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 Thirty-Second Day: Friday, 17th May, 1946
(Part 1 of 7)

[Page 130]

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal have given careful and prolonged attention to the consideration of the documents offered by Dr. Siemers on behalf of the defendant Raeder; and they, therefore, do not wish the documents which they propose to admit to be read, because they have already read them all.

I will now deal with the documents individually.

Document 66 is admitted for the purposes of argument, and not as evidence.
Document 101 is denied.
Documents 102 to 105 are admitted.
Document 106 is denied.
Document 107 is admitted.
Document 39 is denied.
Document 63 is admitted.
Document 64 is denied.
Document 99 is denied.
Document 100 is admitted.
Documents 102 and 107 are admitted.
Document 38 is denied.
Document 50 is denied.
Document 55 is denied.
Document 58 is denied.
Documents 29, 56, 57, 60, and 62 are denied.
I should have included in that group Document 28, which is also denied.
Documents 31, 32, 36, 37, and 39, are denied.
Document 41 is admitted.
Document 99 has already been denied, and Document 101 has already been denied.
Document 59 is admitted.
Document 68 is denied.
Document 70 is denied.
Document 72 is denied.
Document 74 is denied.
Document 75 is admitted.
Document 77 is admitted.
Document 79 is admitted.
Document 80 is admitted.
Document 84 is admitted.
Document 85, which is on Page 82 of Volume 5, is admitted.
Document 87 is denied.
Document 88 is admitted.
Document 91 is admitted.
Document 13 is admitted.
Document 27 is admitted.
The prosecution may, if they wish it, apply to cross-examine the witness who made that document.

THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): That is Admiral Bohm.

[Page 131]

THE PRESIDENT: Admiral Bohm, yes.

Document 83 is admitted.
Document 34 is admitted.
Document 48 is denied.

Have I gone too quickly for you, Dr. Siemers? You have the last few?

DR. SIEMERS: Yes, I heard everything.

MR. DODD: Mr. President, yesterday afternoon the Tribunal asked that we ascertain the origin, if possible, of Document 1014-PS. Some question was raised about it by Dr. Siemers. It is Exhibit USA 30.

I have had a search made, and I have some information that we are prepared to submit concerning this document.

I should like to point out that 1014-PS and 798-PS and L-3 are documents all concerning this same speech made at Obersalzberg on the 22nd of August, 1939. They were offered in evidence by Mr. Alderman of the American Staff, on the 26th day of November, 1945.

I should also like to point out that L-3, to which Dr. Siemers made reference yesterday, was offered only for identification, as the record shows for the proceedings of that day on the 26th of November, and has been marked Exhibit USA 28 for identification only. Mr. Alderman pointed out, as appears in the record, that he was not offering it in evidence, that it was a paper which came into our hands originally through the services of a newspaper man, and that, later on, Documents 798-PS and 1014-PS were found among captured documents. They referred to the same speech in Obersalzberg. Mr. Alderman offered these two at that time.

Now Document 798-PS, Exhibit USA 29, and Document 1014-PS, Exhibit USA 30, were both found by the forces of the United States in this fashion:

They had been taken from the OKW Headquarters in Berlin and in the course of various journeys, before they finally arrived at any one place, they were stored, it now appears, at various places by the OKW, under the control of a General Winter of the German forces, and they were transported in three railway trains to Saalfelden, in the Austrian Tyrol. Subsequently, General Winter ordered that all documents in his possession be turned over to the Allied forces, and this was done. These particular documents, together with some other papers, were turned over by General Winter and members of his staff at that time, and on 21St May, 1945, they were removed from Saalfelden, where they were under the control of General Winter and taken to the Third U.S. Army Document Centre at Munich. While at Munich they were sorted and catalogued by Department G-2, Supreme Headquarters of the American Expeditionary Force, with the assistance of clerks from the OKW and OKH. On 16th June, 1945, these and other documents, were removed on six trucks from the Headquarters of the Third Army at Munich, taken to the U.S. Group Control Council No. 32, at Seckenheim, Germany, which was located in the former offices of the I.G. Farben Company, placed on shelves on the third floor of the building, and kept under guard. Between 16th June, 1945, and 30th August, 1945, the task of collecting, sorting, assembling and cataloguing these documents was carried out under the supervision of the British Colonel Austin, with personnel of the Supreme A.Q. and the G-2 Document Centre of the G-2 operational Intelligence Section, 6889 Berlin Document Section, the British Enemy Document Unit, and the British Military Intelligence Research Section. Beginning on 5th July, 1945, and continuing until 30th August, 1945, these documents were screened at that place by members of the staff of the United States Chief Counsel. Lieutenant Margolis, who is here in the courtroom, and a member of our staff personally selected Documents 798-PS and 1014-PS from the OKW captured files, brought them to Nuremberg and lodged them in the document room, where they have been kept under strict security ever since.

