The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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                                                    [Page 1]

TUESDAY, 14th MAY, 1946




Q. Do you remember the sinking of the Monte Gorbea in
September, 1942?

A. I have some recollection of it.

Q. That was the ship in respect of which the defendant
Donitz sent a telegram to the U-boat Commander, threatening
him with court martial on his return, because he had sunk
the ship after recognising it as a neutral. Now, in 1942 the
friendship of Spain was very important to Germany, was it

A. I assume so.

Q. You told us yesterday that Admiral Raeder was considering
Mediterranean policy, recommending it. Now that was the
reason, was it not, why the U-boat Commander was threatened
with court martial, that it mattered in 1942 if you sank a
Spanish ship?

A. No, that was not the reason. The reason was that the
Commander of the U-boat in question had obviously not acted
according to the directives of the Commander-in-Chief of the

Q. It did not matter in 1940 when you thought you were
winning the war, but in September, 1942, I suggest to you it
became politically inexpedient to sink a Spanish ship; is
that not right?

A. You will have to ask the political departments of the
German Reich about that.

Q. If that is the answer, do you think it is unfair to
describe your attitude to the sinking of neutral ships as
cynical and opportunist?

A. Yes, I reject that absolutely.

Q. I want to ask you one or two questions about the witness
Heisig. You spoke yesterday of a conversation in the jail
here in the first week of December, 1945.

A. In December, 1945?

Q. Yes. You knew at the time you spoke to Heisig that he was
going to be called as a witness, did you not?

A. That could be assumed from his presence here at

Q. And you knew you were going to be called as a witness,
did you not?

A. Yes.

Q. Are you telling the Tribunal that you did not tell the
defence lawyers about this conversation until quite

A. I do not understand the sense of your question.

Q. Are you telling the Tribunal that you did not report this
conversation with Heisig to the defence lawyers until quite

A. I think it was in February or March when I told the
Defence Counsel about this conversation.

Q. Now I just want to put the dates to you. The U-boat
Commander Eck was sentenced to death on the 20th of October.
Do you know that?

                                                    [Page 2]

A. I did not know the date.

Q. Death sentence was confirmed by the Commission on the
21St of November and he was executed on the 30th of
November: That is to say he was executed before you had this
conversation. Did you know that?

A. No. I just discovered that now.

Q. At any rate, the witness Heisig knew it before he gave
his evidence, did he not?

A. Obviously not. Otherwise he would most likely have told
me about it. Previously he had for ten days -

Q. Will you just listen to a question and answer from his

This is a question by Dr. Kranzbuhler: "In your hearing on
the 27th of November were you not told that the death
sentence against Eck and Hoffmann had already been
effected?" Answer: "I do not know whether it was on the 27th
of November. I know only that here I was told of the fact
that the death sentence had been carried out. The date I
cannot remember."

Now if that is right -

THE PRESIDENT: What date was that evidence given?

COLONEL PHILLIMORE: That was given on the 14th of January,
my Lord.

A. I did not understand who gave this testimony.

Q. The witness Heisig, when he gave evidence here in Court.
So that whether or not he was deceived, as you suggest,
before he gave his affidavit, he at least knew the true
facts before he gave evidence here to the Tribunal?

A. Then he told an untruth to me.

Q. Now, I want to ask you one question regarding the order
of the 17th of September, 1942. That is the order that you
say you monitored in the Naval War Staff and saw nothing
wrong with. Did the defendant Raeder see that order?

A. That I cannot say with certainty.

Q. You were Chief of Staff Operations at that time?

A. Yes, but I cannot be expected to remember every incident
in six years of war.

Q. Oh, no, but this was an important order, was it not?

A. Certainly, but there were very many important orders in
the course of six years.

Q. Would you normally show an important operational order to
the Commander-in-Chief?

A. It was my task to submit all important matters to the
Chief of Staff of the Naval Operations Command, and he
decided which matters were to be submitted to the Grand

Q. Are you saying that you would not have shown this to the
Chief of the Staff?

A. No. I am sure he had knowledge of it.

Q. Have you any doubt that this order would have been shown
to Admiral Raeder?

A. That I cannot say; I do not recall whether he received

Q. Now I want to ask one or two questions about your tasks
as Admiral Special Duties. You became Admiral Special Duties
in June, 1944; is that right?

A. Yes.

Q. And from then on you attended important conferences with
Admiral Donitz and in his absence represented him, did you

A. I never participated in any discussions as his
representative. Donitz was represented by the Chief of the

Q. Now at that stage of the war all questions were important
in so far as they affected military operations in one way or
another, were they not?

A. At every stage of the war all military questions are of

                                                    [Page 3]

Q. What I am putting to you is that at that stage of the war
the importance of all questions chiefly depended on how they
affected the military situation.

A. Yes, that, I imagine, one has to admit.

Q. And during that period Germany was virtually governed by
the decisions taken at the Fuehrer's Headquarters, was it

A. Yes.

Q. Now I want you to look at a record of one of Admiral
Donitz's visits - My Lord, this is D-863, it is a new
document, and becomes Exhibit GB 456.

