Western Democracies. "Operation White" constitutes only a precautionary complement to these preparations. It is not to be looked upon in any way, however, as the necessary prerequisite for a military conflict with the Western opponents.

The isolation of Poland will be all the more easily maintained, even after the outbreak of hostilities, if we succeed in starting the war with sudden, heavy blows and in gaining rapid successes.

The overall situation will require, however, that in all cases precautions be taken to safeguard the western frontier and the German North Sea coast, as well as the air above them.

Against the Baltic States—Lithuania in particular—security measures are to be carried out in case of a Polish march through this country.

DGFP, D, vol. VI, doc. 185., p. 225.


The rapid invasion of Poland with the full force of the German army was intended to pacify Poland as quickly as possible and forestall any possible aid offered by the Western powers in order to avoid conflict with them, hence fighting with the West was not to be seen as the logical outcome, or an expected outcome of a possible war with Poland ("It is not to be looked upon in any way, however, as the necessary prerequisite for a military conflict with the Western opponents").

As for the Goebbels diaries, which you seem to be making a point of bringing up. On September 1st as I've quoted numerous times before, Goebbels wrote that Hitler didn't expect any conflict with the West. This utterly contradicts your baseless assertion that Hitler had some conflict with them in mind, not to mention the plethora of other documents which clearly show your interpretation to be without foundation.
Now what does it mean for the independent expert witness Van Pelt? In his eyes he had two possibilities. Either to confirm the Holocaust story, or to go insane. - Germar Rudolf, 13th IHR Conference.

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Re: Hitler's Obersalzberg Speech // DOCUMENTS 1014-PS, 798-PS and Raeder 27

Postby zapper » 2 months 3 weeks ago (Sun May 09, 2021 9:03 pm)

HMSendeavour wrote:
zapper wrote:Is that why he mentions Danzig and the Corridor only once in this speech to his generals about invading a major country with the full might of the German army


Yes. Because AGAIN Hitler's plan in a war against Poland was to defeat Poland, which is obvious. This means more than just simply taking back the territories that belonged to Germany. The defeat of Poland in a war, and securing the territories that belong to you are two entirely separate things dependant on vastly different circumstances. The circumstance in which war prevails is the one where simply taking back your own territory cannot be done without significant push-back from your enemy. If Hitler could achieve that, then he wouldn't have had to go to war with Poland in the first place, that he had to do so goes to show that the Poles for their part had no intention of just letting Germany take back Danzig and the Corridor.

Even if your assertion was true Zapper, this wouldn't precipitate a war with any other countries other than Poland. it doesn't mean that Hitler desired or sought a war that was larger than just that between Germany and Poland.


I never claimed he desired war against the west as an end to itself. But rather he had pragmatic appreciation that if he sought political hegemony over Eastern Europe through force and the threat of force they would eventually turn against him.

Thus Halder: "Military use of weapons is necessary before the last major confrontation with the West; testing of the instrument.”

The reference to crushing ‘the living daylights’ – die lebendigen Kräfte – out of Poland was misinterpreted by the Allied prosecutors at Nuremberg. In fact Hitler was just stating the basic military fact that the strategic objective was to destroy the enemy, not attain some line on a map. The professional soldiers present understood this perfectly (see, e.g., Bock’s diary). Note that Hitler used precisely the same turn of phrase in his harangue to the generals before the Battle of the Ardennes, on Dec 12, 1944 (Heiber, op. cit., 721)

David Irving, Hitler's War and the War Path (Focal Point Publications, 2019), Pp. 861.


What this means, is that defeating Poland was the objective, by whatever means. It was not therefore, Hitler's intention to just annex Poland. He would have to "crush her" (figure of speech) in order to achieve his aim of reclaiming lost German lands. You're making the same misinterpretation that those crooks at Nuremberg were making, because for some reason, you cannot tell the difference between a military necessity to achieve an objective, and a war-aim.


I never claimed this was the case, w regards to the Halder reference "Objective: Destruction of Poland - elimination of its living strength"

The rapid invasion of Poland with the full force of the German army was intended to pacify Poland as quickly as possible and forestall any possible aid offered by the Western powers in order to avoid conflict with them,


I agree with this.

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Re: Hitler's Obersalzberg Speech // DOCUMENTS 1014-PS, 798-PS and Raeder 27

Postby HMSendeavour » 2 months 3 weeks ago (Sun May 09, 2021 9:41 pm)

zapper wrote:w regards to the Halder reference "Objective: Destruction of Poland - elimination of its living strength"


It's "living strength" is probably a reference to the armed forces, which is Poland's strength, and in a war would need to be destroyed. Halder's reference is a brief note, not an in-depth elaboration.

And anyway, Admiral Rader himself disputed the use of this phrase:

When Raeder six and a half years later, on 16 May 1946 in Nuremberg, is confronted with the Second Version of the aforementioned Hitler speech (798-PS), he immediately says that many of the phrases in this "protocol" are incorrect. Words-so Raeder says-such as

Annihilation of Poland in the foreground. The goal is the elimination of the living forces, not the attainment of a certain line" or "close the heart to pity, brutal action"


were not used. He argues that the German Commander-in-Chief would never have accepted the mention of such a war aim at the war's beginning.

Gerd Schultze-Rhonhof, 1939 - The War that Had Many Fathers (Olzog Verlag, George F. Held English Translation, 2011), Pp. 408.



Zapper liked to quote this comment from Halder quite a lot:

zapper wrote:Instead he says, to quote Halder: “Trigger: Means indifferent. The winner will never be questioned as to whether his reasons were justified. It is not a question of having the law on our side, it is all about victory."


Zapper insisted that this comment should be taken in conjunction with a quote from Raeder-27:

zapper wrote:Raeder: "The conflict will be set in motion by appropriate propaganda. The credibility is unimportant hereby, the right lies in the victory."

Halder: "Trigger: Means indifferent. The winner will never be questioned as to whether his reasons were justified. It is not a question of having the law on our side, it is all about victory."


However, Zapper was taking the latter quote from Halder out of context, and using a faulty translation which perverted the meaning of the text. If you read it like this, as Zapper presented it, then it does appear to show that Halder was talking about the "trigger(ing)" of a conflict, by constructing a false pretence (which wouldn't matter anyway, because the Germans already had plenty of valid reasons to go to war with Poland). That Zapper thought this is admitted by him here in his comments immediately proceeding the aforementioned quotes:

zapper wrote:In your view these quotes are nonsensical. But in another view the ‘appropriate propaganda’ was the public reasons given for the invasion. Assuming these reasons were valid, Hitler/Halder/Raeder wouldn’t need to talk like this. The law would be on their side, the innate credibility of their actions would be very important. So what we’re talking about is a manufactured casus belli.


