The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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DR. SIEMERS: Under No. 3, toward the end of the document, it

  "To study weak points of the enemy. These studies must
  not be left to the General Staffs. Secrecy would no
  longer be guaranteed. The Fuehrer has therefore decided
  to order the formation of a small research staff in the
  OKW composed of representatives of the three bodies of
  the Wehrmacht and, as occasions arise, the three
  Commanders-in-Chief, that is to say, chiefs of the
  General Staff.
  This staff will keep the Fuehrer constantly informed.
  It will undertake the planning of operations from the
  theoretical side and the preparations which of necessity
  arise therefrom."

THE PRESIDENT: Wait a minute, a passage is left out in the
English translation. The copy I have got before me says:
"These studies must not be left to the General Staffs;
secrecy would no longer be guaranteed," and then it goes on:
"This staff will keep the Fuehrer informed and will report
to him." I don't think it is very important. Go on.

DR. SIEMERS: Apparently the paragraph about the research
staff in the Armed Forces High Command was left out in the

  "The purpose of certain regulations concerns no one
  outside the staff however great be the increase in the
  armament of our adversaries, they must at some time come
  to the end of their resources and ours will be greater.
  The French have 120,000 men in each class! We shall not
  be forced into a war but we shall not be able to avoid

This research staff, in effect eliminated the Commanders-in-
Chief and that was what Hitler wanted to achieve.

If I am correctly informed, the rest has been read by the
prosecution; namely, the subsequent aim and the principle;
to be specific, the order to keep everything secret; and at
the end, as the defendant remembered, that the shipbuilding
programme should not be changed and the armament programme
should be fixed for 1943-1944.

Q. Had Hitler at this time intended a war of aggression,
would he have had to speed up any particular part of the
Navy's armament?

A. Yes, indeed. He would have had to speed up all naval

Q. Would not the construction of submarines especially have
had to be speeded up?

A. Yes, of course, particularly because they can be built
most quickly.

Q. How many submarines did you have at this time?

A. I cannot say exactly, I think about twenty-six.

Q. If I remember rightly, Grand Admiral Donitz has already
answered that there were fifteen capable of sailing in the
Atlantic - altogether twenty-six.

                                                  [Page 116]

A. Yes.

Q. In the winter of 1938-1939, did you have a talk with Sir
Neville Henderson on relations between Germany and England?

A. Yes, a very short talk at an evening reception in the
Fuehrer's house, where I stood near Ambassador, Henderson
and Herr von Neurath, and where the question was discussed -
it was brought up by me - whether England had not welcomed
Germany's offer to set the proportion of strength at one to
three and would not draw certain conclusions from this
reciprocal relationship. Ambassador Henderson answered,
without anyone else having brought up this question, "Yes,
that would be shown in the future when the colonial question
was settled." I later reported this answer to the Fuehrer in
order to use it to maintain a friendly policy toward

Q. We are now at the summer of 1939. In the course of the
summer, after the speech of 23rd May, 1939, did you talk to
Hitler in view of the generally known danger of war, and
what did he tell you?

A. Whenever I talked to the Fuehrer I always brought up the
question of England, whereby I annoyed him to a certain
extent. I tried to convince him that it would be possible to
carry out the peace policy with England which he himself had
urged at the beginning of his regime. Then he always
reassured me that it remained his intention to carry out
such a policy, and always convinced me that there was no
danger of a clash with England, in any case, that there was
no such danger at this time.

Q. Now I come to the third key document, namely Hitler's
speech before the supreme commanders on 22nd August, 1939,
at Obersalzberg. There are two documents: 1014-PS and 798-
PS. 1014-PS is Exhibit USA 30, in Document Book 10-A, Page
269; and 798-PS is USA 29, in Document Book 10-A, Page 266.
In regard to 1014-PS, which I have here in the original in
the form submitted by the prosecution, I should like to make
a formal request. This document is on Page 194 in the German
transcript, in the English transcript Page 371. I object to
the use of this document. I request that this document be
stricken from the trial record for the following reason.

THE PRESIDENT: What document are you speaking about now,

DR. SIEMERS: Yes; in Document Book 10-A, Page 269, Exhibit
USA 30.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well, what are your reasons?

DR. SIEMERS: The deficiencies which were already mentioned
in the other transcripts are much greater here. This
document is nothing but two pieces of paper headed "Second
Speech by the Fuehrer, on 22nd August, 1939." The original
has no heading, has no file number, no diary number and no
notice that it is secret; no signature, no date.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal would like to look at the
original. Yes, Dr. Siemers.