Now that is a record of a visit to the Fuehrer's
Headquarters on 28th and 29th of August, 1943. You were not
there yourself, but your immediate superior, Vice-Admiral
Meisel, accompanied Admiral Donitz, and the names of the
Naval Delegation are set out at the top of the page. Admiral
Donitz, Vice-Admiral Meisel, Kapitan zur See Rehm, etc. And
your programme as set out was: after your arrival, at half-
past eleven, conversation with Commander-in-Chief of Navy
Commander-in-Chief Luftwaffe; 1300, situation conference
with the Fuehrer closing with a further conversation between
the Commander-in-Chief Navy, and the Commander-in-Chief
Luftwaffe; then at 1600 the Commander-in-Chief Navy left.
After that Admiral Meisel had a conversation with Ambassador
Ritter of the Foreign Office. Then a conversation with
General Jodl; an evening conference with the Fuehrer, and
then at midnight a conference with Reichsfuehrer SS Himmler.
On the next day the usual conference with the Fuehrer; then
a conference with the Chief of the General Staff of the Air
Force. And then he left.

Now, is that a fair sample of what went on during Admiral
Donitz's visits, that he had conversations, various
conferences with other officials?

A. That is a typical example of a visit of the Grand Admiral
at Headquarters, in so far as he participated only in
situation conferences with the Fuehrer, and in addition he
had military discussions with the Commander-in-Chief of the
Air Force.

Q. And that shows, does it not, that the whole business of
government was being carried on at the Fuehrer's

A. No, not at all. I have already said the Grand Admiral
only participated at the situation conference, that is, the
military situation conference with the Fuehrer, and beyond
that one or even two discussions with the Commander-in-Chief
of the Air Force.

Q. And with General Jodl or Field-Marshal Keitel, somebody
from the Foreign Office, and so on?

A. Otherwise the Grand Admiral had no discussions of any
sort, as can be seen from the document, for on 28th August
at 1600 hours he returned by air. The other discussions
were: discussions of the Chief of Staff of the SKL, the -

Q. But I was putting it to you that this was a typical
visit. If Admiral Donitz had not left, he would have had
these other conversations and not Admiral Meisel, is that
not right?

A. No, not at all. The Chief of Staff of the SKI, very
rarely had the opportunity of coming to headquarters, and
according to the record here, he obviously used his
opportunity to contact a few of the leading -

Q. I do Not want to waste time with it. I suggest to you
that when Admiral Donitz went there he normally saw other
Ministers and conversed with them on any business affecting
the Navy.

A. Naturally, the Grand Admiral discussed all questions
affecting the Navy with those who were concerned with them.

Q. Now, I want to ask you one or two questions on the
minutes with regard to the Geneva Convention - that is C-
158, Exhibit GB 209, Page 69 of the English Prosecution
Document Book, Page 102 of the German. Will you look at Page

Now you, as you told us yesterday, initialled those minutes,
did you not, and a copy was marked to you, is not that

                                                    [Page 4]

A. Yes, I signed these minutes.

Q. Yes, were they accurate?

A. They contained catch words about the things which had
happened at headquarters.

Q. They were an accurate record, were they?

A. Undoubtedly, I believed that things had taken place as
they are recorded here.

Q. Now, did you agree with Admiral Donitz's advice that it
would be better to carry out the measures considered
necessary without warning and at all costs to save face with
the outer world? Did you agree with that?

A. I already explained yesterday, clearly and unequivocally,
how I interpreted this sentence which was formulated by me,
and I have nothing to add to that statement. In the sense
which I stated yesterday, I agree completely.

Q. And the step which Hitler wanted to take was to put
prisoners of war in the bombed towns, was it not? Wasn't
that the breach of the Convention that he wanted to make?

A. No, it was the renunciation of all the Geneva agreements;
not only the agreement about prisoners of war, but also the
agreement on hospital ships, the Red Cross agreement and
other agreements which had been made at Geneva.

Q. Then what were the measures considered necessary which
could be taken without warning? Just look at that sentence.

A. I do not understand that.

Q. Look at the last sentence, "It would be better to carry
out the measures considered necessary." What were those

A. They were not discussed at all.

Q. Do you see any difference between the advice which
Admiral Donitz was giving then, and the advice which you
described as the rather romantic ideas of a young expert on
the document about sinking without warning at night. Let me
put it to you; what the naval officer said on the Document C-
191 was: "Sink without warning. Do not give written
permission. Say it was a mistake for an armed merchant
cruiser - "

We have Admiral Donitz saying:-

  "Do not break the rules, tell no one about it and at all
  costs save face with the world."

Do you see any difference?

A. I testified yesterday that the difference is very great.
Admiral Donitz opposed the renunciation of the Geneva
Convention and said that even if measures to intimidate
deserters, or counter-measures against bombing attacks on
cities, were to be taken, the Geneva Convention should not
be renounced in any case.

Q. Now, I want to put to you a few questions about prisoners
of war. So far as naval prisoners of war were concerned,
they remained in the custody of the Navy, did they not?

A. I am not informed about the organization of prisoner-of-
war camps. According to my recollection they were first put
into a naval transit camp. Then they came into other camps;
but I do not know whether these camps were under the
jurisdiction of the Navy or the OKW.

Q. Have you not seen the defence documents about the Camp
Marlek-Marlek telling us how well they were treated. Have
you not seen them?

A. No.

Q. Now, naval prisoners, when they were captured by your
forces, their capture was reported to the Naval War Staff,
was it not?

A. Such captures were, in general, reported as part of the
situation reports.

Q. Now, do you remember the Commando Order of 18th October,

A. Yes.

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