Zapper blatantly misinterpreted this quote from Halder, thinking it supported Raeder-27.

If you read Halder's notes of the August 22nd conference in the Documents on German Foreign Policy volumes, he isn't referring to a "trigger" as in providing a propaganda "trigger" for the war, he's actually referring to "The Führer's demands on his military chiefs" in terms of conduct pertaining to how the war would need to be fought, and what the mental attitude should be in fighting it in order to achieve the German aim of victory over Poland. The 'solution' (Auslösung) according to Hitler, in the words of Halder, was to be "immaterial" (meaning that it didn't matter how Germany won, only that she won; when she did, no questions would be asked because the victors write history etc. that seems to be the sentiment Hitler was going for):

German:

2.) Ziel: Vernichtung Polens - Beseitigung seiner lebendigen Kraft. Es handelt sich nicht um Erreichen einer bestimmten Linie oder einer neuen Grenze, sondern um Vernichtung des Feindes, die auf immer neuen Wegen angestrebt werden muß.

3.) Auslösung: Mittel gleichgültig. Der Sieger wird nie interpelliert, ob seine Gründe berechtigt waren. Es handelt sich nicht darum, das Recht auf unserer Seite zu haben, sondern ausschließlich um den Sieg.


English:

2) Aim: Annihilation of Poland—elimination of its vital forces. It is not a matter of gaining a specific line or a new frontier, but rather of the annihilation of an enemy, which must be constantly attempted by new ways.

3) Solution: Means immaterial. The victor is never called upon to vindicate his actions. We are not concerned with having justice on our side, but solely with victory.


For the English, see: DGFP, D, vol. VII, Appendix I, p. 559. For the German, see.


So the word, if you use google translate, does turn Auslösung into 'trigger', but in the official English translation it's translated as 'solution', like when we refer to the "Final Solution of the Jewish Question" in German it's the "Endlösung der Judenfrage", not the "trigger (or endtrigger) of the Jewish Question", which makes no sense.

However, even if this wasn't the case, in context Halder's note of Hitler's demands of his chiefs isn't in reference to propaganda, it's in reference to how the Polish campaign was to be won, which was essentially by "any means" necessary. Failure, obviously, wasn't an option. Which is of course just something we humans tell ourselves when we want to achieve a task that's of immense importance.

Thus Halder's version of Hitler's speech on August 22nd 1939, doesn't support the idea that Hitler was manufacturing some casus belli, Halder doesn't make any mention of such a thing.
Now what does it mean for the independent expert witness Van Pelt? In his eyes he had two possibilities. Either to confirm the Holocaust story, or to go insane. - Germar Rudolf, 13th IHR Conference.

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Re: Hitler's Obersalzberg Speech // DOCUMENTS 1014-PS, 798-PS and Raeder 27

Postby gl0spana » 2 months 2 weeks ago (Thu May 20, 2021 9:58 pm)

HMSendeavour wrote:
So the word, if you use google translate, does turn Auslösung into 'trigger', but in the official English translation it's translated as 'solution', like when we refer to the "Final Solution of the Jewish Question" in German it's the "Endlösung der Judenfrage", not the "trigger (or endtrigger) of the Jewish Question", which makes no sense.

However, even if this wasn't the case, in context Halder's note of Hitler's demands of his chiefs isn't in reference to propaganda, it's in reference to how the Polish campaign was to be won, which was essentially by "any means" necessary. Failure, obviously, wasn't an option. Which is of course just something we humans tell ourselves when we want to achieve a task that's of immense importance.


It’s a mistranslation. They were sloppy here. Auslösung means trigger/catalyst in any German to Eng dictionary. Solution is just Lösung, so we can see how the mistake was made.

Indeed when we look at Raeder-27, at the exact same place in the document (immediately following description of Germany’s war “goals” or “aims”) we see the word Auslösung.

“Die Auslösung des Konfliktes wird durch eine geeignete Propaganda erfolgen. Die Glaubwürdigkeit ist dabei gleichgültig, im Sieg liegt das Recht.”

Machine translation: "The conflict will be triggered by appropriate propaganda. Credibility is irrelevant, the right lies in victory."

Nuremberg translation: "The conflict will be set in motion by appropriate propaganda. The credibility is unimportant hereby, the right lies in the victory."


Also note that in Raeder the word Propaganda is used, in reference to the war being started.

Now let us look at the second part of the Halder quote:
“Der Sieger wird nie interpelliert, ob seine Gründe berechtigt waren.”

Nuremberg translation is: “The victor is never called upon to vindicate his actions.”

Machine translation: "The winner will never be questioned as to whether his reasons were justified."


The word Halder uses is Gründe, which does not mean actions but ‘reasons’.

https://www.dict.cc/german-english/Gr%C3%BCnde.html

So upon quick review it's pretty obvious the machine translation is more accurate, at least for this section.

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Re: Hitler's Obersalzberg Speech // DOCUMENTS 1014-PS, 798-PS and Raeder 27

Postby HMSendeavour » 2 months 2 weeks ago (Fri May 21, 2021 6:58 am)

gl0spana wrote:So upon quick review it's pretty obvious the machine translation is more accurate, at least for this section.


Yes, I am now inclined to think you're right about that. I've checked with a few friends of mine and it does seem to be mis-translated. Nonetheless, the speech isn't important, nor is it incriminating. The entire document, in summary, can be taken to be a resolution that in a conflict with Poland it will be an isolated border incident in which the Germans must act with haste and hardness to achieve a decisive and swift victory, which makes total sense.

The document doesn't pretend to be a verbatim transcript of Hitler's words, only a summary of his ideas.

Ultimately, Raeder-27 is a 13 page document, which mostly discusses the military situation of Germany's potential adversaries, and lists reasons why Hitler doesn't think the Western powers will intervene in a potential conflict with Poland if one were to ensue, and also why Germany had a better advantage at that time, rather than a few years later.

It discusses how in 1938 there was war of nerves, and Germany won because she held out and was actually willing to come to blows against the Czechs if necessary, while the British weren't. That Germany would have to be just as courageous in the confrontation with Poland is also a sentiment expressed in this document all the way through. Which of course, makes perfect sense.

The first 3 pages of the document primarily discuss why Germany had a geopolitical advantage, pages 4-5 mention that the situation with Poland was intolerable and the British were getting in the way of an agreement being made; referenced in this regard is Hitler's proposals in late 1938 early 1939 for a cession of Danzig and the establishment of a transit route through the corridor, an offer which the Poles refused, thereby making it quite clear that the only solution in the long term was going to be a physical conflict. This is obvious. Hitler's preparedness to fight for Danzig and not back down in the war of nerves was thus not unexpected, nor unjustified. These pages then finish with the affirmation that Hitler had been right before in his belief the risk was worth taking (eg. Rhineland), and it required determination: "there was a great risk that could only be mastered by iron determination" (Auch jetzt bestuende ein grosses Risiko, das nur durch eiserne Entschlossenheit gemeistert werden koenne.) This, still, is not an affirmation that a conflict must arise as the be all end all of the solution to the Danzig and corridor problem.

