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-Sixth Day: Wednesday, 22nd May, 1946
(Part 10 of 11)

[DR. SIEMERS continues his redirect examination of Erich Schulte-Monting]

[Page 311]


Q. Admiral, Major Elwyn Jones then submitted the affidavit of Walter Geise. I should be grateful if you would look at it again. It is Document D-722. The first line reads:

"I was born in Stettin on 24th November, 1900 the son of a bricklayer's foreman, Ernst Giese."
Then it says:
"I sat in the reception room of the Commander-in-Chief as assistant to the adjutant."
Then it says, in the same paragraph:
"I received the minute book from the adjutant at midday after the conference had ended and locked it up in the armour-plated safe."
Then it says on the second page:
"I did not have much contact with the Commander-in-Chief personally, I merely submitted to him or took from him top secret correspondence."
Admiral, am I right in assuming, therefore, that Giese was a sort of messenger?

A. Yes. In order to save officers, we filled a large number of unimportant positions with civilians, people who we thought were worthy of our confidence. Looking after a safe or carrying its key was really the task of the assistant second adjutant, who later had to be used elsewhere.

Giese had been a sergeant in the Navy for many years, and for twelve years had been a clerk in the Navy, and therefore, had had a certain amount of practice in keeping books.

[Page 312]

THE PRESIDENT: All this is stated in the document. If there is anything inaccurate in the document, you can put it to him. But it all is set out in the document, exactly as the admiral said. You are wasting the time of the Tribunal by repeating it.

DR. SIEMERS: Mr. President, I believe what Major Elwyn Jones presented was also in the document. What matters is the question of interpretation and the witness has been referred to very definite points. If I should be mistaken I beg your pardon. I believed that I also had the right, in re-examination, to refer to certain points in the document.

THE PRESIDENT: If you want to, you can draw our attention to the paragraphs.

THE WITNESS: I can be very brief.

Giese had no inside information about the facts, and even if he had, without the right to do so, looked into the minutes of the adjutant, which were not a shorthand record, but merely notes to aid his memory, he could never have got the correct information without having taken part in the conference. Also, it was not his duty, in the reception room, to decide who should be admitted to the Commander-in-Chief, but rather was it the adjutant's, or mine. He did not even know who could be admitted. And it is a bold statement or assumption when he says that a man like Hagelin saw Raeder each time instead of seeing me first. For the rest, Hagelin came to me perhaps four or five times.


Q. Do you believe Giese was present when Raeder talked to Hitler?

A. Giese? No, never. Giese sat in the reception room and took care of Raeder's telephone calls.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Siemers, nobody here suggests that he was. Major Elwyn Jones was not putting it that this man Giese was present at talks between Raeder and the Fuehrer or Raeder and Hagelin.

DR. SIEMERS: Mr. President, this is his affidavit, and in the affidavit, it says, as I should like to point out now, on Page 3, "According to all I heard, I can say that the idea of this undertaking emanated from Raeder and met with Hitler's joyous agreement."

How could he know that?

THE WITNESS: I might stress that even I, as Chief of Staff, was not present at these private conferences, and Herr Giese had to stay by the telephone and had no other possible source of information except that of giving his imagination free rein.


Q. That is enough, thank you. I come now to Document D-872. That is the war diary of the Naval Attache in Japan, in connection with which you were told that you must have known that Japan, on 7th December, would attack America. The telegram which is mentioned here is of 6th December. When could that telegram have arrived in your office?

A. You mean, when could I have received it personally?

Q. Yes; you or Raeder.

A. Not before the next morning.

Q. That would be 7th December?

A. At the earliest. In this case, the Chief of Staff of the Naval Operations . Staff would decide whether for operational reasons that telegram should be presented at once, or not.

Q. Admiral, you remember that document?

A. Yes.

Q. Is Pearl Harbour mentioned in it?

A. No. I tried to explain that, that Pearl Harbour had no connection with that telegram from Admiral Dannecker, and that Dannecker depended on sources

[Page 313]

of information and on his assumptions, or formed his assumptions, in that telegram, on the basis of his information, without having any definite evidence. Such telegrams were received continuously. Sometimes these assumptions were correct; sometimes they were incorrect.

Q. Admiral, the prosecution has submitted it to prove that military negotiations had taken place with Japan. Am I correct in saying that that message referred to nothing more than possible developments?

A. Yes, of course. I have tried before to explain that there were no military negotiations between the Admiralty staffs. Rather the naval attache was charged with examining and transmitting all information of value which came to him.

Q. Then a document was shown you which was not submitted, an interrogation of Raeder of 10th December, 1945. May I ask you to look at the bottom of Page 5 of this document which I am handing to you, and the passage which was read on Page 6?

THE PRESIDENT: Major Elwyn Jones, that ought to have a number, ought it not?

MAJOR ELWYN JONES: That will be Exhibit GB 483, my Lord.


On that document, Page 5, at the bottom, is Document C-75 mentioned?

A. No.

Q. I believe you are mistaken, Admiral, or else I have made a mistake.

A. I have an English copy - do you mean the English one?

Q. Yes, the English copy, because it does, not exist in German.

A. You mean the last paragraph?

Q. I believe the last line or the line before the last. The page numbers are very hard to read. Maybe you have the wrong page?

