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When the Foreign Affairs Bureau [Aussenpolitisches Amt] was established 1 April 1933 the Fuehrer directed that it should not be expanded to a large bureaucratic agency, but should rather develop its effectiveness through initiative and suggestions.
Corresponding to the extra ordinarily hostile attitude adopted by the Soviet Government in Moscow from the beginning the newly-established bureau devoted particular attention to internal conditions in the Soviet Union, as well as to the effects of World Bolshevism primarily in other European countries. It entered into contact with the most variegated groups inclining towards National Socialism and combatting Bolshevism, focussing its main attention on Nations and States bordering on the Soviet Union. On the one end those nations and states constituted an Insulating Ring encircling the Bolshevist neighbor; on the other hand they were the lateral of german living space [Fluegelstellung zum deutschen Lebensraum] and took up a flanking position towards the Western Powers [Flankenstellung Gegenueber Den Westmaechten] especially Great Britain. In order to wield the desired influence by one means or another, the Bureau was compelled to use the most varying methods, taking into consideration the completely different living conditions, the ties of blood, intellect and history of the movements observed by the Bureau in those countries.
In Scandinavia an outspoken pro-Anglo-Saxon attitude, based on economic considerations, had become progressively more dominant after the World War of 1914/1918. There the Bureau put entire emphasis on influencing general cultural relations with the Nordic peoples. For this purpose it took the Nordic Society [Nordische Gesellschaft] in Luebeck under its protection. The Reich conventions of this society were attended by many outstanding personalities, especially from Finland. While there were no openings for purely political cooperation in Sweden and Denmark, an association based on Greater Germanic ideology was found in Norway. Very close relations were established with its founder, which led to further consequences. (See annex I for more detailed exposition).
South-Eastern Europe was dominated by the French post-war system of alliances. The countries united in the Little Entente were aiming at a more favorable defence of the booty accumulated during the war. In addition each one of these countries sought to gain through this mutual-assistance pact safety against a superior opponent: Czechoslovakia against Germany; Yugoslavia against Italy; Rumania against the Soviet Union. In Czechoslovakia a common hatred against everything German united the still remaining, partly pan-Slavic, Masonic and pro-Jewish tendencies. In Rumania the feeling of insecurity and fear of the superior neighbor, from whom she had taken Bessarabia was growing. In Rumania a primitive anti-Semitic group still existed. Its academically doctrinaire attitude precluded large scale political effectiveness, but nevertheless offered points of mutual interest. The Foreign Affairs Bureau picked these up, developed them, instigated the formation of a new party and thereby forced a decisive change in the whole political situation in Rumania, which is still having its effect today. (See Annex II for more detailed exposition).
Hungary and Bulgaria alone, Allied nations of the World War which had formerly been completely deprived of their rights, were attracted by the newly-formed center of gravity in the north. This attraction was nourished by the hope of obtaining an expansion of their own power through the increasing strength of Germany. However, National Socialism met a certain reserve or antipathy in Bulgaria because of widespread contagion of the Communistic blight. In Hungary it met similar reserve due to the still-fashionable feudal leading circles, who are bolstered by Jewish capital. At any rate it may be mentioned here that the first foreign state visit after the seizure of power took place through the mediation of the Foreign Affairs Bureau. Julius Gombos, who in former years had himself pursued anti-Semitic and racial tendencies, had reached the Hungarian Premier's chair. The Bureau maintained a personal connection with him. In September 1933 he paid a visit to Germany and was received by the Fuehrer in Erfurt. With this visit the official cordon of isolation surrounding National Socialism was pierced for the first time. This visit had been preceded by the Fuehrer's reception of the Rumanian poet and former minister Octavian Goga through the Bureau's mediation. Goga later became the decisive exponent of a political reproachment with Germany.
In Yugoslavia other German Reich agencies had become active in the same direction, so that the Foreign Affairs Bureau remained in the background and shifted its efforts to the purely commercial sphere. It initiated the first contracts with Croatian and Serbian cooperatives.
Motivated by reasons of War Economy, the Bureau advocated the transfer of raw material purchases from overseas to the areas accessible by overland traffic routes, i. e. primarily in the Balkans, naturally insofar as practicable. At first little heed was paid to the Bureau in these endeavors, but it later secured the active support especially of the Food Estate; through its cooperation, e. g., on the subject of fruit and vegetable imports, a very substantial shift in the source of imports was attained, particularly through the currently initiated cooperation with Croatian and Hungarian cooperatives as well as with commercial associations all over the Balkans.