Pages 6-12 discuss why it would be silly to expect Britain and France to get involved in a conflict, especially considering that they failed to get support from the Soviets, in this respect Hitler quotes Lloyd George as (cynically) remarking on how he hoped that Britain had support from Russia before giving a blank check to Poland. They didn't of course.

The rest of page 12 and ending on page 13 is where Hitler discussed what the German attitude should be. He says again that one needs to have a "firm attitude" (feste Haltung). After this is where you get the parts most commonly quoted about how Germany in a conflict with Poland needs to smash Poland's military power: "The aim is to eliminate and destroy Poland's military force" (Das Ziel ist die Beseitigung und Zerschlagung der militaerischen Kraft Polens). However, this comes in rather abruptly, without any prior warning, which leads one to the probable conclusion that more was said in-between that isn't present in this document, because there was never a verbatim transcript of what Hitler said. It seems rather out of place because it lacks any linear relation to the rest of the document.

But not even that quote necessitates a physical conflict with Poland. The purpose is to illustrate that in a conflict with Poland the logical thing to do is destroy her military power, concluding that: "Great speed in success in the East offers best the prospect of limiting the conflict." (Groesste Schnelligkeit im Erfolg im Osten bietet am besten die Aussicht auf eine Beschraenkung des Konfliktes.). The aim therefore, is to limit the conflict, not expand it.

Next is the line regarding propaganda which is unimportant because no such propaganda was ever produced and no discussion of military details ensued. Taken together the speech largely reads like the evaluation of what the reactions would be to a German act against Poland, not the insistence on such an attack. Although it was certainly in the cards, so long as it wasn't thought the West would get involved.

The second to last paragraph in the document returns to the idea that the military leadership must keep their nerves and stay strong. The final paragraph emphasises that speed is key, adaption is also necessary and so is destroying the enemy's forces wherever they appear in order to win. It even says that the military solution is merely a "precondition" to the "narrower political goal of a later border demarcation", implying as Halder also does, of a border with a rump Polish state after Germany had won, even if she needed to advance against the Polish army into territory that wouldn't be apart of a later demarcation line. The concern was not with territory, but military considerations on how to best defeat the Poles, the answer being that Germany must hold fast and do whatever it takes to win, hence the entire point of the speech.

None of this is incriminating because it's a discussion of strategy regarding what risks Germany could afford to run. Hitler in this speech, is quite clearly discussing a coming conflict with Poland and how risky it would be to engage in it. He comes to the conclusion that it would be worth the risk, which is evident by the fact that after the pact with Russia was signed Hitler prepares to take action against Poland and orders an invasion slated for August 26th (due to limited time to solve the German-Polish crisis). That goes awry for reasons I've discussed already. This fact however, has nothing to do with war guilt, and neither does this speech, because Hitler wasn't the only one who was looking for a way to achieve his goal, a conflict with Poland was merely one solution that couldn't be off the table. And it was, evidently the only solution Hitler was left with, due to the actions of other nations like Poland who had no desire to accede without a fight anyway. Such a war with Poland then was merely the logical conclusion.

Hitler can hardly be criticised for discussing what he recognized as a necessity due to the attitudes of others. Hitler nonetheless tried to limit the conflict as much as possible, and didn't desire nor expect the war erroneously attributed to him.

Halder's view of the conference was that of many of those other Generals present, that negotiations would continue, and so would the war of nerves:

Colonel General Halder, former Chief of the German Army General Staff:

“The meeting ended with Hitler saying that Poland was isolated and that negotiations would be continuing…

Here [within the circle of those present] we were of the impression that the famous war of nerves would continue amid the favourable conditions created by Poland’s isolation; no decision was made.”


Udo Walendy, Who Started World War II? (Castle Hill Publishers, 2014), Pp. 462.


Halder, Manstein, Rundstedt and Küchler were of the impression that the speech, due to being public and not secret, was a bluff of sorts, to "apply the final squeeze" as Manstein put it, on Poland. The speech clearly left a tactical impression on its listeners, and not an imminent notion of anything to come. The speech didn't lead, as far as I know, to anything in particular, not even dates were discussed and certainly not military preparations.
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Re: Hitler's Obersalzberg Speech // DOCUMENTS 1014-PS, 798-PS and Raeder 27

Postby HMSendeavour » 1 week 2 days ago (Tue Jul 27, 2021 9:52 am)

Some comments on this speech again, which should help put it into perspective a little more.

First of all, it's extremely likely that this speech was intended to be nothing more than a pep talk in an attempt for Hitler to convince his Generals that they must resign themselves to the possibility of a war with Poland. He did this by using absolutist terms that made a conflict appear to be imminent. Most of the actual content of the speech is surrounding a wide array of possibilities, many of which contradict each other. Hitler seems to be pontificating on various points of interest and drawing conclusions about a war with Poland and it's likelihood of success based on them. There is also proof, from the testimonies of the participants of the meeting itself, that Hitler never actually intended a war with Poland, despite his comments in address, which were intended to convince the Generals of Germany's strong strategic and diplomatic position by using harsh language.

More on this in a moment.
Some people in this thread have really clung on to Hitler's alleged statement in the dubious Nuremberg version of the speech that Hitler intended to launch a war with Poland via "propaganda", such people have also latched onto the word "Auslösung" as used by Halder in his diary to confirm that aspect of Hitler's intentions:

German:

3.) Auslösung: Mittel gleichgültig. Der Sieger wird nie interpelliert, ob seine Gründe berechtigt waren. Es handelt sich nicht darum, das Recht auf unserer Seite zu haben, sondern ausschließlich um den Sieg


English:

3) Solution : Means immaterial. The victor is never called upon to vindicate his actions. We are not concerned with having justice on our side, but solely with victory.


Halder Diary, 22.08.1939. op cit.


Their claim is that "Auslösung" doesn't translate as "solution" as in the official English translation of Halder's diary, but instead as the word "trigger" which implies an event by which the war is started. Yet, as this post will show, such an interpretation, even if plausible, or even true, actually doesn't matter at all, and says nothing about Hitler's subsequent policy after August 25th.

Let's begin.

Halder in his diary for August 22nd, states:

German:

1.) Auslösung voraussichtlich: Samstag Morgen.


English:

1) Probable start: Saturday morning.


Halder Diary, 22.08.1939. ADAP, D, VII, p. 469; DGFP, D, VII, p. 559.


