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-Sixth Day: Thursday, 7th March, 1946
(Part 2 of 5)

[Page 206]

THE PRESIDENT: With reference to Documents 1 to 8, has Dr. Kubuschok the books?

[Page 207]


THE PRESIDENT: Very well. Then he will be prepared to specify what parts of them . . .

DR. KUBUSCHOK (interposing): Yes, sir, yes, indeed.

I should merely like to add one item to the list. Yesterday I received, from the prosecution, a further report by von Papen to Hitler at the time of his activity in Vienna - similar to No. 9, also a report to Hitler. I have also received it in the form of a photostat. I shall also submit this report for purposes of evidence.

THE PRESIDENT: I call on counsel for the defendant Seyss- Inquart.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: May we state our position?

May it please the Tribunal, with regard to this defendant, the position as to the first four witnesses is that they deal with the Austrian part of the case. On the 2nd of December the Tribunal allowed this defendant a choice of four out of nine. He has chosen Glaise-Horstenau, who was a minister in the Austrian Government; Guido Schmidt, who was the Foreign Minister at the time of the Schuschnigg-Hitler- Ribbentrop interview; Skubl, who was the Police President and State Secretary for Security in Vienna; and Reiner, who is a well-known Nazi and who was afterwards Gauleiter of Carinthia.

The prosecution have no objection to these witnesses.

Then we come to the Holland period, and the prosecution have no objection to Wimmer and Schwebel, but they do object to Bolle being called as an oral witness. The position is that he was refused by the Tribunal on the 26th of January. After the refusal interrogatories were submitted, but these seem to be almost entirely covered by the interrogatories administered to the witness Von Der Wense, who is the second under the heading of affidavits. I think out of the twenty questions suggested for Bolle, there are only two that are not covered by Von Der Wense, which are Nos. 17 and 18, and two others which seem, to deal with very obvious points.

So that is the objection with regard to Bolle, and the prosecution submit that he would really be cumulative and is unnecessary.

They make no objection to Fischboeck, who speaks on the Jews, financial administration, art treasures and forced labour.

They make no objection to Hirschfeld, who speaks about confiscations and destruction of factories and the food situation.

So, on the oral witnesses, the only objection is regarding Bolle.

With regard to the affidavits there is no objection - or rather, they should be interrogatories. They were all granted by the Tribunal on the 26th of January, and under these circumstances the prosecution make no objection to them.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, Dr. Steinbauer.

DR. STEINBAUER (counsel for defendant Seyss-Inquart): Mr. President, your Honours ; my client, Dr. Seyss-Inquart, had at first asked for a large number of witnesses and then, at my advice, and according to the desire of the Tribunal, reduced this number considerably.

I ask that the witness, Construction Supervisor (Baudirektor) von Bolle, be admitted before the Tribunal because in my opinion the objection made by the prosecution, that this is a cumulative witness, is not quite correct. Bolle was, before the occupation, Direktor of the Port of Hamburg, and then during all the years of the occupation he was director of the transportation department in Holland.

In particular he can testify about the railroad and shipping strike in October 1944. This chapter of the history of the occupation is extraordinarily important, because this strike resulted in a blocking of traffic which led to an embargo. The Indictment asserts, moreover, that the causes of the later famine catastrophe in

[Page 208]

Holland, as we may call it, can in part be traced back to measures which the defendant Seyss-Inquart took in October 1944. Quite understandably, the Armed Forces wanted to use the few means of transportation which were still functioning, for their own purposes. The very examination of the witness Bolle should prove, however, that Seyss-Inquart endeavoured, in as far as possible, to mitigate the effects of the measures taken by the Wehrmacht in this matter.

In an interrogatory this complex of questions could not be treated exhaustively.

I ask you, gentlemen, to realise that we are dealing here with the examination of the administration of a kingdom of nine million within a period of five years. If we read through the report submitted by the Dutch delegation we see, in regard to the financial consequences, alone, that it is alleged that the damage, which had been brought about by the administration on the one hand and by the events of war on the other hand, in short, by the occupation of Holland by Germany, reaches a figure of 25,725,000,000 Dutch guilders, to which, considering the difference in prices between 1938 and now, we have to add a margin of 175 per cent.

