The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)
Nuremberg, war crimes, crimes against humanity

Twenty-First Day: Monday, 17th December, 1945
(Part 1 of 16)

[Page 1]

THE PRESIDENT (Lord Justice Sir Geoffrey Lawrence): I have four announcements to make on behalf of the Tribunal. I will read those announcements now and they will be posted upon the board in the Information Centre in German as soon as possible.

The first announcement is this: The attention of the Tribunal has been drawn to publications in the Press of what appear to have been interviews with some of the defendants in this case, given through the agency of their counsel. The Tribunal considers it necessary to state with the greatest emphasis that this is a procedure which cannot and will not be countenanced. Therefore, counsel are warned that they should observe the highest professional standards in such matters and should not use the opportunity afforded to them of conferring freely with their clients to act in any way as intermediaries between the defendants and the Press, and they must exercise the greatest professional discretion in making any statement on their own behalf.

The Tribunal recognises that in a trial of this kind, where the public interest is world-wide, it is in the highest degree important that all those who take part in the trial in any capacity whatever should be aware of their responsibility to see that nothing is done to detract from the proper conduct of the proceedings.

The Press of the world is rendering a very great service in giving publicity to the proceedings of the Tribunal, and the Tribunal feels that it may properly ask for the co-operation of all concerned to avoid anything which conflicts with the impartial administration of justice.

The second announcement that I have to make is this: The Tribunal understands that the counsel appointed under Article 9 of the Charter are in doubt whether they have been appointed to represent the groups and organisations charged in the Indictment as criminal, or to represent individual applicants who have applied to be heard under the said article.

The Tribunal directs that counsel represent the groups and organisations charged, and not the applicants. As the Tribunal has already directed, counsel will be entitled to call as witnesses representative applicants and may also call other persons whose attendance may be ordered by the Tribunal. Application to call any witness must be made in the ordinary way. The evidence of such witnesses and the arguments of counsel must be confined to the question of the criminal nature of the group or organisation. Counsel will not be entitled to call evidence or to discuss any question as to the individual responsibility of particular applicants, except in so far as this may bear upon the criminal character of the organisations. Counsel will be permitted, as far as possible, to communicate with applicants in order to decide what witnesses they wish to apply to call.

[Page 2]

The third announcement is this:

The Chief Prosecutor for the United States has requested the Tribunal to make a change in its formal order which provided that only such portions of documents which are read in Court would be admitted as evidence. In order to meet the needs, so far as possible, of the members of the Tribunal, of the prosecution, and of counsel for the defendants, to have before them all the evidence in the case, the Tribunal, having carefully considered the request, makes the following order:

All documents may be filed in Court. The Tribunal shall only admit in evidence, however:

1. Documents or portions of documents which are read in Court;

2. Documents or portions of documents which are cited in Court, on the condition that they have been translated into the respective languages of the members of the Tribunal for their use; and that sufficient numbers in German are filed in the Information Centre for the use of defence counsel.

This does not apply to the documents of which the Court will take judicial notice, in accordance with Article 21 of the Charter, and the prosecution and the defendants will be at liberty to read those documents, or to refer to them without reading them.

Trial briefs and document books may be furnished to the Tribunal if sufficient copies thereof are, at the same time, filed for defence counsel in the Information Centre. As far as possible, these should be furnished in advance of their introduction in Court. In order to permit the Interpretation and Translation Division to make translations in time, it is suggested that all documents be submitted to the Division at least five days before they are to be offered in evidence.

This is the fourth announcement: The Tribunal has passed upon a number of applications for witnesses. Some of these have been granted, subject to their evidence being relevant. Some have been declined, and in some cases orders have been made that the witness be alerted; that is to say, that if he can be located, he be advised to hold himself in readiness to come here as a witness if the application is granted.

It is the desire of the Tribunal to secure for the defendants those witnesses who are material and relevant to their defence. To prevent the unnecessary prolonging of the trial, however, it is clear that the witnesses whose testimony is irrelevant or merely cumulative should not be summoned. At the conclusion of the prosecution's testimony, the Tribunal shall hear from defendants' counsel as to which of the witnesses granted or alerted they think necessary to bring here to testify. At that time, the Tribunal may hear from them further as to any witnesses that have been declined, if, in view of the case, it then appears to the Tribunal that the testimony of such witnesses is material and not cumulative.

Counsel appearing for any defendant may question any other defendant as to any relevant matter, and may interrogate him as a witness for that purpose. If the other defendant takes the stand in his own behalf, the right shall be exercised at the conclusion of his testimony.

Examination of witnesses called by other defendants: The same person has been requested as a witness by a number of defendants in some cases. It is only necessary that such witness be called to the stand once. He may then be interrogated by counsel for any defendant as to any material matter.

That is all.

[Page 3]

I call on Counsel for the United States.

CAPTAIN HARRIS: May it please the Tribunal, we are resuming the presentation of evidence of the conspirators' plans for Germanisation and spoliation.

The next general subject upon which we propose to introduce evidence is the conspirators' plans for the spoliation and Germanisation of the Soviet Union.

As Mr. Alderman has shown, the invasion of the Soviet Union was the culmination of plans meticulously laid by the conspirators. We wish now to introduce evidence upon the conspirators' plans for the exploitation and Germanisation of the Soviet Union after their anticipated conquest. The Chief Prosecutor for the Soviet Union will demonstrate what the execution of these plans meant in terms of human suffering and misery. We submit that the few exhibits which we propose to offer at this time will show the following:--

1. The conspirators planned to remove to Germany all foodstuffs and raw materials from the South and southeast of the Soviet Union over and above the needs of the Nazi invading forces and the absolute minimum necessary to supply the bare needs of the people in these particular regions, who produced the materials which were to be removed to Germany. This region had previously supplied the northern area of the Soviet Union, which the conspirators called the forest zone. The latter zone embraced some of the leading industrial areas of the Soviet Union, including Moscow and Leningrad.

2. They deliberately and systematically planned to starve millions of Russians. Starvation was to be accomplished by the following means:

a. As indicated under point 1, products from the South and southeast of the Soviet Union, which ordinarily were sent to the industrial regions of the north, were to be forcibly diverted to Germany. Moreover, all livestock in the industrial regions was to be seized for use by the Wehrmacht and the German civilian population. The necessary consequence was that the population of the northern regions would be reduced to starvation.

b. They established the following order of priority in which food produced by the Russians would be allocated:

First, the combat troops.
Second, the remainder of troops in enemy territory.
Third, troops stationed in Germany.
Fourth, the German civilian population, and
Lastly, the population of the occupied countries.

Thus even Russians in the food surplus area of the Ukraine, who were not essential to the production of material for the German war machine, were to be systematically starved.
3. They planned the permanent destruction of all industry in the northern area of the Soviet Union in order that the remnants of the Russian population would be completely dependent upon Germany for their consumer goods.

4. They planned to incorporate a part of Galicia and all of the Baltic countries into Germany, and to convert the Crimea, an area North of the Crimea, the Volga territory, and the district around Baku into German colonies.

I now turn to the specific items of proof.

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