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 4 of 6)

[Page 187]

THE PRESIDENT: Very well: let us get on then.

[Page 188]

DR. SAUTER: Your Honours, I have then, in addition, under No. 4, listed an affidavit by a witness, Maria Hoepken. I shall submit this affidavit, which is already in my possession, to the Tribunal and to the prosecution, along with my document book, sufficiently in advance.

Then I have also affidavits in my possession, if I may mention that now, from two witnesses: No. 9, Dr. Klingspor, and No. 10, Dr. Roesen. The, same thing applies here. The Tribunal and the prosecution will receive these two affidavits in time, together with my document book.

Concerning No. 8, the witness Hoffman, the prosecution agree to having him called as a witness since he is here in Nuremberg. Therefore, I believe that I do not have to make any detailed statements concerning him.

The same applies to No. 12 and No. 13. These are two witnesses: one a Gauobmann Schneeberger from Vienna, who, above all, is to inform us on the attitude of the defendant on the question of foreign workers during the time of his activity as Gauleiter in Vienna, and No. 13, Field-Marshal von Blomberg, who is to inform us on the attitude of the defendant von Schirach on the question of the pre-military education of youth, on the question of physical training, and on the question of patriotic education of youth. The prosecution agree to interrogatories from these two witnesses - which I have already suggested myself.

And now, your Honours, I come to the one witness on my list who is closest to the heart of my client and myself. It is No. 11, that is the application to examine a French woman by the name of Ida Vasseau. Of this witness, Ida Vasseau, we have heard in Court for the first time when the Soviet prosecution submitted a commission report on the "Atrocities of the fascist-German invaders in the Lemberg area," as the title reads: Exhibit USSR 6.

This document contains a sentence to the effect that a French woman, Ida Vasseau, who was working in a children's home in Lemberg, had reported that the Hitler Youth had committed special atrocities in Lemberg. It was alleged that from the ghetto, small children had been sold; however, it was not revealed by whom and to whom these children were to have been sold; and yet, as a matter of course, it is the Hitler Youth who are said to have committed these atrocities.

Your Honours, we are fully aware that such happenings would represent a quite extraordinary atrocity, and I can tell you that none of all the presentations of the prosecution during the last three months has physically so depressed the defendant Schirach, as has this statement. The defendant Schirach has always, even in his earlier interrogations, maintained that he assumes full responsibility for the education and training of the German Youth, as directed by him; and that he is ready and willing, even as a defendant here, to explain to the Tribunal what principles guided him, what aims he had, and what successes he achieved. He has, for instance, never denied that this youth training was based on patriotism . . .

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Sauter, you are only applying for witnesses now, are you not? You see, you agree in your application to an affidavit -

DR. SAUTER: I did not understand, Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT: What I was pointing out to you was that this is only an application with reference to witnesses, and in your application you say: "However, in consideration of the far distance of the witness from Nuremberg, I agree that at first an affidavit should be drawn up."


THE PRESIDENT: Sir David agreed that an affidavit should be drawn up. So you are in agreement, and I do not understand why we should be troubled with further application.

DR. SAUTER: However, Mr. President, I have added something to my application. I have written that a personal appearance of this witness before the Tribunal

[Page 189]

would be useful so that she can be questioned, because her testimony is important for the judging of the Hitler Youth as a whole. I have also added ...

THE PRESIDENT: Your application states that you reserve that right. Well, you can prepare the affidavit and then send it out to the witness, and then you can see whether you want the witness for cross-examination. And Sir David agrees to that course.

DR. SAUTER: Mr. President, my client attaches so much importance to this particular case for the following reasons: The HJ, that is, the Hitler Youth, which he led, comprised about eight million members. It was, therefore, larger than ...

THE PRESIDENT: But Dr. Sauter, the Tribunal quite understands why the defendant is interested in the matter. But it seems to them it would be perfectly satisfactory if an affidavit were drawn up and sent to the witness: and then you can see whether you want the witness, whose present location is unknown, brought here personally.

DR. SAUTER: Mr. President, my client noticed one thing in particular, that is, that among eight million members only one single case of atrocities occurred, of which he never heard anything at all in the Reich Youth Leadership. However, I agree to the obtaining of an affidavit for reasons of expediency: but for just this case I must reserve the right to have the witness called, if the affidavit should be insufficient.

THE PRESIDENT: That deals with the witnesses, and we had better adjourn now.

(A recess was taken.)

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: May it please the Tribunal, with regard to the documents for which Dr. Sauter asked, the prosecution takes the usual line that there is no general objection to extracts being used, but at this stage it reserves its right to challenge admissibility of the extracts on the grounds of relevance.