Hitler, in one of the phony transcripts favoured by historians, also says this:

German:

Überzeugung, daß die deutsche Wehrmacht den Anforderungen gewachsen ist. Auslösung wird noch befohlen, wahrscheinlich Samstag morgen.


English:

Conviction that the German Wehrmacht is equal to all demands. The order for the start of hostilities will be given later, probably Saturday morning.


Nuremberg Doc. 1014-PS. ADAP, D, VII, Doc. 193, p. 172; DGFP, D, VII, Doc. 193, p. 206.


What's interesting about this seemingly innocuous comment, is that Saturday morning was August 26th, the date given for the original marching orders issued on August 23rd to begin the attack on Poland. This gives us a concrete example of Hitler's speech being applied in practise. Now, I should state that it's likely Hitler with these marching orders was bluffing, and intended to stage a march on Poland in order to force the Poles to accept his demands and thus, for a war to actually be avoided. Wilhelm Keitel, a man who ought to know, explicitly attests to this being the case, and indeed, as Udo Walendy shows, this is really the only logical conclusion that explains Hitler's actions on August 25th, which I have outlined in this thread already. I will touch back on this momentarily and elaborate. I have quoted this part (the end) of Hitler's Obersalzberg conference for a reason.

Another important factor regarding Hitler's comments in this speech of August 22, is to emphasize how he justified his musings regarding Poland on the idea that the German-Soviet non-aggression pact, which was signed the next day, would deter the West from intervening on behalf of Poland. Hitler stated according to Halder:

[The] Russians have informed [us] that they are prepared to conclude pact. Personal contact Stalin-Fuhrer, “With this I have knocked the weapons out of the hands of these gentry [Herrschaften]. Poland has been manoeuvred into the position that we need for military success.”

Halder Diary, 22.08.1939. DGFP, D, Vol. VII, p. 559.


The official OKW war dairy kept by Helmuth Greiner, also contains a short, and far less sensational transcript of this address by Hitler, and he confirms in nearly all points the affidavit by Bohem, minus the silly comment about "propaganda" which is probably still a leftover from the preferred forgeries used by most historians. This entry states:

A non-aggression treaty had just been concluded in Moscow with Soviet Russia, on which the Western powers had hitherto placed their hopes after the possible defeat of Poland by Germany. The impetus for this had come from Soviet Russia. He (Hitler) had been convinced for some time that Stalin would not accept any English offer. For Stalin had no interest in the preservation of Poland and also knew perfectly well that if war broke out between Germany and Soviet Russia, his regime would be over, regardless of whether he won or lost. The German-Russian non-aggression pact had now knocked the card out of the hands of the Western powers, which would be of great psychological importance for their decision. For Germany, the treaty meant not only a tremendous economic strengthening but also a complete change in her foreign policy, and it marked the beginning of the destruction of England's supremacy. Having thus made the political preparations, the way was now clear for the soldier.

Helmuth Greiner, Hans-Adolf Jacobsen, Percy Ernst Schramm (ed.), Kriegstagebuch des Oberkommandos der Wehrmacht 1940-1945, Volume 1 (Frankfurt/Main, Bernard & Graefe Verlag für Wehrwesen, 1965), Pp. 949.


Greiner's entry also refutes the oft-quoted comment made in the other transcripts that it was apart of Hitler's intention to destroy, through war, England's supremacy:

Another protocol, the fifth in the numbering of this book, is found in the war diary OKW, written by the supervisor of this diary, Helmuth Greiner. This protocol confirms Boehm on almost all his points. It corrects the Admiral only to the extent that Hitler apparently spoke of a destruction of the supremacy of England, but not - as suggested in the 2nd version (1014-PS) - as [an aim of] Hitler's political program, but only as the mentioning of a fact.

Gerd Schultze-Rhonhof, George F. Held (trans.), 1939 - The War that Had Many Fathers (Munich: Olzog-Verlag, 2011), Pp. 413.


So what do we know so far? Hitler on August 22nd justifies his new aggressive approach to Poland on the back of the pact with Moscow. He declares that the start of this conflict will be on Saturday, August 26th. Hitler in his marching orders on August 23rd confirms this, and the invasion of Poland is indeed slated for that Saturday. So what happened between August 22 and August 26th? Because according to Hitler's Obersalzberg speech the war should've started then. So where was the alleged "trigger" event? Non-existent. No such event occurred in those few days. And this is why the mention of "Saturday" August 26th is important, and I think makes or breaks the importance of this alleged speech; and actually the events of August 25th is what determines how important this speech to Hitler actually was. This can be indicated by the fact, as stated already, that Hitler in this alleged speech, justified his entire policy on his pact with the Soviet Union which Ribbentrop was currently in Moscow to settle, and thus Hitler did not believe that a conflict with the Western powers was all that likely, as the mainstream historian Stephen G. Fritz admits:

The imminent prospect of a deal with Stalin had persuaded Hitler that the risk of a larger war was minimal, but there still remained his generals to convince. In an effort to bolster their confidence in his actions, on 22 August he gathered fifty top military leaders at the Obersalzberg for a pep talk. His generals harbored mixed emotions: apprehension at the prospect of a two-front war mingled with anger at the Western powers’ effort to contain Germany and support for an isolated war with Poland to regain Danzig and the Corridor. Some also believed that Hitler’s actions were all a bluff, and that, as in September 1938, at the last moment he would pull off a diplomatic triumph. The Führer quickly put an end to those illusions. He had, he stated bluntly, decided on war against Poland. The relatively favorable military and political situation, as well as his own limited life- span, compelled him to act quickly. If war was unavoidable, as Hitler knew it was, then there was little reason to wait. “We have nothing to lose,” he asserted; “we have everything to gain . . . Our economic situation is such that we can only hold out for a few more years.

Stephen G. Fritz, The First Soldier: Hitler as Military Leader (Yale University Press, 2018), Pp. 77.


Fritz makes the mistake of taking Hitler's speech too literally, and succumbing to that fatalistic impression probably without much original thought put into the speech itself, let alone the various contradictions within it, and the dubious nature of some of the existing transcripts.

It's interesting that Fritz seems to agree that Hitler had little reason to wait and that a war was unavoidable. He doesn't attempt to make any excuses and claim Hitler wanted a war with Poland because he had any other choices. This seems to be a case of what's not said actually saying a lot more than what is said.

Although Fritz does his best to impress on the reader who has already drunk from the poisoned well that Hitler would've been wrong to make this move against Poland. But in any case. The important part of this quote is that Fritz admits Hitler's intention was to impress upon the Generals that a large war wasn't imminent if a war with Poland did come, and he did this by claiming he resolved upon a war with Poland, when in truth he probably expected it, but didn't put all his eggs into that single basket. It seems more likely to me that Hitler was attempting, as Fritz states, to reassure his generals that his decision to ally with the Soviet Union had some strategist sense, and that in a likely war against Poland, there was good reason to suspect it would be isolated and the West wouldn't get involved.