From the beginning, work in Italy was out of the question because ever since the days of our struggle for power ties of a personal nature have existed, which were taken over by official institutions or cultivated by individual personalities. Work in Austria was also excluded, since a special "Provincial Directorate for Austria" existed within the Nazi Party.
The Bureau declined to concern itself with questions of Racial Germans [Volksdeutsche] abroad. For this phase of the problem the "Racial Germans" Central Agency [Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle] was later created.
Towards Western European States the Bureau limited its activities to simple observation of existing conditions, or to the establishment of relations, especially of a commercial nature, primarily in Belgium, Holland and Luxemburg.
In accordance with the attitude on foreign policy laid down by the Fuehrer, the Bureau endeavored to establish far-reaching connections with England through continuous personal contacts with influential personalities of English political life. Eminent Englishmen were invited to the annual Party Rallies.
Pursuant to its self chosen task the Bureau devoted its attention to the Near East. Turkey, newly consolidated by Mustapha Kemal, adopted a hesitating attitude of watchful waiting. This position was probably due to military impotence against Soviet Russia, clearly recognized, on the one hand, and also to hostility to Fascist Italy, already previously manifested, on the other hand. In Iran, however, the Bureau's initiative in the economic field to stimulate the mutual exchange of goods encountered greatest understanding and the greatest readiness in carrying it through. The Bureau's initiative in developing with the head of commercial circles, entirely new methods for the economic penetration of Iran found expression, in an extraordinarily favorable way. in reciprocal trade relations. Naturally in Germany, too, this initiative at first encountered a completely negative attitude and resistance on the part of the competent state authorities, an attitude that had first to be overcome. In the course of a few year. the volume of trade with Iran was multiplied five-fold, and in 1939 Iran's trade turnover with Germany had attained first place. Even Soviet Russia, the competitor who had been biggest and most dreaded previously, had been eliminated from the running. Concurrently with the activation of commercial relation the Bureau had also intensified cultural relations and had, in conjunction with growing commercial influence and in closet collaboration with the Iranian Government, created a series of cultural institutions headed and directed by Germans. In consequence the dominant French cultural influence in Iran has already been broken since the year 1936.
The Bureau simultaneously attempted to also draw Afghanistan into its orbit. Relations established with leading individual personalities led to the willing opening of this country, which had formerly been rather neglected by Germany. All the leading personalities of Afghanistan were guests of the Bureau. The Bureau favored the taking part of German economy in the industrial upbuilding of the country; German experts in all fields we called to Afghanistan in increasing numbers through the Bureau's mediation. The German Colony became the dominant one in Afghanistan The preparation for expansion of the Afghan army was in German hands; carrying it through was prevented by the outbreak of war. Even though the German Colony had to leave Afghanistan later on, Afghanistan's neutral position today is largely due to the Bureau's activity.
The Arab question, too, became part of the work of the Bureau. In spite of England's tutelage of Iraq the Bureau established a series of connections to a number of leading personalities of the Arab world, smoothing the way for strong bonds to Germany. In this connection, the growing influence of the Reich in Iran and Afghanistan did not fail to have repercussions in Arabia. All these relations took place on a purely economic basis and fostered the systematically directed advancement of German influence and prestige in the domains reserved by the Western Powers for themselves. In this connection it may be mentioned in general that the internal peril to England's preponderance in those areas would have been considerably more pronounced, if the Bureau's foresighted initiative, which took Oriental conditions very well into account, had not been forever ignored by official authorities.
The Bureau foresaw the necessity of technical improvement of the Danube water route to facilitate traffic, because of the shift in the increase of the exchange in goods, especially in the Balkans and in the Orient. On its own initiative it attempted to influence competent authorities (especially of the Bavarian Government), together with particularly interested private commercial circles, to enlarge our Danube shipping facilities (primarily the port of Regensburg). Although the Bureau throughout the years asserted this necessity, which was becoming more and more urgent, and although the Bureau relentlessly maintained its initiative its endeavors in this matter were unfortunately not crowned by any success. Presumably all responsible authorities regret it bitterly to-day.