DR. SIEMERS: It has no date, no signature - in the original
in the folder, it has no indication of where the document
comes from. It is headed, "Second Speech ..." although it is
certain that on this date Hitler made only one speech, and
it is hardly one and a half pages long.

THE PRESIDENT: You say it has no date, but it is part of the
document itself which says that it is the second speech of
the Fuehrer on the 22nd August, 1939.

DR. SIEMERS: I said, Mr. President, it has a heading, but no

THE PRESIDENT: But you said it has no date.

DR. SIEMERS: It has no date as to when these notes were put
in writing. It has only the date of when the speech is
supposed to have been made. High Tribunal, on all documents
which the prosecution submitted, also in the case of

                                                  [Page 117]

minutes, you will. find the date of the session and the date
on which the minutes were set up; also the place where the
minutes were set up, the name of the person who set it up,
an indication that it is secret - something like that.
Furthermore it is certain that Hitler spoke for two and a
half hours. I believe it is generally known that Hitler
spoke very fast. It is quite out of the question that the
minutes could be one and a half pages long if they are to
give the meaning and the content, at least to some extent,
of a speech lasting two and a half hours.

Then I should like to refer to another point. I will submit
the original of Document 798-PS afterwards. I am no expert
on handwriting or typewriters, but I notice that this
document, which is also not signed, and about which we also
do not know where it comes from, is written on the same
paper with the same typewriter.

THE PRESIDENT: You say we do not know where it has come from
- it is a captured document covered by the affidavit which
was made with reference to all other captured documents.

DR. SIEMERS: Well, but I would be grateful to the
prosecution if, in the case of such an important document,
they would be kind enough, in order to determine the actual
historical facts, to indicate more exactly from where it
originates. It is not signed by Schmundt or Hoszbach or
anyone and has no number, it is only loose pages.

THE PRESIDENT: I do not know whether the prosecution can do
that but it seems to me to be rather late in the day to ask
for it.

MR. DODD: Mr. President, I do not know what the exact origin
of this document is offhand, but I expect that we could
probably get some information before the Tribunal if the
Tribunal wishes us to do so; but as the President pointed
out, it is a captured document and everything that Counsel
says about it seems to go to its weight rather than to its

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal would like to know where the
document was found, if that is possible.

MR. DODD: I will make an effort to find that out.

DR. SIEMERS: Mr. President, Mr. Dodd just pointed out that
my objection comes rather late. I believe I recall correctly
that repeated objections were raised -

THE PRESIDENT: I think it was I who pointed it out, not Mr.

DR. SIEMERS: Excuse me. I believe I am correct in saying
that I can remember the defence on several occasions raising
objections during the prosecution's case, only to be told
that all statements could be made during the defence's case
at a later time, namely when it is the defence Counsel's
turn to speak.

THE PRESIDENT: I only meant that it might not be possible,
at this stage to find out exactly where the
document came from, whereas, if the question had been asked
very much earlier in the trial, it might have been very much
easier. That is all I meant. Have you anything more to add
as to why, in your opinion, this document should be stricken
from the record?

DR. SIEMERS: I should like to point out, Mr. President, that
I do not do it for a formal but rather for a very
substantial reason. The most important words in this
document have constantly been repeated by the prosecution
during these five or six months, viz.: "Destruction of
Poland, main objective. Aim, elimination of vital forces,
not arrival at a certain line." These words were not spoken,
and such a war aim the German High Commanders would not have
agreed to.

For that reason it is important to ascertain whether this
document is genuine.

In this connection, may I remind the Tribunal that there is
a third version of this speech as mentioned in this
courtroom, namely Document L-3, which is even

                                                  [Page 118]

worse than these and which was published by the whole Press.
Wherever people talked this grotesque, brutal speech was
brought up. For that reason it is in the interest of
historical truth to ascertain whether Hitler spoke in this
shocking way at this time.

Actually, I admit he used many expressions which are severe,
but he did not use such words, and this is of tremendous
significance for the reputation of all the commanders who
were present.

Let me point out the next words. They say expressly, "hearts
hardened against pity, brutal measures." Such words were not
used. I will be in a position to prove this by another
witness, Admiral of the Fleet Bohm.

I therefore ask the Tribunal to decide on my request for
striking this document from the record. I should like to
point out that the document is mentioned in the record at
many points. If the Tribunal so wishes, I will look for all
the points. I have found only four or five in the German
record. If necessary, I will give all the points in the
English record. It was submitted on Page 371.

THE PRESIDENT: I do not think you need bother to do that.
You are only now upon the question of whether the document
should be stricken from the record. If it were to be
stricken from the record, we could find out where it is.

Is that all you wish to say?

DR. SIEMERS: One question to Admiral Raeder.

