The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2000/03/14

DR. SEIDL: Mr. President, the difficulty consists of
something else. The defendant Goering says, and I think
rightly, that he can put his questions to the witness in a
reasonable way only if he has an opportunity of seeing the
document to which the prosecution referred. Therefore,
during the cross-examination I wanted to have the guard pass
on Document 3947-PS to defendant Goering. That was refused,
however, on the ground that by an order of the Commandant of
the Prison, documents can no longer during the proceedings
be handed to those defendants whose case has already been

THE PRESIDENT: Although the document was read over the
earphones the defendant Goering and yourself shall certainly
see it, but the witness must be called during this sitting.
You may see the document and the defendant Goering too may
see it, but the witness must be recalled for any questions
at once.

                                                   [Page 62]

DR. SEIDL: Mr. President, only excerpts were read from the
document. In my opinion the defendant Goering is right in
saying: If I am to ask a sensible question I must know the
whole document. I think there are only two possibilities;
either the prosecution must in the case of defendants whose
cases are said to have already been concluded, refrain from
presenting new material, or the defendant must be given the
opportunity of seeing this fresh evidence -

THE PRESIDENT: Do not go too fast.

DR. SEIDL: - or the defendant must be given the opportunity
of seeing the evidence newly introduced, and when only
excerpts of 2 document are read, he must have access to the
whole document.

THE PRESIDENT: The document is only just over one page and
there is only one paragraph in it which refers to Goering
and that paragraph has already been read. When I say one
page, it is just one page of this English copy, I think you
have a German translation before you.

DR. SEIDL: I have three and half pages.

THE PRESIDENT: There is only one paragraph which relates to

DR. SEIDL: Mr. President, it is only a question of whether
in the main proceedings I may give this photostat copy to
the defendant Goering, or not. If this is possible -

THE PRESIDENT: You are going too fast.

DR. SEIDL: - and I see no reason why it should not be
possible ... then I will shortly be able to ask the witness
Puhl any question that may be necessary; but I think the
defendant Goering is right in saying that he would like to
see the entire contents of a document from which only
excerpts have been read.

MR. DODD: Mr. President, I might be a little bit helpful. I
would like to point out that Dr. Seidl had the document for
ten minutes anyway during the recess; and also I would like
to point out that it was not we as members of the
prosecution who prevented him having it. It is entirely a
matter of a security measure.

THE PRESIDENT: Perhaps you will be satisfied, Dr. Seidl, if
we order that the witness Puhl be recalled at two o'clock
for you to put any questions to him that you wish, and of
course you would have the document. You have the document

DR. SEIDL: That is the difficulty, Mr. President. I have the
document but on account of the existing instructions I
cannot hand it to the defendant Goering.

THE PRESIDENT: You can give the document to Goering now.

DR. SEIDL: I am not allowed to do that.

THE PRESIDENT: I am telling you to do it, and they will let
you do it.

Dr. Sauter, do you wish to cross-examine the man who has
made a statement? Do you wish to cross-examine Toms?

DR. SAUTER: Yes, if I may.


DR. SAUTER: Yes. Mr. President, may I comment on what Dr.
Seidl has just said? It is not only a question concerning
this one document which Dr. Seidl just wanted to give to the
defendant Goering, but it is a general question of whether
during the session a defence counsel is authorized to hand
to a defendant documents which have been submitted. Hitherto
this has been allowed, but now the security ruling is that
defendants whose cases have been completed for the present,
may no longer be given any documents in the courtroom by
their defence counsel. Defence counsel feel that this is an
unfair ruling, since, as the case of Goering

                                                   [Page 63]

shows, it can very easily happen that a defendant is in some
way involved in a later case. And the request which we now
direct to you and to the Tribunal is that defence counsel
should again be permitted to give the defendants documents
here during the session, even if the case of the defendant
in question has already been concluded.

That is what Dr. Seidl wanted to ask you.

Mr. President, may I say something else?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, Dr. Sauter? You wanted to say something
more to me?