This indeed had the intended effect on some of those present, for example Generals Salmuth and Rundstedt:

Others (e.g., Generals Salmuth and Rundstedt) did not need to be convinced of the sense of a German-Russian alliance anyway and took the whole thing as an occasion to relax: "This agreement has satisfied us soldiers from the old Seeckt school to a high degree, I would almost like to say, made us happy, " Rundstedt later testified. "This pact with Russia was, in our opinion, a strong threat to the Poles, so that we believed it would never dare to wage war now. We left the Berghof with the feeling that it would be a flower war. "

Stefan Scheil, Logik der Mächte: Europas Problem mit der Globalisierung der Politik Überlegungen zur Vorgeschichte des Zweiten Weltkrieges (Berlin: Duncker & Humbolt, 1999), Pp. 198.


Even Halder recognized that Hitler was not being serious:

Halder, for his part, explained: "Nevertheless, many drove back (from Obersalzberg) without having taken Hitler's remarks seriously in the full sense. People were used to this jargon - as an essential part of the war of nerves - from the Sudeten crisis and from the Sports Palace, and generally assumed that things would take the course of the 'flower wars', should an armed confrontation occur at all."

Jacques Benoist-Méchin, Wollte Adolf Hitler den Krieg? 1939: Generalprobe der Gewalt (Preußisch Oldendorf: Verlag K. W. Schütz, 1971), Pp. 311, note 4.


So, the question now is why would Hitler need to convince his Generals of a war with Poland? The answer as we'll learn from General Wilhelm Keitel, was because the other Generals were concerned that a war with Poland would mean a two front war with the West and thus didn't want to commit to it, even if they saw it (as they did) as justified. This is the fear which as mentioned, Hitler attempted and seemingly successfully dissolved on that day.

Keitel notes in his memoirs that Hitler repeatedly told him that he had no intention for a war with Poland:

As early as April 1939 I became with increased frequency the target for comments by Hitler to the effect that the Polish problem was imperatively demanding a solution. What a tragedy it was, he said, that the sly old Marshal Pilsudski - with whom he had been able to sign a non-aggression pact - had died so prematurely; the same might happen to him Hitler at any time. That was why he would have to try as soon as possible to resolve this intolerable position for Germany's future whereby east Prussia was geographically cut off from the rest of the Reich; he could not postpone this job until later, or bequeath it to his successor. You could now see, Hitler added, how dependent reasonable policies were on one man's existence: Poland's present rulers were anything but inclined to follow the path the marshal had laid down, as had become abundantly clear during the talks with the Polish foreign secretary, [Colonel] Beck. Beck, said Hitler, was pinning his hopes on England's assistance, although there was not the least doubt that, as Britain had no economic interest in these purely domestic German affairs, she had no vital political interest either. Britain would withdraw from Poland her outstretched hand once she saw our resolve to remove this aftermath of the Diktat of Versailles - a condition which would be quite intolerable in the long run. He did not want a war with Poland over Danzig or the Corridor, but he who desired peace must prepare for war: that was the basis of all successful diplomacy.

Wilhelm Keitel, David Irving (trans.), Walter Görlitz (ed.), In The Service of The Reich: The Memoirs of Field-Marshal Keitel (Focal Point Publications, 2003), Pp. 96.


Keitel mentions how he learned little of the actual negotiations between Berlin, Warsaw and London, but would nonetheless be told by Hitler that he didn't intend a war whenever Keitel would come to him and express the fears of the army:

I learned next to nothing of our negotiations with either Poland or London, and of their bearing on the Danzig Corridor question, except when Hitler himself took the initiative during my conference visits to him, or when I brought it home to him how deeply worried the army and I were about the possibility of an armed conflict with Poland when our army's re-equipment programme was still at such an unsatisfactory stage. Again and again Hitler reassured me that he had no desire whatsoever for war with Poland - he would never let things go as far as that, even if France's intervention in the spirit of her eastern commitments really was likely to occur. He had made to France the most far-reaching offers, he said, and even publicly disavowed his interest in Alsace-Lorraine. That was probably a guarantee which no statesman other than he could ever have justified to the German people; only he had the authority and the right to make such an offer.

Indeed, he even went so far as to entreat me not to tell the War Office of how his mind was working, as he feared they would then cease to apply themselves to planning for the Polish contingency with the gravity and intensity which were such a vital element of his diplomatic charade, as the "concealed" war preparations being made in Germany could not be kept wholly secret from or unobserved by the Poles.

Ibid., p. 98.


This is absolutely vital, because Keitel goes on to explain that Hitler while using harsh language was indeed bluffing, and he took this course of action in order to keep his own Generals working on military contingencies, and also allowing such preparations to put pressure on the British and the Poles.

Not only was Hitler stressing his desire to diplomatically avoid a war with Poland to Keitel, but he said much the same thing to the Grand Admiral of the Navy Erich Raeder. Immediately after Hitler's speech on August 22nd, Raeder approached Hitler about whether a war was imminent:

But Hitler, who had now shot all his powder, wanted to end the day in a conciliatory tone:

"Calm yourself," he said to the commander-in-chief of the Kriegsmarine, "I will know how to overcome these difficulties without war, only by diplomatic means. For the moment, negotiations continue. I will send you my final orders in due course."

Benoist-Méchin, op cit., p. 311. See too, Max Klüver, War es Hitlers Krieg? (Leoni: Druffel-Verlag, 1984), Pp. 144.


Raeder is affirmed by the testimony of Halder at the OKW trial, where he subsequently recalled a similar comment by Hitler at the end of his address:

Colonel General Halder, former Chief of the German Army General Staff:

“The meeting ended with Hitler saying that Poland was isolated and that negotiations would be continuing…

Here [within the circle of those present] we were of the impression that the famous war of nerves would continue amid the favourable conditions created by Poland’s isolation; no decision was made.”


Udo Walendy, Who Started World War II? (Castle Hill Publishers, 2014), Pp. 462. See too: Rolf Kosiek und Olaf Rose (ed.), Der Grosse Wendig: Richtigstellungen zur Zeitgeschichte: Band 1 (Tübingen: Grabert-Verlag, 2006), Pp. 585-586.


