The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2000/03/09


Q. May I ask you to turn to the next page of the document
and to come back to the Bordeaux case, a similar case which
has already been discussed? You have already explained the
Bordeaux case in so far as you said that the Naval
Operations Command was not informed about it. I now draw
your attention to the sentence at the bottom of Page 3:-

  "After carrying out the explosions, they sank the boats
  and tried, with the help of the French civilian
  population, to escape into Spain."

Thus, did the men concerned in this operation also not act
like soldiers?

A. That, according to this document, is perfectly clear.

Q. Thank you. And now one last question. At the end of his
examination Colonel Phillimore asked you whether you
considered Grand Admiral Raeder and Grand Admiral Donitz
guilty in the cases which have just been discussed, guilty
of these murders as he termed them? Now that I have further
clarified these cases I should like you to answer the
question again.

A. I consider that these Grand Admirals are not guilty in
either case.

DR. SIEMERS: I have no further questions.

DR. LATERNSER (for the OKW and the General Staff): I have a
few questions concerning the Commando Order.

                                                   [Page 17]


Q. Admiral, during cross-examination you explained your
views on the Commando Order. I wanted to ask you: were your
views possibly based on the assumption that the order was
examined by a superior authority as to its justification
before International Law?

A. Yes. I assumed that the justification for the order was
examined by my superiors.

Q. Furthermore, during cross-examination you stated your
conception of what happened when a man was handed over to
the SD. I wanted to ask you: did you have this conception
already at that time, or has it taken form now that a great
deal of material has become known to you?

A. There is no question that this conception was
considerably influenced by knowledge of a great deal of

Q. You did not, therefore, at that time have the definite
conception that the handing over of a man to the SD meant
certain death?

A. No, I did not have that conception.

Q. Now, a few questions regarding the equipment of the
commando units.

Do you not know that automatic arms were found on some
members of these units, and that, in particular, pistols
were carried in such a manner that if, in the event of
capture, the man raised his arms, that movement would
automatically cause a shot to be fired which would hit the
person standing opposite the man with raised arms? Do you
know anything about that?

A. I have heard of it.

Q. Did you not see pictures of it?

A. At the moment I cannot remember seeing such pictures.

Q. Did the Germans also undertake sabotage operations in
enemy countries?

THE PRESIDENT: What has it got to do with that, Dr.

DR. LATERNSER: I wanted to ascertain by means of this
question whether the witness had knowledge of German
sabotage operations, and furthermore whether he had received
reports about the treatment of such sabotage units.

THE PRESIDENT: That is the very thing which we have already
ruled cannot be put.

You are not suggesting that these actions were taken by way
of reprisal for the way in which German sabotage units were
treated? We are not trying whether any other powers have
committed breaches of International Law, or Crimes Against
Humanity, or War Crimes; we are trying whether these
defendants have.

The Tribunal has ruled that such questions cannot be put.

DR. LATERNSER: Mr. President, I do not know what answer the
witness is going to give, and since I do not know ...

THE PRESIDENT: We wanted to know why you were putting the
question. You said you were putting the question in order to
ascertain whether German sabotage units had been treated in
a way which was contrary to International Law, or words to
that effect. And that is a matter which is irrelevant.

DR. LATERNSER: But, Mr. President, it would show, at least,
that doubt existed about the interpretation of International
Law with regard to such operations, and that would be of
importance for the application of the law.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal rules that the question is


Q. Witness, you also stated during your cross-examination
that until 1944 you were Chief of the Operations Staff of
the Naval Operations Command. Can you give information on
whether there were strong German naval forces or naval
transport ships in the Black Sea?

                                                   [Page 18]

A. The strength of naval forces and transport ships in the
Black Sea was very slight.

Q. For what were they mostly needed?

A. For our own replacements and their protection.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Laternser, how does this arise out of the
cross-examination? You are re-examining now, and you are
only entitled to ask questions which arise out of the cross-
examination. There have been no questions put with reference
to the Black Sea.

DR. LATERNSER: Mr. President, I learned during the
examination that for a long time the witness was Chief of
the Operational Staff and I concluded that he was one of the
few witnesses who could give me information regarding the
facts of a very serious accusation raised by the Russian
Prosecution, namely the accusation that 144,000 people had
been loaded on to German ships, that at Sebastopol those
ships had gone to sea and had then been blown up, and that
the prisoners of war on the ships were drowned. The witness
could clarify this matter to some extent.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Laternser, you knew, directly this
witness began his evidence, what his position was, and you,
therefore, could have cross-examined him yourself at the
proper time. You are now re-examining, you are only entitled
- because we cannot have the time of the Tribunal wasted -
you are only entitled to ask him questions which arise out
of the cross-examination. In the opinion of the Tribunal,
this question does not arise out of the cross-examination.

DR. LATERNSER: Mr. President, please, would you, as an
exception, admit this question

THE PRESIDENT: No, Dr. Laternser, the Tribunal has given you
a great latitude and we cannot continue to do so.

The Tribunal will now adjourn.

(A recess was taken until 1400 hours.)