Now, that is the history of these two documents about which Dr. Siemers raised some question yesterday, a considerable question I might say, and inferred there

[Page 132]

was something strange about their contents. I think the story which I have given in the form of a statement over the signature of Lieutenant Commander Hopper clearly establishes the source and where they have been ever since, and I think it is only fair to say that, since Dr. Siemers saw fit to point out that this language sounded extremely harsh, and was attributed to Hitler, these documents were offered to show that these people were actually talking about aggressive war. The reading of the three documents by the Tribunal will clearly show they are all in agreement in substance; of course there are differences in phraseology but the important thing and purpose for which they were offered, was to show that these people were discussing aggressive war. I might say I am not surprised to find my friend is sensitive about the remark, but I think the unanswered proof in the case thus far shows that not only were these things said but they were done.

M. DUBOST: May it please the Tribunal. No doubt it is a mistake in translation. We understood 106 had been rejected the first time and admitted a second time in the group 102 to 107.

THE PRESIDENT: I am afraid it was my mistake. I did say that the group 102 to 107 were admitted, but I have also said 106 was rejected and it is rejected. It is entirely my mistake. 106 is rejected.

M. DUBOST: 106 is thrown out and 102 and 107 are also rejected, are they?

THE PRESIDENT: No, I will state the exact number: 102, 103, 104, 105, and 107 are admitted.

M. DUBOST: Very good, Mr. President, we want to offer further explanations on 102 to 107 during the course of the proceedings.


DR. SIEMERS: Mr. President, may I say a few words concerning the statement made by Mr. Dodd?

I had no doubt, and certainly have no doubt now, that since these documents were found, they have been handled very correctly, and Mr. Dodd spoke only about that. I believe, however, that it is important to determine whether one can find out the connection between these documents with other documents, because in that way one can see whether these were documents belonging to a certain adjutant. For instance, were they with the Hoszbach papers or with the Schmundt file? If, for instance, the documents were with the Schmundt file it is probable that they belonged to that adjutant.

THE PRESIDENT: That all goes to the weight of the document, does it not. No doubt, a document which is signed has more weight than a document which is not signed. All those matters the Tribunal will take into account when considering the documents, but the admissibility of the document depends upon its being a German document found and captured.

DR. SIEMERS: Mr. President, I wanted to say this only because it is unpleasant that the American Delegation should misunderstand my motion concerning the document. I make no charges concerning the manner in which the document was found, I merely say that it is undecided among which papers it was found. I noticed that Mr. Dodd treated the three documents concerned in exactly the same way, whilst Mr. Alderman stated that one of these three documents, L-3, was evidently not in order because of its doubtful origin. And therefore he withdrew it.

May I then, if it please the Tribunal, continue with the examination of the defendant Raeder?

[DR. SIEMERS continues his direct examination of Erich Raeder]

Q. Admiral, we have a few final questions concerning the conspiracy. I believe it will not take much time. I ask you to look at Document C-155. That is Exhibit GB 214, in the British Delegation's Document Book 10, Page 24.

[Page 133]

It is your letter of the 11th of June, 1940, which was sent to 74 Navy offices which the prosecution has called a letter of justification, and from which it wants to deduce that you knew that a war was to be expected as early as the summer of 1939. I should like you to answer this charge very briefly.

A. There is manifold proof to show that I was not expecting a war even in the autumn of that year, and in view of the small extent of rearmament of the German Navy this was quite natural. I stated quite clearly, in my speech before the U- boat officers in Swinemunde, that the Navy was not to be counted on.

Q. And what was the reason for that letter, Document C-155?

A. The reason was that there had been many instances of torpedoes misfiring, which could be traced to the fact that torpedoes had not yet been as perfectly developed as they should have been at the beginning of a war. An additional reason was that, now that the war had so suddenly broken out, many officers believed that it would have been better to have developed the submarine weapon as strongly as possible, so that at least this weapon would be ready in large numbers in the event of a war. I objected to that opinion precisely because such a war was not to be expected. And on Page 3, 8th Paragraph, I emphasized again - in the second line - that the Fuehrer hoped until the end to postpone the threatening dispute with England until 1944 or 1945. I am speaking here of a threatening dispute. A threatening dispute is not exactly something to strive for, it is rather to be feared.

Q. There is another key document, that is, 789-PS, Exhibit USA 23, the very long speech made by Hitler, on 23rd November, 1939, before the Commanders-in-Chief.

DR. SIEMERS: The document, Mr. President, is in Document Book 10-A, on Page 261. This is again a Hitler speech with no indication of who recorded it. Signature and date are missing. Since this is similar to the other documents I do not have to enlarge on that point.


Q. I would merely like to know, Admiral, did that speech also betray a definite background, a certain line of thought on Hitler's part?

A. Yes. There was at that time a rather severe conflict between Hitler and the Commanders-in-Chief of the Army, and also a difference of opinion with the leading Generals concerning the offensive in the West. The Fuehrer assembled all the leaders in order to give them his opinion about this whole matter. He stated - and I was present myself - that up to that time he had always been right in his decisions, and that he would also be right in the opinion that the Western offensive had to be undertaken in the autumn if possible. Towards the end he used very harsh words; towards the end of his speech he stated: "I shall not be afraid of anything and I shall destroy everyone who is against me." Those words were directed against the generals. Actually the Western offensive did not take place until the Spring, because the weather conditions delayed it.

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