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

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
27th February to 11th March, 1946

Seventy-Fifth Day: Wednesday, 6th March, 1946
(Part 1 of 6)

[Page 173]

THE PRESIDENT: I desire to announce a slight change in the order of business.

Dr. Stahmer has submitted a motion in writing, stating that he desired a little more time in the preparation of his documents, and for that and other reasons would be grateful if the case of the defendant Goering did not come up on Thursday, as announced.

The Tribunal realizes that the case of the first defendant to be heard may present some difficulties in getting the documents translated in time. As the Tribunal has announced that they would continue the hearing of the applications for witnesses until they are all completed, they will adhere to this decision. It is anticipated that this will give Dr. Stahmer one day more, but at the conclusion of the hearing of the applications for witnesses, the case of the defendant Goering will come on without further delay.

The Tribunal wishes to make it quite clear that no further applications for delay or postponement on the part of the defendants will be entertained, save in the most exceptional circumstances.

DR. SIEMERS (counsel for the defendant Raeder): For the defendant Raeder, I should like to apply first for a witness who will testify to the defendant's character.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, if it would be convenient, I might first indicate the views of the prosecution, and then Dr. Siemers can deal with this point.

The prosecution has no objection to the following witnesses being called for oral testimony:-

No. 3, the retired Minister, Severing.

No. 5, Vice-Admiral Schulte-Moenting.

No. 6 has already been sought for and not objected to by the prosecution as witness for the defendant Donitz.

No. 10, Admiral Boehm.

Then, with regard to the following witnesses, the prosecution suggests an affidavit as the suitable procedure:-

No. 2, Admiral Lohmann.

THE PRESIDENT: Do you mean an affidavit or interrogatories?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: Well, in this case I should prefer an affidavit, because it is only a history of past events that is involved.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well. Affidavit in which case?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: In the case of No. 2. - Lohmann.

Then with regard to No. 4, that is Admiral Albrecht, his evidence covers the same ground as No. 5. It might be that interrogatories would be more convenient, but that would be a matter for my friends to decide.

Then the next No. 7. That is Dr. Suechting, who is an engineer, and it is desired to have him speak about the Anglo-German Naval Treaty and technical questions. The prosecution suggests an affidavit there, because apparently it is desired that he speak on technical matters.

[Page 174]

No. 8, Field-Marshal von Blomberg, I am told, is still ill. I think that Dr. Siemers has already submitted questions and has received the answers. He ought to be dealt with by interrogatories. That is probably the easiest thing for the Field-Marshal, and the most suitable.

THE PRESIDENT: Was that not suggested in the case of one of the other defendants?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: Von Blomberg, yes. I have a note that the defence counsel have submitted questions. I was not quite sure whether this was Dr. Siemers or another defence counsel. I think it was Dr. Nelte, for Keitel.

THE PRESIDENT: I think so, yes. That is No. 8.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: Then the next one, von Weizsaecker, who was the Secretary of State at the Foreign Office. He is asked for with regard to the 'Athenia' case. At the moment I cannot see the point for which the defence want this gentleman, but I suggest that if they get an affidavit from Weizsaecker we should know what he can speak about.

Then the other one is No. 14, Colonel Soltmann. It is desired to give the results of the interrogation of certain British prisoners of war at Lillehammer. it would appear that the object was merely to give further evidence which would be cumulative to the statements in the German White Book, and therefore the prosecution suggests an affidavit.

There are two witnesses that the prosecution, think are in the broader line between admissibility and affidavits. They are really, in the submission of the prosecution, not relevant witnesses, but the Tribunal might like to consider the question. These are, No. 1, a naval chaplain who really speaks as to the general moral and religious outlook of the defendant Raeder. That is, in the submission of the. prosecution, really irrelevant: and at the most it would be a matter for an affidavit. The position of the prosecution is, that it is really irrelevant, but it certainly should not be more than an affidavit, even if a different view was taken.

The other is No. 16, Admiral Schultze. He speaks as to an interview with the late Admiral Darlan, and the prosecution submits that that is irrelevant, if there are any approaches to relevance - which the prosecution has been unable to see why then it could only be a matter for an affidavit.

THE PRESIDENT: Sir David, dealing with No. 16, would that not be more suitably dealt with by interrogatories? The Tribunal granted interrogatories on 9th February in that case, but I suppose they have not yet been produced.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: Yes. Well, if the Tribunal feel that it is a matter that should be explored, I agree that interrogatories would be suitable.

