70 THE TODT ORGANISATION position in the world.' I'm glad that this call to the East has taken our attention off the Mediterranean. The South, for us, is the Crimea. To go further would be nonsense. Let us stay Nordic. In any case, in our country the sunny season sometimes goes on until November. In Berlin, February brings the first promises of spring. On the Rhine, everything flowers in March. In the Ukraine, more than anywhere else, it would be a mistake to instal flour-mills that would drain off the wheat from immense territories—over a radius of four hundred kilometres, for example. We should rather build windmills all over the place, to supply regional needs—and export only the wheat demanded by the large centres. How I regret not being ten years younger! Todt, you will have to extend your programme. As for the necessary labour, you shall have it. Let's finish the road network, and the rail network. We shall have to settle down to the task of rebuilding the Russian track, to restore it to the normal gauge. There's only one road that, throughout all these last months of campaigning, was of any use to the armies on the central front—and for that I'll set up a monument to Stalin. Apart from that, he preferred to manufacture chains of mud rather than to build roads ! What a task awaits us! We have a hundred years of joyful satisfaction before us. 44 Night of 17th-18th October 1941 May loth, 1940—Tears of joy—The Schließen plan— G.H.Q,. at Felsennest—Paris, a town with a glorious past— 22nd June 1941—Kiev, Moscow, St. Petersburg must be destroyed. I never closed an eye during the night of the gth to loth of May 1940, or that of the 2ist to 22nd of June 1941. In May 1940, it was especially worry about the weather that kept me awake. I was filled with rage when dawn broke and I realised that it was fifteen minutes earlier than I'd been told. And yet I knew that it had to be like that ! At seven o'clock came the news: "Eben Emael has been silenced." Next: "We hold
THE 1940 CAMPAIGN *]l one of the bridges over the Meuse." With a fellow like Witzig, we'd have been able to take the bridges of Maastricht before they were blown up. But what difference did it make whether they were blown up, as soon as we held the very high bridge commanding Liège—sixty metres above river-level. If that had been blown, our engineers would have found time to put it back into shape. It was wonderful how everything went off as arranged. When the news came that the enemy was advancing along the whole front, I could have wept for joy : they'd fallen into the trap! It had been a clever piece of work to attack Liège. We had to make them believe we were remaining faithful to the old Schlieffen plan. I had my fears concerning the advance of von Kluge's army, but everything was well prepared. Two days after our arrival at Abbeville, we could already start our offensive to the South. If I had disposed then of as many motorised troops as I have now, we'd have finished the campaign in a fortnight. How exciting it will be, later, to go over those operations once more. Several times during the night I went to the operations-room to pore over those relief-maps. What a lovely place Felsennest was ! The birds in the morning, the view over the road by which the columns were going up the line. Over our head, the squadrons of aircraft. There, I knew what I was doing. In the air attack on Paris, we confined ourselves to the airfields—to spare a city with a glorious past. It's a fact that, from a global point of view, the French are behaving very badly, but all the same they're closely related to us, and it would have hurt me to be obliged to attack a city like Laon, with its cathedral. On the 22nd of June, a door opened before us, and we didn't know what was behind it. We could look out for gas warfare, bacteriological warfare. The heavy uncertainty took me by the throat. Here we were faced by beings who are complete strangers to us. Everything that resembles civilisation, the Bolsheviks have suppressed it, and I have no feelings about the idea of wiping out Kiev, Moscow or St. Petersburg.