CHAPTER XV
THE DAWN OF THE FOUR-POWER PACT

At the time when, towards the end of 1931, Japan was invading China, a training-camp was established in a farm at Janka Puzzla in Hungary for Croat Fascists who had fled from Yugoslavia. The Hungarian example was repeated in Italy. A similar camp was set up in Bardi, a village near Borgotaro in Emilia, and others not far from Brescia and Ancona. ( Hitler was soon to open other camps in Germany.) Arms stores were kept in Austria unbeknown, of course, to the Austrian police. Ante Pavelić, who in 1941 was to become the Fuehrer of Nazified Croatia, was at the head of all this organization.

During the Roatta trial held in Rome ( January 1945), Baron Pompeo Aloisi, one of Mussolini's men, stated that Pavelić's men (the Ustache = insurgents) "depended directly on the Head of the Government and his Cabinet"; they had been "put in charge of a diplomat, Cortese, who had been detached from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and who was instructed to maintain liaison with the police and the other Ministries". A high official of the Ministry of the Interior testified that "all payments for the Ustache were made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from its secret funds". A general of the carabinieri testified that the Ustache "had a group of carabinieri detailed to them".1

This did not prevent the Italian Foreign Minister, Grandi, when the Disarmament Conference opened (2.ii.32), from making a great display of pacifist and anti-militarist emotions. He proposed the abolition of battleships, submarines, and aircraft-carriers, of artillery and tanks, of bombing planes, of chemical warfare, and urged more effective protection for civilian populations (10.ii.32).

A year earlier Stimson had pointed out that if there were no preliminary agreement on objectives and on methods of achieving them, a Disarmament Conference would be nothing but a farce. The Conference was, indeed, one long farce. "Every delegate present felt that his type of weapon was defensive and the other fellow's offensive." One of the delegates summed up the whole story when he stated that "a weapon is either offensive or defensive according to which end of it you are looking at." According to the Germans, even the fixed guns of the Maginot Line could cover an assault upon the unfortified Rhineland, and hence could be called offensive weapons. According to one of the American delegates, the battle-

____________________
1
Il processo Roatta, pp. 41, 42, 49, 55, 63.

-128-

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