DR. SAUTER: May I also point out the following? In the
interrogation room down in the prison we have so far not
been allowed to hand any documents to the prisoners with
whom we were speaking. Thus, if I want to discuss a document
with my client, I have to read the whole of it to him. And
When ten, twelve or fifteen defence counsel are down there
in the evening, it is almost -

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Sauter, the Tribunal is of the opinion
that any document which is handed to the defendants' counsel
may be handed to the defendants themselves by the counsel
and that it does not make any difference that a particular
defendant's case has been closed with reference to that

DR. SAUTER: We are very grateful to you, Mr. President, and
we hope that your ruling will not, in practice, encounter
any difficulties.

THE PRESIDENT: Well then now, you want to cross-examine


THE PRESIDENT: Is Toms here? Can he be brought here at once?

MR. DODD: He is on his way ... he is probably right outside
the door.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, would the Marshal see if he is

MR. DODD: I have not had time, Mr. President, to have the
affidavit sworn to because I have not seen the man.

THE PRESIDENT: No, but as far as his cross-examination is
concerned, he can be put under oath here.

THE MARSHAL: No sir, he is not here yet.

MR. DODD: He is on his way.

THE PRESIDENT: He is not available.

MR. DODD: He is on his way. He was in Lieutenant Meltzer's
office a minute ago and he went out to get him.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, he can be called then at two o'clock
after the other witness.

Now Dr. Siemers, would you be ready?

DR. SIEMERS: (Defence counsel for Grand Admiral Dr. Erich

Your Honours, may I say, first of all, how I intend to
proceed in the presentation of my case?

In accordance with the suggestion of the Tribunal, I should
like to call Raeder as a witness in connection with all the
documents which the prosecution has submitted against him. I
have given all these documents to Raeder so that he will
have them before him on the witness stand, and no time will
be lost by handing him each one individually. The British
Delegation was so kind as to put all these documents, only
some of which are in the Raeder Document Book, in a new
document book - 10a. I assume that this document book is in
the possession of the Tribunal.

Then to facilitate matters, I shall give the page number of
the English Document Book 10a or 10 in the case of each

At the same time if the Tribunal agrees, I intend to submit
from my own document books those documents which in each
case are connected with the matter under discussion. Thank

                                                   [Page 64]

May I then ask that Grand Admiral Raeder be called to the
witness stand.

ERICH RAEDER, called as witness, took the stand and
testified as follows


Q. Will you state your full name.

A. Erich Raeder.

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.

(Witness repeated oath).

THE PRESIDENT: You may sit down.



Q. Grand Admiral Raeder, may I ask you first to tell the
Tribunal briefly about your past and your professional

A. I was born in 1876 in Wansbeck near Hamburg. I joined the
Navy in 1894 and became an officer in 1897. Then normal
advancement; two years at the naval academy; in each year,
three months leave to study languages; in Russia during the
Russo-Japanese War; 1906 to 1908 in the Reich Navy Office,
in the Intelligence Division "Von Tirpitz," responsible for
the Foreign Press and the publications Marine Rundschau and

1910 to 1912, Navigation Officer on the Imperial yacht
Hohenzollern. 1912 to the beginning of 1918, Chief Naval
Staff Officer and Chief of Staff of the battle cruiser
Admiral Hipper.

After the First World War, in the Admiralty, Chief of the
Central Division with Admiral von Trotha. Then two years of
writing at the naval archives: history of naval war. From
1922 to 1924, with the rank of Rear Admiral, Inspector of
Training and Education in the Navy. 1925 to 1928, as Vice-
Admiral, Chief of the Baltic naval station at Kiel.

On October 1928, Reich President von Hindenburg named me
Chief of the Navy Command in Berlin, at the suggestion of
Reich Minister of Defence, Groner.

In 1935 I became Commander-in-Chief of the Navy, and on
April 1939, Grand Admiral.

On 30th January, 1943 I resigned as Commander-in- Chief of
the Navy; I received the title of Admiral-Inspector of the
Navy, but remained without any official duties.