Among other projects due to the Foreign Affairs Bureau's initiative endeavors to grow the rubber-fibered Kok Sagys plant in Germany deserve to be emphasized. This plant is being cultivated in the Soviet Union. In spite of efforts during many years no success was attained in planting sizeable experimental crops, because of latent disunity among competent authority. The Bureau was compelled to resort to experimental fields in Greece through its own connections in the Balkans.
Somewhat off the beaten path was the Bureau's undertaking in Brazil, which grew out of personal connections, large quantities of cotton (60,000 tons) were successfully brought to Germany under a clearing agreement at a time when imports of this raw material had become very critically short, already necessitating work outs. A Bureau representative was twice the Brazilian Government's guest. Brazil and Iran were the only nations from whom Germany could purchase this indispensable raw material for Reichsmark. The Brazilian Minister expressed his thanks for this initial step to the Head of the Bureau in an address delivered at the occasion of an exposition.
About 40 lecture evenings for diplomats and the foreign press should also be listed. They dealt with the construction of the new Germany, and speakers included many leading personalities of the Reich.
The Bureau has carried out the initiating of all politically feasible projects. With the outbreak of war it was entitled to consider its task as terminated. The exploitation of the many personal connections in many lands can be resumed under a different guise.
Signed: ROSENBERG2 Inclosures
As previously mentioned, of all political groupings in Scandinavia only "Nasjonal Samling", led in Norway by the Former Minister of War and Major of the Reserve Vidkun Quisling, deserved serious political attention. This was a fighting political group, possessed by the idea of a Greater Germanic Community. Naturally all ruling powers were hostile and attempted to prevent. by any means, its success among the population. The Bureau maintained constant liaison with Quisling and attentively observed the attacks he conducted with tenacious energy on the middle class which had been taken in tow by the English. From the beginning it appeared probable that without revolutionary events. which would stir the population from their former attitude, no successful progress of Nasjonal Samling was to be expected. During the winter 1938/1939, Quisling was privately visited by a member of the Bureau. When the political situation in Europe came to a head in 1939, Quisling made an appearance at the convention of the Nordic Society [Nordische Gesellschaft] in Luebeck in June. He expounded his conception of the situation, and his apprehensions concerning Norway. He emphatically drew attention to the geopolitically decisive importance of Norway in the Scandinavian area, and to the advantages that would accrue to the power dominating the Norwegian coast in case of a conflict between the Greater German Reich and Great Britain. Assuming that his statements would be of special interest to the Marshal of the Reich Goering for aero-strategical reasons, Quisling was referred to State Secretary [Staatssekretaer] Koerner by the Bureau. The Staff Director [Stabsleiter] of the Bureau handed the Chief of the Reich Chancellery a memorandum for transmission to the Fuehrer. It dealt with the same subject, still taking into account the then doubtful attitude of Soviet Russia. After the outbreak of German-Polish hostilities and of the Soviet-Finnish war, tensions in Scandinavia became more strained and facilitated the work of Anglo-Saxon propaganda. It began to appear possible that, under the pretext of altruistic aid to Finland, Great Britain might intend to occupy Norway, and perhaps Sweden, to complete the anti-German blockade in the North Sea for all practical purposes, and to gain comfortable airplane bases against Germany. The aim would have been to drag the Northern countries, too, into a military conflict with Germany. Apprehensive about this development Quisling again appeared in Berlin in December 1939 He visited Reichsleiter Rosenberg and Grand Admiral Raeder. In the course of a report to the Fuehrer, Reichsleiter Rosenberg turned the conversation once more to Norway. He especially pointed to Norway's importance should England, to tighten her blockade and under the pretext of aid to Finland, take steps to occupy the country, with the Norwegians' tacit consent. On the basis of his conversation with Quisling and at his own request Grand Admiral Raeder, too, had been asked to see the Fuehrer. In consequence of these steps, Quisling was granted a personal audience with the Fuehrer on 16 December, and once more on 18 December In the course of this audience the Fuehrer emphasized repeatedly that he personally would prefer a completely neutral attitude of Norway as well as of the whole of Scandinavia. He did not intend to enlarge the theaters of war and to draw still other nations into the conflict. Should the enemy attempt to spend the war, however, with the aim of achieving further throttling and intimidation of the Greater German Reich, he would be compelled to gird himself against such an undertaking. In order to counterbalance increasing enemy propaganda activity, he promised Quisling financial support of his movement, which is based on Greater Germanic ideology. Military exploitation of the question now raised was assigned to the Special Military Staff, which transmitted special missions to Quisling. Reichsleiter Rosenberg was to take over political exploitation. Financial expenses were to be defrayed by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs [Auswaertiges Amt], the Minister for Foreign Affairs being kept continuously by the Foreign Affairs Bureau. Chief of Section [ Amtsleiter ] Scheidt was charged with maintaining liaison with Quisling. In the course of further developments he was assigned to the Naval Attache in Oslo, Lt. Commander [Korvettenkapitaen] Screiber. Orders were given that the whole matter be handled with strictest secrecy.
