The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2000/03/13


Then I shall take these documents one by one. First of all I
would like to start with those documents which Colonel
Pokrovsky -

THE PRESIDENT: No, no, Dr. Siemers, the Tribunal will not
listen to these documents taken one by one. If they can be
treated in groups they must be treated in groups. They have
been treated in groups by Sir David; and I am not saying you
must adhere exactly to the same groups, but the Tribunal is
not proposing to hear each document one by one.

DR. SIEMERS: I beg your pardon. Then it is a
misunderstanding. I wanted to discuss those documents at the
beginning, because there are some things which are not clear
and which were objected to by Colonel Pokrovsky. I did not
realize that Colonel Pokrovsky mentioned the documents in
groups. I believe he mentioned five documents, and three of
them individually, and I believe that, though I do not
understand everything, I can deal with these individually
mentioned documents one by one. However, I shall be glad to
start with the group laid down by Sir David if that is to be
dealt with first. Shall I first -

THE PRESIDENT: When you said you were going to deal with the
documents one by one, you meant all the documents one by
one? I am not suggesting that you -

DR. SIEMERS: No, your Honour.

THE PRESIDENT: You can deal with Colonel Pokrovsky first if
you like.

DR. SIEMERS: Colonel Pokrovsky's first objection was to No.
13. This deals with a document dated 1935. Certainly Colonel
Pokrovsky can offer some objection to the contents of this
document, but how a document can be classed as irrelevant
just because a certain sentence allegedly contains
propaganda, is not quite clear to me. I believe I could find
sentences in other documents which

                                                  [Page 125]

have been submitted during these past six months which might
be interpreted in some way as propaganda. I cannot quite
imagine that that is an objection, and I would like to
remind the Tribunal that right at the beginning of the
proceedings, when we were dealing with Austria, the Tribunal
rejected an objection made by the defence regarding a
letter. The defence objected because the author of the
letter was available as a witness. Thereupon, the Tribunal,
quite rightly, decided that the letter was evidence. The
only matter for debate is probative value. The Tribunal
admitted this document. And in connection with this I should
like to mention that a lecture at a University which is set
down in writing is a document. The lecture deals with the
Naval Agreement, and I believe that therewith the relevancy

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Siemers, have you not made your point on
No. 13? You said that the greater part was clearly relevant,
though there is one sentence which may be alleged to be
propaganda, and, therefore, the document ought not to be
struck out. Is not that your point?

DR. SIEMERS: No, I am saying that it is a document which has
a bearing on the evidence used in this trial, and the Soviet
prosecution cannot dispute it because it was a lecture given
in 1935. I cannot at all understand the use of the word
"propaganda" by Colonel Pokrovsky in connection with this

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I do not understand what you say in the
least. I thought I put the point you had made. I thought you
made it clear that the document in itself was relevant and
could not be rejected because it contained one sentence
which was alleged propaganda. That is your point and I shall
want it stated in one or two sentences and the Tribunal will
consider it. I do not see why the time of the Tribunal
should be taken up with a long argument about something

DR. SIEMERS: Colonel Pokrovsky secondly, if I understood the
interpreter, objected to No. 27. In this instance we are
concerned with the speech of Hitler at Obersalzberg under
date of 22nd August, 1932. I have tried to understand -

THE PRESIDENT: 1939 was it not? Is it not 1939?

(Interpreter: Your Honour, he said 1932, but I believe he
means 1939.)

DR. SIEMERS: It is Exhibit Raeder 27. It is very hard for me
to comment on this document, since I do not understand the
objections of Colonel Pokrovsky.

THE PRESIDENT: The objection was that there was no necessity
for a third record of the speech. There were two records
which you objected to and he said there was no necessity for
a third.

DR. SIEMERS: I would like to add to that then, your Honour,
that, in that case, the Soviet prosecution does not agree
with the delegation of the United States. In the record at
that time the representative of the American prosecution
said that if anyone had a better version of that speech, he
should present it. I agree with the opinion of the American
prosecution and I believe, aside from that, that about the
relevancy of a speech which was made shortly before the
outbreak of the war no words are necessary.

No. 83 is the third document objected to by Colonel
Pokrovsky. This contains in the record of the sixth session
of the Supreme Council on 28th March, 1940, a draft of a
resolution with the heading, "Strictly Secret." In this
document the Supreme Council, that is, the constituents of
the Allied leadership, agreed that the French and British
Governments on Monday, 1st April, would tender a note to the
Norwegian and Swedish Governments. The contents of this
note. are then given, and there is a reference to the point
of view of vital interests, and it says there, that the
position of the neutrals would then be considered by the
Allies as one contrary to their vital interest, and that it
would evoke a reaction accordingly.

                                                  [Page 126]

Under figure I (c) of this document, it says:-

  "Any attempt by the Soviet Union which aimed at obtaining
  from Norway a position on the Atlantic Coast would be
  contrary to the vital interests of the Allies and would
  provoke the appropriate reaction."