Before quoting Keitel again, it's worth noting that Hitler's speech on August 22nd was not conducted in secrecy, and indeed could not have gone unnoticed, and indeed it didn't go unnoticed. After the speech was concluded was when the phoney L-3 document was leaked by the German resistance to the world press (Scheil, op cit., p. 194.):

It has been claimed that the generals were ordered to appear in civilian clothes so as not to attract attention. This is not true. If the words spoken at this military meeting were to be kept secret, no secret was made of the meeting itself. Thus, Field Marshal von Küchler remarked before the Nuremberg Tribunal: "The arrival of such a large number of generals in uniform at Obersalzberg, that is, in an area teeming with tourists at this time of year, could by no means go unnoticed."


Benoist-Méchin, op cit., p. 305, note 1.


Thus far we have from Raeder, Halder and Keitel, a string of proof that shines some light on Hitler's actual intentions regarding his Obersalzberg speech, which was to convince the generals of a few of his tactical and diplomatic convictions, but also, by not hiding the meeting, to hopefully impress on the world his willingness to go to war over Poland, and indeed his imminent intent to do so. But as he revealed, which we know now, he had no such intentions and was still aiming at a diplomatic triumph. All of this is proven definitively by what comes next in those few days.

Keitel continues:

I had deemed it my duty during the course of that summer to leave Hitler in no doubt that both the General Staff and his leading generals shared the gravest anxiety about the possibility that a war might break out. [...] It was for this reason that early in August 1939 he conceived the idea of addressing his ideas to the various army chiefs of staff by themselves - in other words without their commanders-in-chief - at the Berghof. From the shadows I was probably in the best position to study its effect. . .

[...]

All the more remarkable was his Berghof speech delivered on 22nd August to the generals of the eastern armies ranged against Poland - a speech delivered with the finest sense of psychological timing and application. Hitler was an extraordinarily gifted orator, with a masterly capability of moulding his words and phrases to suit his audience. I would even go so far as to say that he had learned his lesson from the ill conceived meeting with the chiefs of staff and had realised that trying to set them at odds with their commanders-in-chief had been a psychological error. Other versions of this particular speech have been subjectively distorted, as the minute taken by Admiral Boehm, who must be regarded as absolutely impartial, clearly shows.

Keitel, op cit., p. 99, 100.


Thus Keitel confirms that indeed, as revealed to him, Hitler's intention was not to seriously attack Poland if it could be avoided, but simply to push his generals to make the planning of such an attack a serious part of their considerations, and to do so, he had to dispel their worries. Keitel specifically cites in this connection the August 22nd Obersalzberg speech which is incredibly significant.

All of this comes into focus once you take into account the events of August 25th, which I will let Keitel describe to really emphasise how, as Hitler told Raeder, his diplomatic means were intended to have been successful:

Toward noon on 25th August I was summoned for the first time to the Reich Chancellery to see the Fuhrer. Hitler had just received from [the Italian] ambassador Attolico a personal letter from Mussolini, a few paragraphs of which the Fuhrer proceeded to read out to me. It was the Duce's reply to a highly confidential letter, written by Hitler from the Berghof a few days before, in which he had told him about the planned clash with Poland and about his determination to resolve the undecided issue of the Danzig Corridor by military action should Poland - or England on Poland's behalf - refuse to give way.

Hitler had for various reasons named a day several days later [i.e., later than had actually been planned] for his operations against Poland. As he told me himself, he was counting on the contents of his letter being immediately forwarded to London by his so "reliable" Foreign Office, and this, he imagined, would make it plain that he really was serious in his intentions, without on the other hand divulging the true timetable of his military operations. So even if the Poles were forewarned, the planned element of tactical surprise would not be lost to the attackers. Finally, by bringing forward the announcement of the date, Hitler hoped to rush the British into precipitate intervention to prevent the outbreak of war. This he certainly expected them to do, and for this he was banking on Mussolini's support.

[...]

Only now did the real reason for Hitler's disillusion at Mussolini's "treachery" come to light. In effect he said: "There's absolutely no doubt that London has realised by now that Italy won't go along wit us. Now Britain's attitude toward us will stiffen - now they will back up Poland to the hilt. The diplomatic result of my letter is exactly the opposite of what I had planned." Hitler's irritation was painfully obvious to me, although outwardly he put on a great show of composure. He added that London would clearly take its Polish treaty off the shelf an ratify it now that there was no prospect of support for us from the Italian side.

[...]

Early that afternoon [25th August] I was summoned to the Reich Chancellery again, this time urgently. Hitler was even more agitated than he had been that morning. He told me a wire had reached him from the Reich press chief [Doctor Otto Dietrich] according to which the Anglo-Polish Treaty was to be ratified that very day. There was still no confirmation from the Foreign Office, he said, but experience showed that diplomats moved more ponderously than telegraphic agencies. He believed the telegram on hand to be substantially true and asked whether the army's troop movements could be stopped, as he wanted to win time for further negotiations, even though he could no longer count on Italy's support. . .

Keitel, op cit., p. 100-101, 102.


That Hitler's plan failed is due to the fact that the Italians had made no secret of the fact that they were unable to go to war over Poland, what annoyed Hitler was not that the Italians were unable, it was that they were too scared to call Britain's bluff and instead blew Hitler's plan wide open in a moment when they admitted their weakness (Walendy, op cit., p. 388). Hitler, as he said to Keitel, knowing what such an admission would signal to the West, thus ordered the preparations to be made for the attack on Poland the next day to be halted, Keitel also testified to this at Nuremberg:

The first thing which was very surprising to me was that on one of those days which have been discussed here repeatedly, namely on the 24th or 25th, only a few days after the conference at Obersalzberg, I was suddenly called to Hitler at the Reich Chancellery and he said to me only, "Stop everything at once, get Brauchitsch immediately. I need time for negotiations." I believe that after these few words I was dismissed.

IMT, Vol. X, p. 514.


Goring also testified to the exact same thing:

"Question: 'Is it not also a fact that the start of the campaign was ordered for the 25th of August but on the 24th of August in the afternoon it was postponed until September the 1st in order to await the results of new diplomatic maneuvers with the English Ambassador?'

"Answer: 'Yes.' "

IMT, Vol. III, p. 248-249.


Goring said much more during his interrogation:

Interrogator:

"When the negotiations of the Polish Foreign Minister in London brought about the Anglo-Polish Treaty, at the end of March or the beginning of April 1939, was it not fairly obvious that a peaceful solution was impossible?"


Goring:

"Yes, it seemed impossible according to my conviction. . . but not according to the convictions of the Fuhrer. When it was mentioned to the Fuhrer that England had given her guarantee to Poland, he said that England was also guaranteeing Romania, but then when the Russians took Bessarabia, nothing happened; and this made a big impression on him. I made a mistake here. At this time Poland only had the promise of a guarantee. The guarantee itself was only given shortly before the beginning of the war. On the day when England gave her official guarantee to Poland, the Fuhrer called me on the telephone and told me that he had stopped the planned invasion of Poland. I asked him then whether this was just temporary, or for good. He said, 'No, I will have to see whether we can eliminate British intervention.' So, then I asked him, 'Do you think that it will be any different within 4 or 5 days?' At this same time-I do not know whether you know about that, Colonel-I was in communication with Lord Halifax by a special courier, outside the regular diplomatic channels, to do everything to stop war with England.