Q. I should like to come back to one point. You said that in
1935 you became Commander-in-Chief of the Navy. This was
only, if I am right, a new name?

A. It was only a new name.

Q. So you were, actually, head of the Navy from 1928 to

A. Yes.

Q. After the Versailles Treaty, Germany had an army of only
one hundred thousand men and a navy of fifteen thousand men,
with one thousand five hundred officers. In relation to the
size of the Reich, the Wehrmacht was thus extremely small.

Was Germany in the twenties in a position to defend herself
with this small Wehrmacht against possible attacks by
neighbouring States, and with what dangers did Germany have
to reckon in the twenties?

A. In my opinion, Germany was not at all in a position to
defend herself effectively against attacks, even of the
smallest States, since she had no modern weapons; the
surrounding States, Poland in particular, were equipped with
the most modern weapons, while even the modern
fortifications had been taken away

                                                   [Page 65]

from Germany. The danger which Germany constant1v faced in
the twenties was a Polish attack on East Prussia with the
object of severing this territory, already cut off from the
rest of Germany by the Corridor, and occupying it. The
danger was especially clear to Germany, because at that time
Vilna was occupied by the Poles, then at peace with
Lithuania, and Lithuania had taken away the Memel area. In
the south, Fiume was also taken away, without objection
being raised by the League of Nations or anyone else. It was
however, quite clear to the German Government of those days,
that one thing which could not be allowed to happen to
Germany during that time of her weakness was the occupation
of East Prussia and its separation from the Reich. Our
efforts were therefore aimed at preparing ourselves to
oppose with all possible means a Polish invasion of East

Q. You said that it was feared that such an invasion might
take place. Did not several frontier incidents actually
occur in the twenties?

A. Yes, indeed.

Q. Is it true that these dangers were recognized not only by
you and by military circles, but also by the Government of
that period, especially by the Social Democrats and by

A. Yes. I already said that the Government, too, realised
that such an invasion could not be allowed to happen.

Q. Now, the prosecution has accused you of conduct contrary
to International Law and contrary to existing treaties, even
in pre-Hitler days.

On 1st October, 1928 you became Chief of the Navy Command,
and thus rose to the highest position in the German Navy.
Did you, in view of the dangers you have described, use all
your power to build up the German Navy within the framework
of the Versailles Treaty, particularly with the object of
protecting East Prussia?

A. Yes, I exerted all my strength for the reconstruction of
the Navy, and I came to consider this as my life work. In
all stages of this period of naval reconstruction I met with
great difficulties, and as a result, I had to battle in one
way or another constantly throughout those years in order to
put this reconstruction into effect. Perhaps I became rather
one-sided, since this fight for the reconstruction of the
Navy filled all my time and prevented me from taking part in
any matters not directly concerned with it. In addition to
material reconstruction, I put every effort into the
formation of a competent officer corps, and well-trained,
especially well-disciplined crews.

Grand Admiral Donitz has already commented on the result of
this training of our men and officers, and I should like
only to confirm that these German naval men earned full
recognition in peace-time, both at home and abroad, for
their dignified good behaviour and their discipline, and
also during the war, when they fought to the end in an
exemplary manner, in complete unity, with irreproachable
battle ethics, and, in general, did not participate in any
kind of atrocities. Also in the occupied areas to which they
came, in Norway for instance, they earned full approval of
the population for their good and dignified conduct.

Q. Since for fifteen years you were head of the Navy and
reconstructed it in those years, can it be said that as
chief of the Navy you are responsible for everything that
happened in connection with this reconstruction?

A. I am fully responsible for it.

Q. Who were your superiors, as regards the reconstruction of
the Navy? You could not, of course,
act with complete independence.

A. I was subordinate, firstly, to the Reich Minister of
Defence and, through him, to the Reich Government, since I
was not a member of the Reich Government; and secondly, I
also had to obey the Commander-in-Chief of the Wehrmacht in
these matters. From 1925 to 1934 the Commander-in- Chief of
the Wehrmacht was Reich President Generalfeldmarshal von
Hindenburg, and after his death on: August, 1934, Adolf

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