THE PRESIDENT: You do not need to read the document, do you?
I mean you can tell us what the substance of it is. It
appears to be an objection to any further attack upon
Finland, which would be considered by the Allies to be
contrary to their vital interests. That is all.

DR. SIEMERS: Mr. President, this expression "vital
interests" is the decisive one. I do not wish, as the
prosecution always seems to think, to bring up some sort of
objection from the point of view of tu quoque. I want to
show only what the situation was according to International
Law, and that at the same time as Grand Admiral Raeder had
certain things in mind regarding Norway, Greece and so
forth, the Allied agencies had the same ideas, and they were
basing these on the same concept in International Law which,
as I recently said, was upheld by Kellogg, namely that the
right of self-preservation still exists. Now I can prove my
point through these documents.

THE PRESIDENT: The point made against you by Sir David was
that the document could not have come into the hands of the
German authorities until after the fall of France.

DR. SIEMERS: Now, I shall deal with the groupings designated
by Sir David.

Sir David made certain fundamental statements. Regarding
Nos. 28 and 29 he pointed out specifically that in one case
they expressed the thoughts of General Gamelin and in the
other case those of General Weygand, and that these ideas
were not known to the Germans at that time since these
documents were not yet in our hands. The latter point is
correct, but the concept and the plan of occupying Greece,
of destroying Roumanian oil wells, these were known to the
Germans through their Intelligence Service. The prosecution
did not present the data of the German High Command which
show these reports. Since I have not these documents I
believe it would be well if I were given the opportunity of
presenting the facts which exist and which were known to
Germany by this means at the time. I have no other way of
proving these facts. That it is convenient for the
prosecution to deprive me of the documents which I need for
the defence, I can understand, but the prosecution must also
understand the fact that I consider it important that these
documents, which are definite proof of certain plans, should
remain at my disposal.

The charge has been made against Grand Admiral Raeder that
it was an aggressive war - a criminal war of aggression - to
formulate plans for the occupation of Greece. Document No.
29 shows that General Weygand and General Gamelin on 9th
September, 1939, concerned themselves with planning the
occupation of neutral Salonika. But if this is the case I
cannot understand how one can accuse Admiral Raeder on the
German side of also concerning himself with such plans a
year and a half later. I believe, therefore, that these and
similar documents must be granted me, for only from them can
the military planning and the value of the military
planning, or the objectionable side, that is, the criminal
side of the planning be understood. The strategic ideas of
the defendant can be understood only if one knows
approximately what were the strategic ideas of the enemy at
the time. The strategic reasoning of Grand Admiral Raeder
was not shut up in an air-tight compartment, but depended on
the reports received about the strategic planning of the
enemy. It is a reciprocal activity. This reciprocal activity
is necessary for an understanding. Therefore, in view of
this very essential point, I ask to be granted these
documents, since, as I have recently stated, I do not know
how I can carry on my defence at all in the face of these
grave accusations regarding Greece and Norway if all of my
documents are refused. I believe that I am understood
correctly when I do not assert that we

                                                  [Page 127]

were cognizant of these documents. But Germany knew the
contents of these documents, and I believe that is

May it please the Tribunal, we are once again at Document 66
in group A. This Document 66 is the opinion of Dr. Mosler,
an expert in International Law, about the Norwegian
operation as judged from the standpoint of International

Since we are always talking about saving time in this
courtroom I would have my doubts about rejecting this
article, for a refusal would force me to set forth the trend
of thought point by point in detail, and I believe that it
is much easier for the Tribunal, for the prosecution and for
me, if I submit general legal arguments in this connection.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, this is a document which is
a matter of legal argument. If the Tribunal think it would
be of any assistance to have the argument in documentary
form, I willingly withdraw my objection to that. That is on
quite a different plane from the others, and I want to help
in any way I can.

As I am before the microphone: I did mention that there were
two other documents that fall into the same group. No. 34
falls into Group B and No. 48 into the Group E.

My Lord, I did mention 28 when I was addressing the

DR. SIEMERS: May it please the Tribunal, I do not wish to
dispute No. 66, I have really done this just to ease the
situation for everyone. The further documents are 101 to 107
in this group. I cannot say that this is a homogeneous
group. One document deals with Norway, another deals with
Belgium, the third deals with the Danube. The unity of this
group escapes me. Basically these documents have this point
in common, that, as I have already stated, a plan existed in
the Allied General Staff as well as in the German, and all
were based on the International Law regarding the right of
self-preservation and vital interests. In order to be brief
at this point I should like to refer to Document 66
particularly, and to save time I ask that the quotations
from this document be considered the basis for my remarks
today on the right of self-preservation. I am referring to
the quotations on Page 3 and Page 4 of this expert opinion.
The legal situation is made very clear therein, and it is
set forth very clearly in this expert opinion that, with
regard to the question of the occupation of Norway, we are
not concerned with whether the Allies had actually landed in
Norway, but only whether such a plan existed-that we are not
concerned with the fact whether Norway agreed or did not
agree. The danger of a change of neutrality according to
International Law gives one the right to use some
compensating measure or to attack on one's own accord; and
this basic principle has been maintained in the entire
literature which is quoted in this document; and to which I
shall refer later in my defence speech.

