Leeds nostalgia: German plan to assassinate its own amabssador to justify Czech invasion

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On This day in 1945, the Nuremberg trails continued and one of the “most striking documents of all” was revealed. It related to a secret meeting between Hitler and his high command on November 5, 1937 in which they discussed ways to “acquire”Czechoslovakia.

Remarkably, the favoured plan was for the German Chief of High Command, Field-Marshall Keitel, to assissinate one of their own - namely, the German Ambassador in Prague, Dr Eisenlohr - thereby creating “an incident”, which would help them justify the invasion to the world.


At the secret meeting, which Hitler apparently told his aides he wanted to be considered his ‘last will and testament’, Austria and Czechoslovakia were to be acquired for ‘lebensraum’ (living space).

They referred to the Czech plan as ‘Case Green’, which was a full scale military attack by land and air. Hitler noted that the first four days of any offensive were the most telling.

Austria was seized by Germany on March 13, 1938 and Czechoslovakia invaded on March 14, 1939.

In other news, Leeds shopkeepers reacted angrily to plans by the Government to hold a four-day break over Christmas. Traders argued they would lose too much money. Archie Scarr, president of the Leeds Chamber of Trade, said the ‘four day break will not obtain in the city’ unless the Government made it compulsory.

“It can be taken for granted,” he said, “that in the absence of any concret Government order, the Chamber will recommend shopkeepers remain open Christmas Eve until 6pm. He added it would be “foolish” to deprive housewives of their traditional last minute shopping opportunity.

Others, however, argued an additional holiday was needed.