I wish to point out that we are dealing here with the examination of administrative, legal, financial and economic measures over a period of five years. I therefore believe that the request of the defendant, that this witness be admitted, is quite justified.

Concerning the affidavits, I took the liberty of making two more applications which have not yet been granted. This is on the last page, a very short affidavit by Baron Lindhorst- Hormann. He was formerly Kommissar of the Province of Groningen and should in particular be examined in regard to one point; in regard to the treatment of the so-called hostages in the hostage camp, and also in regard to the fact that none of these hostages was shot.

In addition to getting this affidavit, I have also asked that some official announcements be obtained, announcements by the Higher Police and SS Leader Rauter, regarding the executions, in order to prove who had done these things; that is, that the point of view of the defendant is, that these regrettable measures were taken by the police and not by the civil administration.

I also intend to submit two affidavits which are already in my possession. One of them is an affidavit by a German Judge, Kaminergerichtsrat Rudolf Fritsch. In Seyss-Inquart's administration in Holland he was in charge of appeals. He can tell us how Seyss-Inquart handled this important chapter of jurisdiction.

Another affidavit which I have in my possession comes from a Dr. Walter Stricker. It is cited as Document No. 30. Dr. Walter Stricker was a lawyer in Vienna and emigrated in 1938 to Australia. He served in the Australian Army and, without my asking, he sent me an affidavit, notarized by an Australian Public Notary, in which he testifies about conditions in Vienna in the critical days of October and November 1938. I ask also that this affidavit be admitted. As to the documents, as I have already told Sir David, I shall submit an exact list.

THE PRESIDENT: One moment, before you deal with that. Sir David said that with reference to the affidavits, which are mentioned on Page 2, that these ought to be called "interrogatories." I do not know whether you wish to ask particularly for affidavits which are different from interrogatories.


THE PRESIDENT: You want affidavits?

DR. STEINBAUER Interrogatories, Sir.

THE PRESIDENT Would there be any objection to the affidavit from the lawyer in Australia being shown to the prosecution, so that they may see whether they wish to put cross- interrogatories to that witness? Australia is too far away from here for him to be brought here for cross-examination.

DR. STEINBAUER: Certainly.

[Page 209]

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: I have just been handed that affidavit from the witness Stricker and also No. 6 on the Dutch questions, from judge Fritsch; and if the same course could be taken with regard to that from Baron Lindhorst- Hormann, I shall be ready then to consider that too.


SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: With regard to the rest of the documents, in the usual course, I ask that the defence make extracts and show them to us.


SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: There is one point I call to the attention of the Tribunal. It maybe helpful that No. 28, D- 571 is already in as Exhibit USA 112. I do not know if the defence really wants No. 3. I shall not deal with it now, but the prosecution will submit that it is really unnecessary and irrelevant, but I think that is a matter that we can more conveniently discuss when it comes up.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes; then, with reference to No. 2, under the heading concerning the Dutch question, will it be satisfactory if that is in the form of an affidavit and is submitted to you, so that you can put cross-interrogatories if you want to?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: That would be very satisfactory.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Steinbauer, have you the affidavit mentioned in Paragraph 2 of the last heading?

DR. STEINBAUER: No, Sir. I have not received it yet. But I have requested that the Tribunal question the witness.

THE PRESIDENT: Would not interrogatories be a more convenient form?


THE PRESIDENT: Then we need not trouble you further about the documents.

DR. STEINBAUER: I have only the request that if possible, two books, which are not in my possession, be obtained: Document No. 8, Guido Zernatto: The Truth about Austria, and No. 9, the book A Pact with Hitler - The Austrian Drama, by Martin Fuchs. I was told by Austrian people that both these books contain worthwhile information clarifying the events in 1937 and 1938. Both books were, of course, prohibited in Austria during the Nazi regime and therefore I cannot get them.

The second book is also on the list presented by the French prosecution, and from this I have learned that the book appeared in the publishing firm of Plon in Paris. Perhaps it is possible, with the assistance of the prosecution, to get these books in time. All other documents I have in my possession.

THE PRESIDENT: Did you say No. 2? You said 8 and 9, but did you also say No. 2?