DR. SIEMERS: This interrogation, Mr. President, concerns Document C-75. I believe the witness will find it right away. Mention has been made of this document recently, and in accordance with the wish recently expressed by the Tribunal, I am submitting it, it is Directive 24, about the co-operation with Japan, and the full text is in Document Raeder 128. The Tribunal will recall that the British Delegation -

THE PRESIDENT: Has it already been put in, C-75, has it already been put in?

DR. SIEMERS: I submit it now, C-75.

THE PRESIDENT: No, has it already been put in? Has it already been offered in evidence?

DR. SIEMERS. You may recall that the prosecution has submitted Document C-75 as Exhibit USA 151 -

THE PRESIDENT: Well, that is all I wanted to know. If it has already been put in, it doesn't need a new number, isn't that the position?

DR. SIEMERS: Mr. President, may I remind you that it needs a new number, because only the first part was submitted by the prosecution.

MAJOR ELWYN JONES: It has already been submitted as Exhibit USA 151, my Lord.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think we are not giving fresh numbers, Dr. Siemers, to parts of documents which had already been put in. If the document has been put in, then when you want to use a fresh part of the document it has the same number as the old number; that is all.

DR. SIEMERS: But, Mr. President, if the prosecution in their document put in only the first three paragraphs, then I cannot -

[Page 314]

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, I know, I know that perfectly well, but you are perfectly entitled to put in any part of the document. It is only a question of what number is to be given to it, and I think - I may be wrong - that up to the present, we have not given new numbers to documents once they have been put in, although fresh parts of the document are put in:

MAJOR ELWYN JONES: My Lord, the position with regard to C-75 is that the whole of the original has been put in as Exhibit USA 151, but only an extract from the original was included in the English document which was put before the Tribunal.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, I see. All I was concerned with was the number of the thing. It has got the number USA 151, and I thought our practice had been that it should continue to have that number. You can put in any part of it you like, and if it is a question of translation, no doubt the prosecution will hand it to the translation department, and have it translated for you; but you are attempting to give it a new number, that is all.

DR. SIEMERS: I beg your pardon, once more, but I was asked recently to submit the document anew, and that is where the misunderstanding arose. Under these circumstances, now that I hear that it has been submitted in its entirety, I can withdraw it; I should be grateful if the Tribunal were also to receive the complete translation of the document in English and not only the first two paragraphs.


Q. Admiral, have you found it in the meantime?

A. Yes, it is on Page 7 as you thought and not on Page 5.

Q. I apologize. It is right, then, that the interrogation refers to Document C-75.

A. Yes.

Q. Document C-75, Admiral, is Directive No. 24 concerning collaboration with Japan, and it says:

"The following guiding lines apply: Our common war aim is to defeat England quickly and thereby keep the USA out of the war."
Besides that, the document also mentioned that which I recently mentioned, that Singapore should be occupied by Japan.

Now Raeder, on 10th November, 1945, stated his position in respect to this, and, according to the next page of the document, he said that which Major Elwyn Jones has just put to you. May I ask you to look at it again? It says there, on page - I thought it was at the top of Page 6, maybe it is at the top of Page 8 -

A. The top of Page 8. I do not know English as well as German, but I would translate it: "If that which Japan needs - "

Q. If I remember correctly, the word is "need."

A. Yes, he uses the word "need" - "and other things, things that the Japanese need."

Q. That is to say, Japan's needs and other things which Japan requires. Therefore, the conversations mentioned by Raeder were not concerned with strategic points?

A. No, these are two entirely different things.

Q. So that Raeder's answer is concerned purely with questions of supplies and material.

A. Yes, purely questions of supplies and material.

Q. Thank you.

A. We had discussions with all navies, not only with the Japanese.

Q. Then I come to the commando order about which you testified already. I want to put to you the following: You have been shown Document 658, which says that according to the Armed Forces communique soldiers were executed, and that the soldiers wore uniforms and that the Fuehrer's order was something new

[Page 315]

in International Law. I believe that the Naval Commander in Western France reported that and that it is a report on the Armed Forces communiqu’. The one who compiled the War Diary wrote into it: "A new thing in International Law." I am not a military man, but I should like to ask you, would you consider such a reference a criticism of the order?

A. I believe that I have to answer the question in the following manner Normally, the fact of an execution is not entered in the War Diary -

THE PRESIDENT: I don't think that is really a matter which we can go into, whether he thinks this is an entry which is a criticism of the order.

THE WITNESS: I believe he wanted to establish that it was something new.


Q. Never mind, Admiral. A factual question. The prosecution asserts again that it concerns soldiers in uniform. The Wehrmacht communique announced the execution on 9th December. The execution, as I have already shown in another connection, did not take place until 11th December. I am presenting to you now Document UK 57, and ask you to look at the second paragraph under Figure 4. The heading Figure 4 reads: "Sabotage against German ships near Bordeaux"; then it says: "December 12th, 1942"; and farther on we read:

"From the submarine the participants went two by two in paddle-boats up the north of the Gironde. They wore special olive grey uniforms. After carrying out the blastings they sank the boats and tried, with the aid of French civilians, to escape to Spain in civilian clothes." Did these soldiers behave correctly according to the provisions of International Law?

A. In my opinion, no.

DR. SIEMERS: Then I have no more questions.

THE WITNESS: If they had had a clear conscience, they would not have needed to wear civilian clothes.

DR. SIEMERS: Excuse me, just this final question: Before that execution, which directly followed the order of the Fuehrer did you personally in the High Command receive any enquiries or information?

A. No, neither an enquiry nor any information.

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