Nuremberg Document GB-64, quoted in IMT, vol. III, p. 248.


In light of these facts, much of which is never quoted by mainstream historians in connection with the speech - even though there's a direct connection to it - shows us that Hitler's speech on August 22nd was apart of his plan to bluff the Poles and the Allies into giving up Danzig and the corridor, and thus forcing them to accept his offers to the Poles without war. This all went "belly up" on August 25th, as soon as it seemed like the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact would not dissuade Britain from her insistence on war, and that the Italians wouldn't commit to the war against Poland. At that moment Hitler stepped back from the brink and ordered all preparations for war to be stopped immediately despite his apparently steadfast statements on August 22nd. Hitler's subsequent actions do not line up whatsoever with the speech, and thus a new interpretation is needed.

Richard Overy notes that Hitler's decision to halt the march on Poland has no other explanation other than a sincere attempt to limit a possible war with Poland:

Yet left to himself the decision seems to have been difficult to make. He recognized that a war with the West was one of the possibilities, but no sense can be made of his desperate efforts to break the Polish–Western alliance unless his preferred solution was the local war he planned for. All these imponderables proved too much on the day war should have started, but the initial hesitation then made it almost impossible for Hitler to risk humiliation in front of his military leaders by backing down again when a decision had to be made a few days later.

Richard Overy, 1939: Countdown to War (New York: Viking Penguin, 2010), Pp. 40.


Udo Walendy concurs with him, but goes further by calling out the very obvious insincerity in Hitler's marching orders slated for invasion on August 26th:

There was no cause for Hitler to call off on 25 August the marching orders of 23 August, had these been meant seriously; after all, the stance of the opponents had not changed from 23 August. If only a few days before he was prepared to march, then he should still have marched on 25 August. Since he did not march, the political sincerity of the marching orders from 23 August has to be disputed.

Walendy, op cit., p. 389ff.


Walendy is 100% correct. If Hitler was not sincere about avoiding war, and if his intentions to march had been genuine, then he would've done so. Therefore it needs to be explained why he didn't follow through with this apparent aim of his as stated on August 22nd. The answer is unpalatable to mainstream historians, but the answer is unavoidable. It's because Hitler did not actually intend a war at that moment, despite his statements to the contrary. These statements, like the August 22nd speech, can only be interpreted and make any sort of sense if seen as a piece in Hitler's gamble to bluff his way to victory once again.

That the speech, at the very end, mentions the date of August 26th, and nothing beyond that clearly shows that it isn't an open ended "plan" or declaration of intent by Hitler, but a speech which was intended to play a part in the events of the subsequent days as we've seen.

Even if the alleged "trigger" as mentioned by Halder was intended - as some in this thread have insisted - to be some excuse to start a war, it never came. So seeing as no such "trigger" or "propaganda excuse" materialised on or before August 26 as defined by the parameters of Hitler's speech, then the speech cannot be taken to represent any such intention by Hitler to "trigger" an event after that date. If the Obersalzberg speech can at all be taken to reflect Hitler's motives, then it can only be used to asses them up to August 26. This document therefore, cannot be used to discuss Hitler's intentions, or asses his motives past August 26th, when actions taken by Hitler himself on August 25th not only contradict this document, but actually abrogate it.


The conclusion of my post is this. The Obersalzberg speech strictly pertains only to the events preceding the outbreak of the war up to August 25th and no further. From August 26th, the speech has no relevance, because the basis of the speech, and Hitler's intentions surrounding the speech were attempted to facilitate diplomatic pressure on Poland to get them to concede by August 25th and this failed.

The speech had two objectives, first, for Hitler to impress certain ideas onto his generals; and second, to arouse the foreign press and British foreign office into thinking that Hitler seriously intended to strike Poland, when in fact he had no such intention. His plan to force the Poles to concede, and thus end the German/Polish conflict didn't work because the British weren't persuaded by the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, and still insisted on war if Germany made any move against Poland.

Historians therefore, have failed to comprehend Hitler's true diplomatic manoeuvres, and have instead falsely interpreted his tactics as an intent on war, rather than the avoidance of it. In doing this they've been forced to omit testimonies from relevant German sources which contradict their fatalistic interpretations of Hitler's foreign policy. My interpretation in this post is able to account for all the evidence, and therefore, in my opinion is closer to understanding the truth.
Now what does it mean for the independent expert witness Van Pelt? In his eyes he had two possibilities. Either to confirm the Holocaust story, or to go insane. - Germar Rudolf, 13th IHR Conference.

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Re: Hitler's Obersalzberg Speech // DOCUMENTS 1014-PS, 798-PS and Raeder 27

Postby HMSendeavour » 1 week 1 day ago (Wed Jul 28, 2021 5:56 am)

In support of my previous post, I think it's worth quoting a little bit from the memoirs of Grand Admiral Erich Raeder.

Of the Obersalzberg speech, he writes:

On 22 August, however, Hitler called a conference, on the Obersalzberg, of almost all the very top military leaders. Later, at the Nürnberg trials, the prosecution presented two documents which were claimed to be a record of Hitler’s speech at this meeting. However, neither document had either a signature or a date, and the prosecution was not able to establish any clear proof as to who was the source of the documents. As a matter of fact, they were both proved to be false by the notes made personally by Admiral Boehm, Commander in Chief of the Fleet, who had been present throughout the conference. There was no doubt in my mind that Admiral Boehm’s notes, which he submitted to the court at Nürnberg, were an accurate record not only of the form and content of Hitler’s speech, but also of the impression those present gained from it. To me it seemed that Hitler’s desire was to defend before the nation’s military leaders the correctness of his policy, now that there was a possibility of war. He emphasized that Poland’s attitude was responsible for the crisis. He tried to convince us that England and France would not risk war over Poland, and hence that Poland would not carry things too far, but would be ready to settle by negotiation. In any case, Hitler asserted, the path for a negotiated settlement was not closed.

Erich Raeder, My Life (United States Naval Institute, 1960), Pp. 277.


In this paragraph alone Raeder confirms many details. For instance, that the speech had as its purpose the intention of convincing the Generals of the correctness of Hitler's policy and his views about what would happen if a war broke out. It confirms Halder's testimony at the OKW trial that a "path for negotiated settlement" was still possible and aligns perfectly with Keitel's own memoirs in which Hitler also affirms that he didn't believe war would necessarily come about, and that in-fact Hitler sought to avoid it.