Quisling's reports, transmitted through his representative in Germany, Hagelin, and dealing with the possibility of intervention by the Western Powers in Norway with tacit consent of the Norwegian government, became more urgent by January already. These increasingly better substantiated communications were in sharpest contrast to the view of the German Legation in Oslo. which relied on the desire for neutrality of the then Norwegian Nygardsvold cabinet and was convinced of that government's intention and readiness to defend Norway's neutrality. No one in Norway knew that Quisling's representative for Germany maintained closest relations to him; he therefore succeeded in gaining a foothold within governmental circles of the Nygardsvold cabinet. and in listening to cabinet members' true views. Hagelin transmitted what he had heard to the Bureau, which conveyed the news to the Fuehrer through Reichsleiter Rosenberg. During the night of 16 to 17 February English destroyers attacked the German steamer "Altmark" in Jossing fjord. The Norwegian government's reaction to this question permitted the conclusion that certain agreements had been covertly arrived at between the Norwegian government and the Allies. Such assumption was confirmed by reports of Section [Amtsleiter] Scheidt who in turn derived his information from Hagelin and Quisling. But even after this incident the German Legation in Oslo championed that opposite view, and went on record as believing in the good intentions of the Norwegians.
Thanks to his connections in Norway as agent of the Norwegian Navy, Hagelin had succeeded, in the meantime, in being entrusted with the purchase of German AA guns through the German Navy Ministry. Through these connections he gained more and more insight into the real views and intentions of the Norwegian Nygardsvold cabinet, and into the preparations already initiated by the Allies in Norway. At the occasion of his presence in Berlin on 20 March to negotiate about delivery of German AA guns he mentioned that the Allies were even now examining Norwegian ports for loading and transportation facilities. The French Kommandant entrusted with this mission was said to have revealed Allied intentions in confidential conversations with the commander of Narwik, an adherent of Quisling. These intentions were to land motorized troops at Stavanger, Drontheim and perhaps Kirkenes, and to occupy Sola airdrome near Stavanger. Hagelin also re-emphasized his warnings about agreements secretly concluded between the Allies and the Norwegian government according to which the Norwegian government would content itself .solely with paper protests in case of a possible occupation of port cities by the Allies. He pointed out that the Norwegian government had never intended to seriously oppose England, and that it was playing a two-faced game with Germany solely to gain time for faits accomplis. He also mentioned that the Norwegian government had been informed by England that Germany intended to lay a minefield from Jutland to the Norwegian coast. In view of all the information that had reached him, Quisling could no longer stand by his advice to await developments in Norway for a little while longer; he was compelled to point out that any delay of the German counter-thrust would entail extraordinary risks. These reports were immediately transmitted to the Fuehrer by Reichsleiter Rosenberg On 8 April the Allies struck the first blow in preparation for their intended occupation of Norway, thus confirming these reports made by Quisling and his agents, and in contrast to the views held to the end by the German Legation in Oslo and by the expert of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs [Auswaertiges Amt] During the night from 7 to 8 April minefields were laid alongside the Norwegian coast by the Allied fleet, and the Allied governments informed the world of the steps they had taken. In accordance with indications given by the Bureau, only progressively more tepid protests were made by Norway. By order of the Fuehrer Greater Germany counter-attacked, after corresponding preparation in the morning of 9 April and occupied the most important Norwegian sea ports and airdromes.