DR. STEINBAUER: No. 2, Three Times Austria, by Schuschnigg.

THE PRESIDENT: I thought you mentioned the third book. You said you have not got Nos. 8 and 9 and I thought you went on to mention a third one.

DR. STEINBAUER: No, sir; only these two books.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well. Then, no doubt, the prosecution will help you to get them.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: We will make inquiries, my Lord, and we will communicate the result.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes. I call on counsel for the defendant Speer.

[Page 210]

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: May it please the Tribunal, the defendant Speer has asked for twenty-two witnesses, who are all to answer in writing. There are no oral witnesses. And he asked for forty-one documents. He has also asked that the Tribunal appoint a panel of experts to interrogate a number of witnesses on what are termed " Economic questions". Now, I think it would be convenient if I summarize in four sentences the points of defence that appear on Page 26 and the following pages of the application, because if the Tribunal have these in mind it will make consideration of the witnesses easier.

There are four Points. No. 1 is to show the responsibility of Speer. The defendant Speer says that he was not responsible for the mobilization, allocation or treatment of labour.

The second Point is to prove that his functions were merely technical and not political.

The third Point, to prove his actions to stop the importing of foreign labour and the treatment of concentration camp labour in the armament factories, which were his concern.

The fourth Point is his efforts, at the end of the war, to stop destruction in Germany and so to benefit the Allies and Germany after the war.

Now, as to the witnesses, the following are from his own ministry, Nos. 1 to 6, 8, 10, and 12. The prosecution submit that nine is rather a large number dealing with the position of the ministry. They are cumulative on many points and we should suggest that if counsel would pick three, that would cover that part of the case.

Now, the following witnesses, Nos. 15 to 21, are designed to show the attitude of the defendant at the end of the war. There are a number of documents on this point, and again the prosecution submit that that number of witnesses could be cut down to two or three.

Now, dealing with the remaining witnesses, No. 7, Field- Marshal Milch, has already been allowed to defendant Goering, so that point does not arise. And No. 9, Dr. Malzacher, although not a member of the defendant's ministry, who was in charge of armaments in the South-east, would appear to be cumulative as to the members of the ministry.

No. 11 is the liaison officer between the ministry and the OKW and also appears cumulative, unless counsel could indicate any special point that escaped the prosecution.

No. 13 is really cumulative of No. 12, relative to a point on which Frau Kempf can speak.

No. 14 is the defendant's doctor, to speak on a period of illness. Again, unless there is some point that the prosecution has not appreciated, they would have thought that the defendant and his secretary could speak on a period of illness.

Finally, No. 22, Gottlieb Berger, is designated to inform the Tribunal of Hitler's general views on the situation at the end of April 1945, and would appear to be irrelevant. I think the only point that is made is to show that this had some effect on the radio speech which this defendant wanted to make. These are the views of the prosecution as to the witnesses. With regard to the panel of experts, the prosecution respectfully say that these matters of supply of labour and armaments are matters which are very generally familiar now, and on which a great deal of evidence has been given, and that they are essentially matters which can be dealt with by the Tribunal, which will decide other questions of fact. They are not really sufficiently specialist matters to merit the Tribunal setting up a special panel to deal with them. These are the views of the prosecution on the question of witnesses.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, Dr. Flaechsner.

DR. FLAECHSNER (counsel for defendant Speer): May I start, Mr. President, with the last point which the prosecutor has mentioned, namely, the question of whether the case of the defendant Speer might justify having his sphere of activity

[Page 211]

explained and interpreted to the Tribunal by an expert. The prosecutor is of the opinion that the evidence presented so far is sufficient to inform the Tribunal about the manner of work, the course of work, and its consequences in regard to those questions, which came under the jurisdiction of the defendant Speer.

I regret to have to say, however, that the description which the prosecution has given of the activity of the defendant Speer up till now is not correct, that is to say, not complete.

It is very difficult to take account of a ministry and its method of works, which, in normal times, has no place in the state administration. In all states at war the ministries of armament and production are created during the war. The sphere of activities of ministries is determined from time to time; and that also applies to the ministry which the defendant Speer headed.

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