Out of group 101 to 107, I have to mention 107 especially.
Document 107 is not concerned at all with the White Books as
the other documents are. 107 is an affidavit by Schreiber.
Schreiber was naval attache at Oslo from October 1939
onward. From the beginning I have said that I needed
Schreiber as a witness. In the meantime, I dispensed with
him because, even though we tried for weeks, we could not
find him. I discussed this matter with Sir David and with
Colonel Phillimore. I was advised that there would be no
objection on this formal point since Schreiber suddenly and
of his own accord reappeared.

If, as the prosecution wishes, this piece of evidence is
taken from me - namely the affidavit of Schreiber about the
reports which Admiral ? received from Oslo and in addition
to that, the documents from which the authenticity of these
reports may be shown, then I have no evidence for this
entire question at all. Besides, Schreiber was in Oslo
during the occupation and he has commented in his affidavit
with regard to the behaviour of the Navy and the efforts of
Grand Admiral? in connection with the regrettable civil
administration of Terboven.

                                                  [Page 128]

Therefore I am asking the High Tribunal to grant this
affidavit to me or, if not at least to grant me Schreiber as
a witness so that lie can testify personally. This latter
course, however, would take up more time. I have limited my
evidence through witnesses to such a degree that I believe
that, in view of the total period of fifteen years with
which we are dealing, in the case of the defendant Raeder,
at least, such an affidavit should be granted me.

With regard to group B, I should like to refer to the
remarks which I have already made. As far as I can see the
group seems to be thoroughly heterogeneous, but I believe
they are all documents taken from the White Book. The same
ideas still apply which I have just expressed to the

THE PRESIDENT: I think Sir David recognized that there was a
certain degree of lack of identity in these groups but he
suggested that they all fall into geographical groups, one
group the Low Countries, one group Norway, one group Greece,
and one group the Caucasus and the Danube, which is Group E.
That is what he said. Could you not deal with them in those
geographical groups?

DR. SIEMERS: Very well.

I have already talked about Norway and in that connection I
therefore refer to the remarks I have already made. I have
already briefly mentioned Greece. I would like to say that
there was a double accusation made: One, that neutral ships
were sunk, namely neutral Greek ships; and two, the
accusation of an aggressive war against Greece - the
occupation of all Greece.

With regard to the last point I have already made a few
statements. Dealing with the Greek merchantmen I would like
to say only that in this case the action and attitude of the
defendant appears justified, in that he received reports
which accorded with the documents which were found a month
later in France. The same reports had been received by
Raeder when he told his views to Hitler. I would like to
prove that these reports, which came to him through the
Intelligence Service were not invented by the Intelligence
Service but were actual facts. The same applies to the oil
regions. Plans existed to destroy the Roumanian oil wells
and furthermore there was a plan to destroy the Caucasian,
oil wells; both had the object of damaging the enemy, in the
one case Germany alone, and in the second case Germany and
Russia, because at that time Russia was on friendly terms
with Germany.

These plans are - and this is shown by the document - in the
same form as all other documents presented by the
prosecution, which are, too, in their entirety, "top
secret," "personal," "confidential." The prosecution has
always said, "Why did you do everything secretly, that is
suspicious?" But these documents contain ideas based on
strategic planning just as do the documents presented by the
prosecution. That is something which arises from the nature
of war and which is not meant to be an accusation on my
part, nor should it be construed as an accusation against
Grand Admiral Raeder by the prosecution.

Then the group of the Ribbentrop documents follows. Here I
can only make a similar comment. As I see from a cursory,
glance the documents in the Ribbentrop Document Book are not
as complete as they are here. Therefore I believe it is
important to take the documents and to investigate their
complete content from the point of view of Raeder rather
than the point of view of Ribbentrop. That perhaps may have
taken place as the High Tribunal suggested the other day. I
believe, however, the prosecution cannot object that in the
case of Ribbentrop they were partially admitted and
partially rejected, for some documents which were granted
Ribbentrop were refused me.

Then we turn to group E and that is a case of tu quoque. I
believe I have already spoken fully on that point just
recently. I dispute it again, and I cannot understand why
the prosecution will not agree with me on that. I do not
wish to object. It is not I who am saying "tu quoque"; I am
only saying that there

                                                  [Page 129]

is strategic planning which is carried on in every army and
there are principles in International Law which applied to
the Allies exactly in the same way as to us and I beg to be
granted these possibilities of comparison in foreign

I believe herewith I have concluded my request so far as it
is possible for me to define my position with regard to
about fifty documents in so short a time, and I am asking
the High Tribunal not to make my work more difficult by
refusing these documents to me.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will carefully consider these
documents and your arguments.

The Tribunal will now adjourn.

(The Tribunal adjourned until 17th May, 1946, at 1000 hours.)

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