He continues:

Nevertheless, I went up to Admiral Schniewind, Chief of Staff of the Naval War Staff, the moment Hitler had finished speaking, and found that he shared my doubts as to the correctness of Hitler’s estimates of the British Government and its readiness to yield rather than to go to war over Poland. I then went to Hitler to warn him, but he assured me again that he had the situation well in hand and that it would be solved by negotiation and not by war.

The various moves of foreign policy which occurred in the next few days seemed to confirm this. Just as he had done during the crisis of 1938, Hitler conducted all the negotiations personally. With the expectation that any conflict that arose would be localized, we did not even mobilize the Navy completely when the other armed services were mobilized. Hitler’s orders on 26 August holding up the advance of our troops (which had already begun) seemed another proof of the shrewdness of his estimates.

Consequently the third of September came like a bomb shell. When that day, in the Chancellery, Hitler told me that England and France, in accordance with their promise to Poland, had declared war on Germany, it manifestly was a most unpleasant task for him. He was embarrassed over his faulty judgment when he had to admit to me, I have not been able to avoid war with England.”

Ibid., p. 278.


He believed, as I do, that the diplomatic moves Hitler made on the subsequent days proves that Hitler's policy was really not one of war, but of peace, in a calculated attempt to solve the Polish question. Raeder further confirms this when he writes:

Hitler's speech impressed us all that we stood close to the brink of war, but we were promptly reassured when on that very same day Foreign Minister Ribbentrop left for Moscow to sign, as Hitler told us, the non-aggression pact which had been successfully negotiated with the Soviets. We felt that once more one of Hitler's clever political chess moves was coming up, and that he would win peacefully again, just as he always had done before.

Ibid., p. 277-278.


It was Raeder's belief, which is extensively borne out by all the available evidence, that Hitler had no intentions to go to war with Britain, and he didn't want it. Hitler had, for example, revealed in those last days to his photographer Heinrich Hoffmann, that he was essentially playing a war of nerves and bluffing:

In the tense days of August 1939, I ventured once, when Hitler and I were alone after one of Henderson’s visits, to voice the fear that Britain would certainly go to war.

‘Don’t you believe it!’ retorted Hitler abruptly. ‘England is bluffing!’ and then, with that rather impish grin that so rarely came on his face, ‘And so am I!’ he added.

Heinrich Hoffmann, Hitler Was My Friend: The Memoirs of Hitler's Photographer (Yorkshire: Frontline Books, 2011), Pp. 115.


If he could've avoided it, he wouldn't have gone to war with Poland either, as Hitler's diplomatic record since October 1938 clearly shows. There's no reason to think that if the Poles had accepted his offers that war would've been forthcoming. However there is reason to think that Hitler did prefer a war with Poland because it relieved him of all the complicated and needless diplomatic manoeuvring which wasted more time over a simple issue that it was worth. A small, isolated and local war was perhaps, to him, preferable to such large discussions with powers whose business Hitler didn't think it was to tell him what to do. It's hard to find fault with that, and really a small conflict was justified if it meant taking back what already belonged to his country. After all, it's not normal to haggle over stolen goods, but it is normal to use force to take them back.

To elaborate on this for a moment, after the German 16 points was broadcast over the radio at 9:15 p.m. on August 31st, and the Poles had acknowledged them officially for the first time, despite being offered them days prior, they aggressively responded at 11:00 p.m. declaring that the mobilisation of their armed forces was "necessary" and that this action taken on their part was the official Polish "response" to the German proposals. Thus effectively declaring war:

The Poles never for a moment considered accepting the German proposal. Instead of sending a hurried request to resume negotiations that might possibly have thrown Hitler’s plot off balance, they retaliated aggressively with their own broadcast at 11 P.M. It charged that the German broadcast clearly exposed Hitler’s aims. “Words can no longer veil the aggressive plans of the new Huns. Germany is aiming at the domination of Europe and is cancelling the rights of nations with as yet unprecedented cynicism. This impudent proposal shows clearly how necessary were the military orders [mobilization] given by the Polish government.”

John Toland, Adolf Hitler (New York: Doubleday, 1976), Pp. 568. See my post here too.


After Hitler learned of the answer of the Poles, which he knew beforehand would've been their answer, he nonetheless was relieved:

Ribbentrop went to the chancellery to see how the Führer reacted to the Polish broadcast. Nothing else can be done, said Hitler. Things are now in motion. He was noticeably composed. After weeks of worry and doubt, the course for the future was at last set. He went to bed assured that England and France would not take action.

Ibid.


That same evening Hitler had a conversation with the Italian ambassador Attolico, where Hitler told him that due to the Polish attitude the proposals were no longer valid, and the diplomatic pursuit of a solution had clearly failed:

The Führer handed the Italian Ambassador a copy of the German proposals and a press notice, observing that, owing to the attitude of the Polish Government, the proposals no longer held good. The British attempt at mediation must thus be regarded as having failed.

DGFP, D, Vol. VII, Doc. 478, p. 465.


After Attolico left, Hitler turned to the German state secretary Otto Meissner and stated in a clearly composed and realistic manner:

Basically, I am glad that the Poles did not accept my offer. I made it against my inner conviction, but if the Poles had accepted it, I would have been bound by it. Their rejection has given me back my freedom of action, and that, all things considered, is better for the future of the Reich.

Jacques Benoist-Méchin, Wollte Adolf Hitler den Krieg? 1939: Generalprobe der Gewalt (Preußisch Oldendorf: Verlag K. W. Schütz, 1971), Pp. 524.


This comment by Hitler is revealing. He felt that he would've been bound by his offer, and thus it cannot simply be dismissed as insincere. Yet he would've preferred a war with Poland which he expected to only be minor, and this was because it gave him freedom of action (remember, Hitler knew that the Poles probably wouldn't accept it anyway). This is a characteristic of Hitler's that's been noted time and time again. His ability to make choices and take actions to quickly resolve an issue in ways others would've never thought and hesitated to do. However, in the end Hitler misjudged the temperament of his opponents who were quite eager and willing to go to war over such a minor and obviously simple issue which was of no concern to them, and which should've been solved much earlier:

To Hitler the invasion of Poland was not war, only a coup to seize what was rightfully Germany’s. It was a localized action which both England and France, after making face-saving gestures, would surely accept as a fait accompli. Time and again his adjutants had heard him say at the dinner table, “The English will leave the Poles in the lurch as they did the Czechs.”

Toland, op cit., p. 568.
Now what does it mean for the independent expert witness Van Pelt? In his eyes he had two possibilities. Either to confirm the Holocaust story, or to go insane. - Germar Rudolf, 13th IHR Conference.


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