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

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
14th May to 24th May, 1946

One Hundred and Twenty-Ninth Day: Tuesday, 14th May, 1946
(Part 4 of 10)

[DR. KRANZBUHLER continues his redirect examination of Gerhard Wagner]

[Page 12]

Q. Yes, 526-PS. I am having the document handed to you. In the third paragraph you will find a reference to the fact that this commando unit was carrying a thousand kilogrammes of explosives. Is that correct?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you understand my question?

A. I answered "yes".

Q. I am sorry, I did not hear you.

In the fifth paragraph you will find that the commando unit had orders to carry out sabotage against strong-points, battery positions, troop barracks and bridges, and to organize a system for the purpose of further sabotage. Is that correct?

A. Yes.

Q. Did these assignments have anything to do with the Navy?

A. No.

Q. Can you see any indication in the whole document which would suggest that the Navy had anything at all to do with the capture or the treatment of this commando unit?

A. No, the document does not contain an indication of that sort.

Q. You were asked this morning about the case of the Monte Gorbea. In connection with a court martial ruling against the Commander, the Supreme Commander of the Navy, Admiral Raeder, sent a wireless message at that time to all Commanders. This radiogram is recorded in Document Donitz 78 in the Document Book, Vol. 4, Page 230. I shall read that wireless message to you:-

[Page 13]

"The Supreme Commander of the Navy has personally and expressly renewed his instructions that all U-boat Commanders must adhere strictly to the orders regarding the treatment of neutral ships. Any infringement of these orders has incalculable political consequences. This order is to be communicated to all Commanders immediately."
Do you see any suggestion here that the order is restricted to Spanish ships?

A. No, there is no such suggestion in this order.

Q. I am having submitted to you a document which was used yesterday, D-807. It deals with notes to the Norwegian Government on the sinking of several steamers, and contains the drafts of these notes of the Supreme Command of the Navy. Does this document yield any indication at all that the notes were actually sent, or is it impossible to tell from the drafts that the notes themselves were ever despatched?

A. Since there are no initials or signatures on either of these letters, they may be drafts. At any rate, proof that they were actually sent is not apparent from this document.

THE PRESIDENT: Did you give us the Page number of it?

DR. KRANZBUHLER: It was submitted yesterday, Mr. President. It is not in any document book.


DR. KRANZBUHLER: I now read to you the first sentence from another document which was put to you yesterday. Its number is D-846 and it concerns a discussion with the German Ambassador to Denmark, Renthe Fink, on 26th September, 1939. I shall read the first sentence to you:-

"Sinking of British and Finnish ships by our submarines has caused considerable concern here on account of the Danish food transports to Great Britain."
Does this report give any indication that these sinkings took place without warning, or were these ships sunk because contraband was captured on them in the course of a legitimate search?

A. The sentence which you have just read does not show how these ships were sunk. As far as I remember the document from yesterday, it does not contain any reference to the way in which these ships were sunk, so that it must be assumed as a matter of course that they were sunk when contraband was found on them.

Q. You were asked yesterday whether you considered the German note to the neutral countries of 24th November, 1939, a fair warning against entering certain waters, and you answered the question in the affirmative. Is that right?

A. Yes.

Q. And then you were asked whether we had deceived the neutrals and you answered that question with "No". Did this negative answer apply to the previous question on the warning against sailing in certain waters, or did it refer to all the political measures with regard to neutral states which the German Government took in order to conceal its own political intentions?

A. The answer in that context referred to the previous questions which had been asked about warning the neutrals promptly of the measures which we adopted for the war at sea.

Q. I want to make this point quite clear. Do you have any doubt whatever that the pretence of minefields in the operational zones around the British coast served not only the purpose of deceiving the enemy defence, but also the political purpose of concealing from the neutrals the weapons which we employed in the war at sea.

A. Yes, I expressly confirm this twofold purpose.

Q. The twofold purpose of secrecy?

A. Yes.

[Page 14]

Q. Do you have any doubt whatever that the German Government denied to neutral governments that certain ships were sunk by U-boats, although they had in fact been sunk by U-boats?

A. Yes. Or rather, no. I have no doubt that the denials were formulated in that way, a generally accepted political measure, adopted wherever suitable.

Q. Yesterday you admitted the possibility that Admiral Donitz, as the Commander of all U-boats, may have received knowledge from the Naval Operations Command of the handling of political incidents caused by U-boats. Can you, after careful recollection, name a single instance when he did in fact receive from the SKL, information on the political measures adopted?

A. No, I do not remember such an instance.

DR. KRANZBUHLER: I have no further questions.

DR. WALTER SIEMERS (for the defendant Raeder).


Q. Admiral, you have explained the basis of the commando order, as far as the Naval Operations Command is concerned, by referring to Hitler's definite assertions that he had in his possession enemy orders saying that prisoners were to be killed. In connection with this commando order Colonel Phillimore dealt with the case of the British sailor Evans in great detail. In my opinion that case has not so far been clarified. Colonel Phillimore spoke of the murder of a soldier. I think that in spite of the soundness of the documents the prosecution is mistaken about the facts, also in a legal respect. Will you once more look at both documents, Document D-864 ...