They will have to look particularly closely at No. 9, the book entitled Look, the Heart of Europe and the commentary on it by the late Lord Lloyd George, but they can see that these are particularly matters which can be more conveniently dealt with when they have seen the document book and the extracts are before them.

DR. SAUTER (counsel for defendant Schirach): Mr. President, I can state my position regarding the documents very briefly. In the main, it is a question of books, speeches and essays, by the defendant von Schirach. These literary works are in my possession and I shall submit them to the prosecution along with my document book. With the document book I shall submit to the Tribunal and the prosecution the individual extracts which I propose to use as evidence, so that the prosecution will still be able to make any statements it wishes with regard to the individual excerpts.

I believe that is all I have to say on that subject.

DR. SEIDL (counsel for defendant Hess): Mr. President, on 28th February I made a supplementary motion on behalf of the defendant Hess. I should be grateful if the Tribunal would inform me whether it wishes to hear the argument in regard to this motion now or later, since I do not know whether the Tribunal has a translation of my motion in its hands.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal has not seen the application yet, so I think you had better postpone making the argument until the Tribunal has seen the application.

DR. SEIDL: Very well, Mr. President.

[Page 190]

DR. SERVATIUS (counsel for defendant Sauckel): For the defendant Sauckel I have suggested a number of witnesses and in my preliminary remarks on the list I have divided them into various groups.

The peculiarity of this evidence, as presented, lies in the fact that in this case a mosaic of smaller facts has to be clarified. In its case against Sauckel, the prosecution confined itself to the production of incriminating material generally, and did not work out the full details about SS assignments carried out under the auspices of Arbeitdienst (Labour Service) and similar matters.

Very few facts have been established at all with regard to Sauckel's sphere of activity generally. I am compelled, in consequence, to present his staff, his collaborators and their spheres of activity. At first sight, my list of witnesses may appear cumulative, but closer inspection shows that they represent different fields. Some of them are experts on Eastern affairs, others dealt with the West or South. There is the question of direction of man-power, supplies, housing and the authority exercised by individuals. The recruitment of workers in foreign countries comes under' another head; and witnesses must be heard on this subject, too.

In Sauckel's case, the question of man-power is all- important and that of conspiracy is a secondary matter. I believe I can rely to a very great extent on the statements which may be expected from others among the accused and from their witnesses.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: May it please the Tribunal, the prosecution has endeavoured to follow Dr. Servatius in considering the suggested witnesses under various heads.

The first witness, Ambassador Abetz, falls into a class by himself. The defendant's counsel wishes to call this witness on the question of agreements between him and Laval. The prosecution submits that that cannot affect the position over, certainly, occupied France, and they suggested that this witness is really irrelevant to the main charges which have been made against the defendant. My French colleagues will, however, if Dr. Servatius desires it, let him know the effect of an interrogation of Ambassador Abetz with regard to this subject. I do not want to comment on it at the moment, because it is obviously a matter which Dr. Servatius should consider before any comment is made on it in Court, But, if he will allow me to say so, I think it would be useful if he considered that point before any decision was come to.

Then, the next group are the witnesses 2 to 8. They all come from the Reich Ministry of Labour, and they are called to speak generally as to the defendant's attitude, the limitations on him as regards recruiting, and his personal dealings with offenders. The prosecution suggests that it will be reasonable for Dr. Servatius to select the two best out of eight for oral testimony, and two more to give affidavits.

The next three, Nos. 9, 10, and 11, were members of the defendant Sauckel's staff, who are sought to be called to give evidence as to his efforts to obtain good conditions. Again, the prosecution suggests a selection, and puts forward one witness and one affidavit.

No. 12, the witness Hoffman, is called for the purpose of saying that the DAF, the Deutsche Arbeiter Front, looked after the welfare of foreign workers by agreement with the late Dr. Ley. The prosecution submits that that witness would be cumulative, and object to him, as that subject is already covered.

Then there are a series of witnesses, Nos. 13 to 18, who deal with the relations and liaison between the defendant Sauckel and the DAF. These are substantially still on the same point and the prosecution suggests that one witness and one affidavit out of that group would be sufficient.

The next witness, No. 19, Karl Goetz, bank director, deals with the question of wages, and also of the transmission of money to their homes by foreign workers.

[Page 191]

The prosecution suggests that that is the sort of material which might conveniently be dealt with by an affidavit or an interrogatory, according to Dr. Servatius' wishes.

No. 20, Beckurtz, deals with the special conditions of foreign workers at Gustloff. That subject has been thoroughly covered in general by previous witnesses, and the prosecution suggests that this particular witness is cumulative.