THE PRESIDENT: You have finished, have you not, Dr.
Kranzbuhler, with this witness?


THE PRESIDENT: The witness can retire.

DR. KRANZBUHLER: And now I should like to call my next
witness, Herr Admiral Goth.

EBERHARD GOTH, a witness, took the stand and testified as


Q. Will you state your full name?

A. My name is Eberhard Goth.

Q. Will you repeat this oath after me:

I swear by God the Almighty and Omniscient, that I will
speak the pure truth and will withhold and add nothing.

(The witness repeated the oath.)

You may sit down.



Q. Admiral Goth, when did you enter the Navy as an officer

A. On the first of July, 1918.

Q. How long have you been working with Admiral Donitz and in
what position?

A. Since January 1938; first of all as first attache to the
Chief of the Naval Staff attached to the C.-in-C. U-boats
and immediately after the beginning of the war as Chief of
the Operations Department.

                                                   [Page 19]

Q. Chief of the Operations Department attached to Captain U.
B. (FdU)?

A. Yes, attached to Commander of U-boats and later to C.-in-
C. U-boats (BdU).

Q. Did you collaborate from 1938 in the drafting of all
operational orders worked out through the staff of the flag
officer of U-boats?

A. Yes.

Q. How many officers were on this staff at the beginning of
the war?

A. At the beginning of the war there were four officers, one
chief engineer and two administrative officers on that

Q. I shall now show you Exhibit GB 83 of the Prosecution's
Document Book, Page 16, which is a letter from C.-in-C. U-
boats, dated 9th October, 1939. It refers to bases in
Norway. How did this letter originate?

(Witness is handed a document.)

A. At that time I was visiting the Naval War Staff (SKL) in
Berlin on other business. On the occasion of that visit I
was asked whether the C.-in-C.
U-boats was interested in bases in Norway and what demands
should be made in that connection.

Q. Were you informed how these bases in Norway were to be
secured for the use of the German Navy?

A. No.

Q. The prosecution have quoted an extract from the War Diary
of the Naval War Staff dating from the same period.

DR. KRANZBUHLER: Mr. President, I am thinking of the
extract, reproduced on Page 15 of the Document Book.


Q. That extract contains four questions. Questions (a) and
(d) deal with technical details regarding bases in Norway,
whereas (b) and (c) deal with the possibility of obtaining
such bases against the will of the Norwegians and the
question of defending them.

Which of these questions were put to you?

A. May I ask you to repeat the questions in detail first of

Q. The first question is: Which places in Norway can be
considered for bases?

A. That question was put.

THE PRESIDENT: Witness, will you make a pause between the
question and your answer so that the interpreters can deal
with it.


Q. I shall repeat the question.

Which places in Norway can be considered as possible bases?

A. That question was put.

Q. Will you show me from the letter from C.-in-C. of U-boats
whether the question was answered and where it is answered?

A. The question was answered under No. 1 (c) at the end of
No. 1.

Q. There it says: "Trondhjem or Narvik are possible places."

A. Yes, that is right.

Q. Question No. 2 is: "If it is impossible to obtain bases
without fighting, can it be done against the will of the
Norwegians by the use of military force?"

Was that question put?

A. No.

Q. Can you tell me if the question was answered in the
letter from the Commander of U-boats?

A. This question was not answered.

Q. The third question is: "What are the possibilities of
defence after occupation?" Was that question put to you?

A. No, that question was not put.

                                                   [Page 20]

Q. Is it replied to in the letter?

A. 3 (b) refers to the necessity of adopting defence

Q. Is that reference connected with the fourth question
which I put to you now: "Will the harbours have to be
developed to the fullest extent as bases, or do they offer
decisive advantages as supply points in case of necessity?"

A. These two questions are not connected.

Q. Was that fourth question put to you?

A. Yes.

Q. Was it answered?

A. Not in this letter.

Q. What is the significance of 2 and 3?

Do they not answer the question of whether these ports must
be developed as bases or whether they can be used just as
supply points?

A. They indicate that it was thought necessary to develop
them to the fullest extent as bases.

Q. Will you please read the last sentence of the Document?
There it says: "Establishment of a supply point with fuel in
Narvik as an alternative supply point." Is that not a reply
to the question asking whether a supply point is enough?

A. Yes; I had overlooked that sentence.

Q. Can I sum up, therefore, by saying that the first and
fourth questions were put to you and answered by you,
whereas questions 2 and 3 were not put to you and not
answered by you?

A. Yes.

Q. In the War Diary of the Naval War Staff there is a note
which says: "C.-in-C. U-boats considers such ports extremely
valuable even as temporary supply and equipment bases for
Atlantic U-boats." Does that not mean that Admiral Donitz
was working on this question before your visit to Berlin? Or
what was the reason for that note?

A. That was my own opinion, which I was entitled to give in
my capacity as Chief of the Operations Department.

Q. Was that the first time that plans for bases were brought
to your notice?

A. No. We had been considering the question of whether the
supply position for U-boats could be improved by using ships
- in Iceland, for instance.

Q. Were these considerations in any way connected with the
question whether one ought to start a war against the
country concerned?

A. No.

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