Then, my Lord, the ones that the prosecution make objection to in toto are:-

No. 11, Vice-Admiral Buerkner, because cumulative to Nos. 5 and 10.

No. 12, Commander Schreiber, because on 21st February Dr. Siemers said that he was willing not to call this witness, if No. 5, Schulte-Moenting, was allowed.

No. 13, Lackorn, who is a Norwegian merchant, who is supposed to speak of the Allied plans, without any means of knowledge being stated. This witness was temporarily given up on 21st February.

No. 15, Alf Whist, who was Secretary of Commerce in the Quisling Cabinet, as I understand the application. There is no indication why this witness should be competent to speak on the reputation of the defendant Raeder.

And No. 16 has been dealt with.

No. 17 is Colonel Goldenberg, who was the interpreter at the meeting between the defendant Raeder and Darlan. Quoting:-

"The defendant Raeder gives evidence and Admiral Schultze answers an interrogatory."
It will appear that that interview is well covered.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, Dr. Siemers ?

[Page 175]

DR. SIEMERS: I thank Sir David for taking up the individual points, as a consequence of which I can, as I presume, count on the Tribunal's approval of the points to which Sir David has agreed, without giving specific reasons.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal thinks that the best course would be for you to go through the ones upon which Sir David has not agreed, as to being called as oral witnesses, and then perhaps it may be necessary to deal with the ones where he has agreed. I would begin in the order in which he took them up - 2, 4, 7, 8, 9 - if that is convenient for you.

In the case of No. 2 he suggested an affidavit.

DR. SIEMERS: No. 2 is Vice-Admiral Lohmann. In this connection I refer to the last page of my brief, where I have discussed the documents under No. III. There I have stated that I suggested to the British Delegation that we come to some agreement as to the figures with regard to the Treaty of Versailles and the Naval Treaty. The British Delegation has promised me that such an agreement may be possible and has in the meantime communicated with the British Admiralty in London on this matter. If, as I expect, an understanding is reached, I am agreeable to an affidavit from Vice-Admiral Lehmann, for then he is to testify on only a few points. I ask, therefore, that he be approved for the time being, and I undertake not to call him if the agreement mentioned is reached with the prosecution. If this understanding is not reached, the proof of some important figures would be very difficult, and I could not do without Lohmann who is well informed about the figures.

THE PRESIDENT: What do you say about that, Sir David?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: I have circulated Dr. Siemers's note and request for agreement to my colleagues, and I have also sent it to the Admiralty, and I hope that we may be able to give the information and probably to agree on these matters, but I am waiting to get that confirmed from the Admiralty in Britain, so I think if we could leave over the question of this witness until I see if I can get an agreement which will satisfy Dr. Siemers on the point.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes. Then if you cannot make the agreement, probably the witness would have to be called ?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: Yes. I can let Dr. Siemers know whether there is any controversy on the point, whether I am going to challenge what he puts forward. If I am going to challenge it, obviously I should not object to the witness being called.

DR. SIEMERS: Under these circumstances, I shall be satisfied with the submission of an affidavit. I have written to Vice- Admiral Lohmann, asking him to answer the other brief questions, and regarding the main points, the principles just stated by Sir David will be adhered to.


DR. SIEMERS: Witness No. 4, Admiral-General Albrecht, was one of the closest collaborators of Grand-Admiral Raeder. From 1926 to 1928 he was Raeder's Chief of Staff in Kiel, from 1928 to 1930, Chief of the Navy Personnel Office of the OKM. From then on he was Commanding-Admiral in Kiel, and finally Navy Group-Commander East in 1939.

I should like to remark in this connection that in this last year, he also joined, upon the suggestion of the Head of the Security Group, this organization and from this point of view also he appears important to me. Admiral-General Albrecht has also, as I know , written directly to the Tribunal for this reason.

Albrecht has known the defendant Raeder so long that he is well acquainted with his main ideas and thus versed on the main charges of the Indictment. He has known Raeder's trend of thought since 1928, that is to say, from the time

[Page 176]

in which the charges against Raeder have their beginning. I ask that consideration be given to the tremendous charges which are brought against Raeder covering a period of fifteen years. I cannot refute all the accusations with one or two witnesses. The differences among the testimonies are so great that in such a case one cannot speak of "cumulative".

Furthermore, I ask that note be taken of the fact that so far I have been unable to talk to Vice-Admiral Schulte- Moenting, who has been approved by the Tribunal and the prosecution.