Q. The words which I just read, "brutal measures,"
"elimination of vital forces" - were these words used in
Hitler's speech at that time?

A. In my opinion, no. I believe that the version which
Admiral Bohm submitted which he wrote down on the afternoon
of the same day on the basis of his notes is the version
nearest to the truth.

DR. SIEMERS: High Tribunal, in order to achieve clarity on
this question, I submit as Exhibit Raeder 27, in Document
Book 2, Page 144, an orderly reproduction of this speech.

THE WITNESS: May I also have Document Book 2?

DR. SIEMERS: This is the speech according to the manuscript
of Admiral of the Fleet Hermann Bohm. Admiral of the Fleet
Bohm was present at Hitler's speech on 22nd August, 1939, at
Obersalzberg. He made the notes during the speech. He
transcribed them in the present form on the same evening -
that is, on 22nd August, 1939 - in the Vier Jahreszeiten
Hotel in Munich. I have certified the correctness of the
copy. The original is in the handwriting of Admiral of the
Fleet Bohm. Bohm has been called by me as a witness for
various other questions. He will confirm that the speech was
made in this form as I have submitted here. A comparison of
the two documents shows that all terms such as "brutal
measures", are not contained in this speech. It shows
further -

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: (Interposing.) Surely this part of
Dr. Siemers's argument must go to weight. He has said that a
comparison of the two documents shows such and such. I have
just looked at the end of Admiral Bohm's affidavit and it
contains, I should argue, every vital thought that is
contained in Document 1014-PS. But whether it does or not,
that is a matter of weight, surely.

We cannot, in my respectful submission, go into intrinsic
comparisons to decide the admissibility of the document. As
I say, on that I should have a great deal to say by
comparing the documents in detail. That is not before the
Tribunal now.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes. The Tribunal was only wanting to hear
whatever Dr. Siemers has got to say upon the subject.

DR. SIEMERS: A comparison of the document with 798-PS, the
longer and better version which the prosecution submitted -

                                                  [Page 119]

THE PRESIDENT (Interposing): Dr. Siemers, as Sir David
Maxwell Fyfe has just pointed out, a mere comparison of the
documents - of the two or three documents does not help us
as to its admissibility. We know the facts about the
document. It is a document in German, captured among German

DR. SIEMERS: I understand. I made the statement only in
order to show that I am not raising objections for formal
reasons but because the thing is actually of great

THE PRESIDENT: Well, then, you will be able to urge that
when you make your speech in criticism of the document as to
its weight. You will be able to point out that it does not
bear comparison with a more full document taken down by
Admiral Bohm or with the other document.

DR. SIEMERS: Absolutely right. To explain my formal request,
I refer to my statement on the formal character of the
document which I submitted.


The application to strike out Document 1014-PS is refused.

(A recess was taken.)

THE PRESIDENT: Has the Counsel for the prosecution
understood that the Tribunal wishes to have information as
to where that document was found?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: Yes, my Lord; we will do our best to
get it.

THE PRESIDENT Yes, and also the other document, 798-PS.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: Yes, if your Lordship pleases.


Q. Grand Admiral, I submitted Exhibit Raeder 27, which is
the Bohm version, to you. You have read the speech in this
version. Is this reproduction correct on the whole, in your

A. Yes. In my opinion, this version is that one which
corresponds most closely to reality. I remember especially
that Hitler devoted a large portion of his remarks to the
point that England and France would not intervene and gave
reasons why they would not. He mentioned a number of
reasons, and it was the elaboration of that point that I
particularly missed in the other reproductions of the

Q. In the version of the speech, Document 798-PS, or Exhibit
USA 29, it says, verbatim: "I am only afraid that at the
last moment some swine will offer me some plan of
arbitration." Were those words used in the speech at that

A. In my recollection, certainly not. The Fuehrer was not
accustomed to using expressions like that in speeches which
he made to the generals.

Q. On the other hand, the version put forth by Bohm shows
that Hitler had, by this time, decided to attack Poland. I
am asking you to give us the impression, briefly, which the
speech made on you at the time. Tell me also why, despite
this speech, which even in this version is severe, you
retained your office as Commander-in-Chief of the Navy.

A. Without doubt, I had the impression that the situation
was serious and tremendously tense. The fact, however, that
Hitler, in his speech put too great a stress on proving that
France and England would not intervene, and the second fact
that Herr von Ribbentrop, the Foreign Minister, left for
Moscow on the same day to sign a pact there, as we were
told; these two facts filled not only me, but all listeners
as well, with the strong hope that here again was a case of
a major political move on the part of Hitler, which "in the
end" would result in a peaceful solution.

Therefore I saw no reason to resign my office at that
moment. I would have considered that pure desertion.

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