With regard to Franz Seldte, from the Reich Ministry for Labour, he deals with the division of authority between Sauckel and Ley, and the contention that Sauckel had nothing to do with labour from concentration camps. Again, the prosecution suggests that an affidavit would show how far the witness Seldte is speaking merely of routine matters, such as orders and the like, and how far he is dealing with individual or personal matters. If he does in fact deal with individual and personal matters and interviews, then I suggest that Dr. Servatius could resume his application on that point.

The witness Darre, who was the former Reich Minister for Food and Agriculture, is sought in order to speak as to the defendant's efforts to get higher food rations for foreign workers, especially in Eastern areas. The prosecution suggests that this witness also is cumulative, and it will indicate a number of other witnesses and documents which deal with this point.

As to No. 23, General Reinecke, there is no objection.

No. 24, Colonel Frantz, is sought for to say that French prisoners of war were exchanged against voluntary workers. The prosecution object on the ground of irrelevance.

As to No. 25, there is no objection to Dr. Lammers, who is being called by, I think, every defendant, or practically every defendant.

The next, No. 26, the witness Peukert, again deals with the administrative position and executive apparatus of Sauckel, which has already been treated by witnesses at considerable length, and the prosecution objects to this as cumulative.

No. 27, Governor Fischer, Chief of Labour in the Government General, is called to say that Sauckel had made arrangements with the SS in regard to resettlement. Again, if he is speaking as to rules and orders that were laid down, we suggest an affidavit.

As I understand it, the next witness, Dr. Wilhelm Jaeger, is asked for cross-examination on his affidavit. That is Exhibit USA 202, and the references in the transcript are Pages 319-323, Part 2 and Page 437, Part 4. No request was made at this time, and I leave it to Dr. Servatius to explain his position before dealing with this point.

The next two, Dr. Voss and Dr. Scharman, deal with the public health aspect of foreign workers. They deal with different districts. The prosecution submit that that question could be dealt with by one affidavit.

As to the next three witnesses, Nos. 31, 32 and 33, I think the position is that Dr. Servatius wants one of the three to dispute certain evidence given by M. Dubost on 28th of January, that the defendant authorized the evacuation of Buchenwald. I have looked at Pages 207 to 222, Part 5, of the transcript, but I cannot find the evidence which Dr. Servatius has in mind, and perhaps he would be good enough to indicate it to the Tribunal.

With regard to No- 34, Skorzeny, who is called to prove that the defendant, as Gauleiter, had nothing to do with concentration camps, we make no objection.

With regard to Schwarz, to prove that the chart of the Party produced before the Tribunal was incorrect in one respect, we suggest that that be allowed.

With regard to Frau Sauckel, who is desired in order that she may speak as to the defendant's charitable disposition, irrespective of the Party, the prosecution suggests that is irrelevant to the issues before the Tribunal.

I think it is impossible in this case, my Lord, to leave the witnesses without asking the Tribunal to take a glance at the documents, because the two are interrelated.

There is an application for 97 sets of documents and, in general, they set out what we should call in England all the relevant statutory rules and orders, that is, the

[Page 192]

subsidiary legislation made with regard to the activities of this defendant. Frankly, I must say to the Tribunal that I have not had the opportunity of reading the original orders. I have only read the summary which Dr. Servatius has been good enough to provide in his application. But, quite clearly, these documents cover again in the greatest detail the various problems with which the respective sets of witnesses to be called deal, and, in the submission of the prosecution, they provide a good reason and a fair ground for some considerable limitation of the oral witnesses.

There are certain of the documents to which my colleagues and myself take considerable objection, and I might just state two or three of these.

No. 45 deals with the Reich law for sanitary meat inspection, and is presented to prove especially that the German civilian population also received meat graded as inferior, which, therefore, could not be considered inedible meat. If one has not the comparison of the caloric and other properties of the meat, it is going to be extremely difficult to get any benefit from the evidence, if one is going into that. It is unreasonably detailed for the inquiries before the Tribunal.

If the Tribunal would then turn to Nos. 80 and 81, Dr. Servatius wishes to prove certain Soviet orders, apparently for the purpose of showing that the Soviet methods of mobilization were contrary to the Hague convention, and are, therefore, evidence that the Hague Convention had become obsolete. I submit that the two small examples of this evidence indicate that there would have to be extensive examination of the facts surrounding them, and they could not be the basis of a sound argument that a convention had been abrogated. It is possible that in rare cases international agreements may be abrogated by conquest. But evidence of that kind would, in my respectful submission, not be the basis of such an argument.

Then come Nos. 90 and 91, which are files of affidavits. There again it is very difficult, without serious and prolonged consideration of the circumstances under which each affidavit was made, to assess the values of bundles of affidavits of that kind.

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