The historian A. J. P. Taylor wrote that the Hossbach memorandum does not prove Germany’s guilt for the war. The meeting on 5. of November basicly. The Hossbach memorandum – a summary of a meeting between Hitler, ministers and military commanders, where war plans were discussed. Consideration of the Hossbach Memorandum has played a significant role in deciding the question of Hitler’s intention to wage war in Europe.

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Die Zerstoerung einer Legende, by Dankwart Kluge. Leoni am Starnberger See [Bavaria]: Hitler, we’re memorandmu over and over again, set out to conquer the world, or at least Europe. At the great postwar Nuremberg Tribunal the victorious Allies sought to prove that Hitler and his “henchmen” had engaged in a sinister “Conspiracy to Wage Aggresive War. On 5 NovemberHitler called a few high officials together for a conference in the Reich Chancellery in Berlin: Five days later, Hossbach wrote up an unauthorized record of the meeting based on memory.

He did not take notes during the conference. Hossbach claimed after the war that he twice asked Hitler to read the memorandum, but the Chancellor replied that he had no time. Apparently none of the other participants even knew of the existence of the Colonel’s conference record.

The Origins of the Second World War – after A. J. P. Taylor

Nor did they consider the meeting particularly important. A few months after the conference, Hossbach was transferred to another position. His manuscript was filed away with many other papers and forgotten.

In German general staff officer Colonel Count Kirchbach found the manuscript while going through the file and made a copy for himself. Kirchbach left the Hossbach original in the file and gave his copy to his brother-in-law, Victor von Martin, for safe keeping. Shortly after the end of the war, Martin turned over memoramdum copy to the Allied occupation authorities, who used it to produce a substantially altered version for use as incriminating evidence at Nuremberg.

Sentences such as those quoting Hitler as saying that “The German question can only be solved by force” were invented and inserted. But over all, the document presented at Nuremberg is less than half the length of the original Hossbach manuscript. According to the Hossbach document presented at Nuremberg and widely quoted ever since, Hitler told those present that his remarks were to be regarded as a “final testament” in case of his death. The most incriminating section quotes Hitler as memorandkm that the armed forces would have to act by at hossbachh latest to secure the “living space” “Lebensraum” Germany needed.

However, if Hossbach became weakened by internal crisis before that time, Germany should take action against Hosebach Bohemia and Moravia.

The Hossbach Memorandum

Or if France became so embroiled in war probably with Italy that she could not take action against Germany, then Germany should seize Czechia and Austria simultaneously. Hitler’s alleged references to German “living space” refer only to Austria and Czechia. When Hitler came to power inGermany was militarily at the mercy of hostile foreign states.


Rearmament had begun slowly, and in earlybecause of a raw materials shortage, the hosssbach armed service branches had to cut back.

A furious dispute broke out between the branches for the remaining allocation.

Contrary to what the Hossbach protocol suggests, Hitler called the conference of 5 November partially to reconcile the squabbling heads of the military branches and partially to revive the German rearmament program. Foreign policy was only a subsidiary issue. Hitler sought to justify the need for rebuilding German armed strength by presenting several exaggerated and hypothetical foreign crisis cases which would require military action, none of which ever occurred. Hitler announced no new course in German foreign policy, much less a plan for aggressive war.

Like some other aristocratic and traditionalist conservatives, Hossbach became a bitter opponent of Hitler and the National Socialist regime. He was an intimate friend of General Ludwig Beck, who was executed in for his leading role in the conspiracy which tried to assassinate Hitler and overthrow the government.

Despite his postwar denial, it is virtually certain that Hossbach prepared his slanted version of the conference at Beck’s urging for possible use in discrediting the Hitler regime following a coup d’etat. Hossbach was also close to Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, head of military intelligence, and General Ziehlberg, both of whom were also executed for their roles in the assassination plot.

Even in early Hossbach, Beck and Canaris were in favor of a coup to forcibly overthrow Hitler. The Hossbach memorandum is frequently cited in popular historical works as conclusive proof of Hitler’s plans for aggressive war.

A good example is William Shirer’s best-selling but unreliable Rise and Fall of the Third Reichwhich alleged that the protocol recorded “the decisive turning point in the life of the Third Reich. Hitler had communicated his irrevocable decision to go to war. To the handful of men who would have to direct it there could no longer by any doubt. He even distorts the actual wartime importance of the conference participants.

The Avalon Project : Hossbach Memorandum

Of the five top officials present, three Blomberg, Fritsch, Neurath lost their high positions within months of the meeting. Raeder was replaced as Navy Commander in January The important role of the fraudulent Hossbach protocol at the Nuremberg Tribunal is another damning confirmation of the illegitimate, show-trial character of this most extravagant judicial undertaking in history.

On the basis of the protocol, which became Nuremberg document PS, the Tribunal indictment declared: Once again it was emphasized that Germany must have living space in Central Europe.

They recognized that such a conquest would probably meet resistance that would have to be beaten down with force, and that their decision would probably lead to a general war. It was also the basis for the conclusion of the Nuremberg judges that the German “Conspiracy to Wage Aggressive War” began at the conference of 5 November There is now no doubt that the Hossbach protocol is worthless as a historical document.


After the war both Hossbach and Kirchbach declared that the U. Hossbach also testified at Nuremberg that he could not confirm that the prosecution version corresponded completely with the manuscript he wrote in And in his memoirs, he admitted that in any case, Hitler did not outline any kind of “war plan” at the meeting.

The protocol deals only with the first half of the meeting, thereby distorting its true character. The memorandum concludes with the simple sentence: In Victor von Martin characterized memorandu memorandum with these words: Taylor accepted the Hossbach memorandum as a faithful record of the meeting of 5 November However, in a supplementary “Second Thoughts” added to later editions, the renowned British historian admitted that he had initially been “taken in” by the “legend” of the document.

The allegedly significant conference was actually “a maneuver in domestic affairs.

The Nazis’ Hossbach Memorandum Document of 1937

Koch, a Lecturer at the University of York Englandfurther dismantled the legend in a article which concluded that the infamous protocol would be “inadmissible in any other court except the Nuremberg tribunal.

Dankwart Kluge has made a valuable contribution to our understanding of the origins of the Second World War. His study will stand for many years as the most authoritative dissection of a great documentary fraud. This attractive work includes the complete text of the Hossbach protocol as an appendix, four photos, and a comprehensive bibliography.

The author was born in in Breslau WroclawSilesia. Since he has worked as an attorney in West Berlin. Kluge has done an admirable job of assembling his material, which is drawn not only from all the available published and documentary sources, but also from numerous private interviews and correspondence with key witnesses.

Kluge argues his case compellingly, although the narrative style is somewhat weak. This important study leaves no doubt that the highly touted protocol is actually a forged revision of an uncertified copy of an unauthorized original, which has disappeared.

Harry Elmer Barnes, to whom the work is dedicated, would have welcomed it heartily. Skip to main content. You are here Home. Review The Hossbach ‘Protocol’: Reviewed by Mark Weber Hitler, we’re told over and over again, set out to conquer the world, or at least Europe.