In spite of almost complete occupation by the Central Powers in the last World War, Rumania was indebted to Versailles for her re-creation, which was effected partially even at the expense of her one-time Eastern ally. A basically sound anti-Semitic tendency existed in this post-war country. which was torn asunder by dynastic squabbles and innumerable party fights. But in spite of repeated efforts this tendency had never risen above the limitations of a club, because of solely scientific doctrinaire leadership. What was lacking w as the guiding leadership of a political personality. After manifold grouping trials the Bureau believed to have found such a personality--the former Minister, and poet. Octavian Goga. It was not difficult to convince this poet, pervaded by instinctive inspiration, that a Greater Rumania, though it had to be created in opposition to Vienna, could be maintained only together with Berlin. Nor was it difficult to create in him the desire to link the fate of Rumania with the future of the National Socialist German Reich in good time. By bringing continuing influence to bear, the Bureau succeeded in inducing Octavian Goga as well as Professor Cuza to amalgamate the parties under their leadership on an Anti-Semitic basis. Thus they could carry on with united strength the struggle for Rumania's renascence internally, and her affiliation [Anschluss] with Germany externally. Through the Bureau's initiative both parties, which had heretofore been known by distinct names, were merged as the National Christian Party, under Goga's leadership and with Cuza as Honorary President. The attempts concurrently undertaken by the Bureau to amalgamate this Party with the much more youthful. but energetic Iron Guard movement were initially frustrated by the apparently insurmountable personal incompatibility of Cuza and Codreanu. At any rate these attempts led to the secret establishment of good personal relations between Goga and the mystic-fanciful Codreanu.
In the course of the years after his return, the king had succeeded in becoming the country's decisive factor through craft tactics in dealing with the dominant political parties. Had the Bureau also succeeded in merging the National-Christian Party with Codreanu, Rumania would have obtained sharply anti-Semitic leadership based on strong mass support. Such leadership could have attained its aims even against the will of the king. However, surviving rivalries between the country's anti-Semitic trends later enabled the king to use them separately for his plan, in order to destroy them as far as possible.
The struggle for re-orientation of Rumania's foreign policy was taken up by Goga with bold elan. He had earlier succeeded in upsetting the position of Foreign Minister Titolescu, the agent of Franco, of the Geneva League of Nations and of the Little Entente- Titolescu was later overthrown. Among the numerous not very significant splinter parties, the "Young Liberals" founded by George Bratianu, supported Goga's campaign, without joining the anti-Semitic trend. The Rumanian front of Vaida Voevod, wobbling to and fro among all camps, adopted a similar position for some time.
Through intermediaries, the Bureau maintained constant contact with both tendencies, just like it constantly consulted with Goga, through Staff Director [Stabsleiter Schickedanz] about tactics to be followed. The whole struggle was accelerated by Soviet Russia's increasing pressure in the Bessarabian question and by the process of political rapprochement with Moscow which was supported by Paris and Prague. Following a long period of recurring political trials involving scandal and graft, Rumania's internal struggle for the future make-up of the country had been aggravated by the coming to the front of the Christian-Nationalist Party and of the Iron Guard. This struggle was being fought with increasing bitterness. The king's attitude towards the national movement was procrastinating and underhanded. The movement was agreeable to him for eliminating the two parties which, by tradition, took turns in the government. But he intended to prevent the unequivocal victory of anti-Semitic and racial [Voelkisch] principles, influenced by growing Nationalism in the country. That is why the Nationalists' foreign policy, secretly projected by Germany, did not fit into his plans. Because he was in possession of the police and of the army, he remained the decisive factor in the country. After repeated postponement of the elections, which were legally due, the king decided to hold an election. The decision was based on a very reliable report of his then Prime Minister Taterescu. Taterescu was convinced that the Liberal Party would again receive 40% of all votes, through the machinations customary in Fomia. However, after a bitter election campaign the Liberal Party suffered painful defeat. The opposition National Movement had achieved indisputable victory in spite of all chicanery and machinations by their opponents. The Iron Guard received about 16% of the total vote, the National-Christian Party Goga-Cuza about 11%, the government party about 35. The rest of the votes were scattered. After some vacillation and hesitancy, the king appointed Goga Prime Minister on 27 Decmeber 1937 with a binding promise that Parliament would be dismissed and new elections held within the legally prescribed time limit. In spite of warnings by the Bureau Goga believed the promise given by the king. But the king was only attempting to gain time.