The Tribunal has also not yet informed me where Schulte- Moenting is. I presume that he is in a prisoner-of-war camp in England, but I do not know whether he will really be at my disposal and whether I will be able to talk with him in time.

THE PRESIDENT: You are dealing with Admiral-General Konrad Albrecht, are you not? You are dealing with No. 4?

DR. SIEMERS: No, regarding Admiral-General Albrecht, we know that he is in Hamburg. I simply pointed out that it would not be cumulative if both Albrecht and Schulte-Moenting are heard by the Court.

THE PRESIDENT: You see, what Sir David was suggesting was an interrogatory in the case of Admiral Albrecht and an affidavit in the case of Admiral Schulte-Moenting.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: I will agree to Admiral Schulte- Moenting being called orally.

THE PRESIDENT: I beg your pardon. I was mixing the numbers. Yes, that is right, to call the one and have interrogatories from the other. Have you any objection to that?

DR. SIEMERS: Yes, I request that I be allowed to call both witnesses, because Schulte-Moenting is to testify about a later period, and Albrecht about the earlier period that was immediately subsequent to the Versailles Treaty. The position of both is entirely different. In addition, as I have just pointed out, the Tribunal has not yet informed me whether I can with absolute certainty, count on the witness Schulte-Moenting, whether he has been found, whether it is known where he is.

THE PRESIDENT: Our information is that Schulte-Moenting has not been located.

DR. SIEMERS: I have no information as yet.

THE PRESIDENT: One moment. I am not sure that is right. Yes, he has. been located in a prisoner-of-war camp in the United Kingdom. At least, I think so.

Yes, I have a document before me here which shows that he is in a prisoner-of-war camp in the United Kingdom.

DR. SIEMERS: I thank you very much. I did not know that. Under the circumstances I am prepared in regard to Admiral- General Albrecht to accept an affidavit or an interrogatory, provided Schulte-Moenting really appears.

No. 7, Dr. Suechting. In this connection Sir David suggests an affidavit in order to speed up the trial. I am satisfied with an affidavit.


DR. SIEMERS: Again, however, with the one reservation that the matter of the figures will be clarified between me and the British prosecution, in accordance with my letter as already discussed in connection with Admiral Lohmann. I believe that Sir David is agreeable to this.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal would like to know how you suggest that these questions of shipbuilding in connection with the German-English Naval Agreements of 1935 and 1937 are relevant to any charge made here.

[Page 177]

DR. SIEMERS: The defendant Raeder is accused of not having adhered to the Treaty of Versailles and the Naval Agreements. Such a treaty violation is mainly a question of the building of ships. Consequently, I must demonstrate what could be built according to the Treaty of Versailles and the Naval Agreements, and what actually was built, and what plans and orders the Navy had in this connection. As I said, however, I shall be satisfied with an affidavit.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well, the Tribunal will consider the arguments on that.

DR. SIEMERS: No. 8, Field-Marshal von Blomberg. The prosecution has suggested an affidavit or an interrogatory. In consideration of von Blomberg's state of health, I am agreeable to this for the sake of simplicity. Since it does not involve any great number of questions, I suggest an affidavit.

No. 9, Ambassador Baron von Weizsaecker. I submitted the application on 6th February and do not know, thus far, the position of the Tribunal. At the time of the case "Athenia," Weizsaecker was State Secretary in the Reich Ministry for Foreign Affairs. At that time, in September 1939, Weizsaecker spoke with the American Ambassador on the subject of the "Athenia ". Weizsaecker spoke with Hitler and with Raeder. He knows the details and must be heard on these details. I do not believe that an affidavit will suffice. First let me remark. that I do not now know where Weizsaecker is. But apart from that, the charge which has been made against the defendant Raeder in the case of the "Athenia" is morally so grave that, although otherwise it might not be such an important point, I have to put particular stress on this point.

The British Delegation has given particular emphasis to the case of the "Athenia " and has made insulting attacks on the defendant in connection with this case. In the interest of the absolutely irreproachable life of my client, I feel obliged to clarify this case completely. That can only be done by Weizsaecker.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Siemers, as far as the application goes, there is nothing to show, beyond the position of the suggested witness, that he knew anything about it at all. Under these circumstances would not interrogatories be the most appropriate course? You did not show whether he knew anything about it at all. All you say in your application is that he was State Secretary in the Reich Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

DR. SIEMERS: I may point out that I stated in my application that the witness is informed regarding the events connected with the case "Athenia."

THE PRESIDENT: You say that he must know on the basis of his position as State Secretary.

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