Mr. President, that is Exhibit GB 457, discussed by Colonel Phillimore this morning.

THE WITNESS: I have no more documents here.


Q. This is an affidavit by Gerhard Flesch. The prosecution quoted the sentence which states that the Commanding Admiral of the Northern Coast of Norway had interrogated Evans personally. Admiral Wagner, does that sentence show that Evans was a prisoner of the Navy?

A. No.

Q. What was the situation according to the Flesch affidavit? Will you please clarify it?

A. According to the second paragraph of that affidavit, Evans must have been in the hands of the SD.

Q. That is right.

DR. SIEMERS: And, Mr. President, may I add that at the beginning of the affidavit Flesch is stating that he was the Commander of the Security Police. The Security Police had captured Evans, he was therefore a prisoner of the SD.


Q. Is it correct, therefore, that the British sailor Evans was available to the German Admiral in Norway for the sole purpose of being interrogated?

A. Undoubtedly.

Q. And the Admiral was interested in interrogating him merely to obtain purely factual information on the attack on the Tirpitz. Is that correct?

A. Quite correct.

Q. May I ask you to look at the next paragraph of the affidavit D-864? There it mentions Evans's clothes, and says:-

"It is not known to me that Evans wore a uniform. As far as I can remember, he was wearing blue overalls."

[Page 15]

Does this mean that Evans was not recognizable as a soldier?

A. No, probably not.

Q. Will you now pass on to the Document UK-57, submitted by Colonel Phillimore?

DR. SIEMERS: Mr. President, this is Exhibit GB 164 and should be in the original Document Book Keitel, but I think it was newly submitted today.

THE PRESIDENT: What do you say the number of it is?

DR. SIEMERS: Document UK-57, Exhibit G13 164.


Q. You have a photostat copy, have you not?

A. Yes.

Q. Will you, please, turn to the fourth page. First, a question: Is it possible that this document was known to the Naval Operations Command? Does the document indicate that it was sent to the Naval Operations Command?

A. These are informal conference notes of the OKW which were apparently not sent to the Naval Operations Command.

Q. If I understand it correctly then, this is a document of the intelligence service of the OKW, is it not?

A. Yes. That is correct.

Q. Under (2) it says "attempted attack on the battleship Tirpitz"; the first part was read by Colonel Phillimore:-

"Three Englishmen and two Norwegians were held at the Swedish frontier."
Can one, on the strength of this, say that they were presumably apprehended by the police, and not by the Wehrmacht?

A. Presumably, yes. Certainly not by the Navy, but probably by the police who controlled the frontiers, so far as I know.

Q. Don't you think, Admiral, that this is not only probable, but certain, if you think back to the affidavit of 14th November, 1945, by Flesch, the Commander of the Security Police, who brought Evans from the frontier to Oslo?

A. If you take the two together, then in my opinion it is certain; I don't think there is any doubt about it.

Q. Will you then look at the following sentence?

DR. SIEMERS: Mr. President, that is under (2), the last sentence of the first paragraph.


Q. I quote:

"It was possible to keep only the civilian-clothed British sailor Robert Paul Evans, born 14th January, 1922, under arrest. The others escaped into Sweden."
Therefore, I think we may assume with certainty that Evans was not recognizable as a soldier.

A. Yes. No doubt.

Q. Then, will you look at the following sentence. There it says, I quote:

"Evans had a pistol holster used in carrying weapons under the shoulder, and he had a knuckle-duster."
SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, it says nothing about civilian clothes in the English copy. I don't want to make a bad point, but it is not in my copy.

THE PRESIDENT: I am afraid I have not got the document before me.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, the English copy that I have simply says "However, only the British seaman, Robert Paul Evans, born 14th January, 1922, at London, could be arrested. The others escaped into Sweden."

[Page 16]

My Lord, I think it can be checked afterwards.

THE PRESIDENT: By exact reference to the document?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, that was Document UK-57, and it is a report of the OKW, Office for Auslands Abwehr, of 4th January, 1944.

THE PRESIDENT: Did Colonel Phillimore put it in this morning?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: I put it in, my Lord, I think it was ... certainly, in cross-examining the defendant Keitel. It has been in before, my Lord.

THE PRESIDENT: I see, it has already been put in with this lot.

DR. SIEMERS: I should be grateful to the Tribunal if the mistake were rectified in the English translation. In the German original text the photostatic copy is included, therefore the wording "civilian-clothed" must be correct.


Q. Witness, we were discussing the sentence, I quote:-

"Evans had a pistol holster, used in carrying weapons, tinder the shoulder, and he had a knuckle-duster."
How does this bear on the fact that he was wearing civilian clothes?

A. It shows that he -

DR. SIEMERS: Sir David would like me to read the next sentence, too:-

"Acts of force contrary to International Law could not be proved against him. Evans made detailed statements regarding the action and, on 19th January, 1943, in accordance with the Fuehrer Order, he was shot."

Q. How does this bear on the fact that he was wearing civilian clothes?

Does this show that he did not act as a soldier in enemy territory should act?

THE PRESIDENT: just a moment. The Tribunal consider that that is a question of law which the Tribunal has to decide, and not a question for the witness.

DR. SIEMERS: Then I shall forgo the answer.

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