Thus a second government on racial and anti-Semitic foundations had appeared in Europe, in a country in which such an event had been considered completely impossible. The government immediately made known its intention to proceed against Jewish predominance in the country and declared repeatedly that it would have to subject Rumania's previous foreign policy to reexamination and reform. In the meantime the Judaic-Masonic and liberal opposition did not lose time. Passions were inflamed and became increasingly more envenomed. It looked like a hot and bloody election campaign. The prospects of Goga's Christian-Nationalist Party pointed to a big victory with sure certainty, especially since, with the Bureau's cooperation he had on the sly made a secret agreement with Codreanu. To be sure, Goga did not act on the Bureau's advice to immediately develop his party cadres, to expand his party machine all over the country and to permeate the police and gendarmerie. Goga postponed the execution of organizational reform, which he also intended, until after the election. He considered himself to be under obligation to the king not to undertake anything until the electoral decisions had been rendered, but to take steps all the more incisively after legally attaining the majority.
In innumerable interviews the opposition must have succeeded in convincing the king that an electoral victory of Goga would react most acutely against the king himself. In that case he would no longer be able to get rid of the ghosts he had called in; if Goga attained a two-thirds majority, he, the king, would be Goga's captive. These expostulations, and the uncontrollable Judaic influences of the Jewish clique at the Rumanian court, plus the pressure of the French and British Ministers led to a change in the king's attitude, assuming that this change had not already been anticipated by him at the time of Goga's appointment. The king decided to prevent the elections. Goga resisted. Thereupon the king offered Goga the formation of an authoritarian government, a government created solely by virtue of royal sovereignty. That meant a coup d'etat. Goga declined. Thereupon the king informed Goga that he would accept the cabinet's resignation, which, however, had not even been offered to him. Goga realized too late that the strength at his disposal was entirely inadequate to thwart the king's plans. He resigned.
But the course once embarked upon forced even the king to pay heed to the mood that had been created in the country. Also, a disrupted foreign-policy ties was no longer possible. Although an authoritarian system had been built up, Rumania found herself without her former backing. The French security system had been ruptured and could not be re-established, if only in view of Yugoslavia's attitude in the South-East, where relations established by other German agencies had simultaneously loosened the cohesiveness of the Little Entente. That, at any rate, was the Goga government's success.
In his last great speech to the Rumania Academy, shortly before his death, Goga welcomed Austria's affiliation with Germany, and affirmed for the last time his belief in adherence to new Greater German Reich and to Fascist Italy, a belief he had struggled for.
Now the king's war of extermination against the Iron Guard began. Codreanu was arrested with his closest collaborators, to face a specially convoked court-martial. Sole basis for the prosecution was an alleged communication from Codreanu to the Fuehrer, which was proved to be a forgery, and a telegram addressed to the Fuehrer. On the basis of these "records" he was sentenced to ten years' hard labor. In vain did the Bureau attempt to bring about an intervention of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in this episode, which diminished the whole prestige of the German Reich. It did not prevail against the official agencies, which condemned the entire project of the Bureau in Rumania, because the official German delegation expected their sole salvation from the attitude of the king and his creatures. Logically, the acceptance without dissent of this challenge was interpreted in Bucharest as granting carte blanche and Codreanu was shot with his closest collaborators for establishment of the first personal contact between the King and the Fuehrer.
This appeared to doom the Iron Guard, too, Goga's party, deprived of his leadership, was submerged into insignificance. But Goga left behind a personal heir, who is now Marshal Antonescu. Against the king's wish, Goga had appointed this politically insignificant provincial general, with whom the king was on bad terms, as his Minister of War. At first, completely pro French in outlook, Antonescu gradually adopted a different view under Goga's influence. After Goga's resignation, Antonescu still remained in the king's cabinet at Goga's wish. He also maintained continued relations with the Iron Guard. Thereby the possibility of eliminating the king was at hand--and was exploited. Antonescu's to-day appears in practice as executor of the heritage bequeathed to him by Goga, who had led him from political insignificance into the political arena. Thereby a change to Germany's liking had become possible in Rumania.
Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression Volume III
Office of the United States Chief Counsel for Prosecution of Axis Criminality
Washington, DC : United States Government Printing Office, 1946