The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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DR. SIEMERS: It is in the Document Book of the British
Delegation, 10-A, Page 6.

THE WITNESS: It says here, on the third page of the German
version, the next but last paragraph, under the date of 13th

  "Situation discussion with the Chief of the SKL."

DR. SIEMERS: I beg your pardon, Mr. President. C-21 was not
entirely translated by the prosecution. This document may be
found in my Document Book as Exhibit Raeder 69, and I should
like to submit it herewith. It is in Document Book III, Page

THE PRESIDENT: Document Book III only goes to 64, is not
that right? It must be Document Book IV.

DR. SIEMERS: There must be a mistake in the Document Book
then. At first, due to an oversight, the table of contents
vas only completed as far as 64 by the Translation Section,
but since that time it has been corrected and supplemented.
It is in Document Book IV, Page 317.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, Page 317, at the top.


Q. Please comment on this document.

A. In the penultimate paragraph, it says:-

  "In complete agreement with this point of view, the Chief
  of the Naval War Staff (SKL) is therefore also of the
  opinion that the most favourable solution would doubtless
  be the maintenance of the present situation which, if
  strictest neutrality is exercised by Norway, will permit
  the safe use of Norwegian territorial waters for the
  shipping vital to Germany's war effort without the
  attempt being made on the part of England to seriously
  endanger this sea-lane."

I maintained this point of view when reporting to Hitler. In
that report I first mentioned the Intelligence reports which
we had. Then I described the dangers which might result to
us from a British occupation of bases on the Norwegian Coast
and might affect our entire war effort, dangers which I
considered tremendous. I had the feeling that such an
occupation would prejudice and imperil the whole conduct of
our war.

                                                  [Page 147]

If the British occupied bases in Norway, especially in the
South of Norway, they would be able to dominate the entrance
to the Baltic Sea from those points, and also flank our
naval operations from the Heligoland Bight and from the
Elbe, Jade and Weser. The second outlet which we had was
also gravely imperilled, affecting the operations of
battleships as well as the courses of our merchantmen.

In addition to that, from their air bases in Norway they
might endanger our air operations, the operations of our
pilots for reconnaissance in the North Sea or for attacks
against England.

Furthermore, they could then exert strong political pressure
on Sweden, so that the supplies of ore from Sweden would
have been hindered or stopped. Finally, the export of ore
from Narvik to Germany could be stopped entirely, and we
know how much Germany depended on supplies of ore from
Sweden and Norway. They might even have gone so far - and we
learned later on that such a plan was discussed - as to
attack and destroy the ore deposits at Luka, or to seize

All of these dangers might become decisive factors in the
outcome of the war. Apart from the fact that I told Hitler
that the best thing for us would be strict neutrality on the
part of Norway, I also called his attention to the dangers
which would result to us from an occupation of the Norwegian
coast and bases, for there would have been lively naval
operations near the Norwegian coast in which the British,
even after our occupation of bases, would try to hamper our
ore traffic from Narvik. Battles might result which we, with
our inadequate force of surface vessels, would not be able
to fight successfully.

Therefore, at that time I did not make any proposal that we
should occupy Norway or that we should obtain bases in
Norway. I only did my duty in telling the Supreme Commander
of the Wehrmacht about this grave danger which was
threatening us, and against which we might have to use
emergency defensive measures. I also pointed out to him that
operations for the occupation of Norwegian bases might be
very expensive for us. In the course of later discussions I
told him that we might even lose our entire fleet, and that
I would consider that we were fortunate if we were to lose
only one-third; as actually did happen later on.

There was, therefore, no reason for me to expect that I
would gain prestige in such nn enterprise - I have been
accused of this ambition by the prosecution. As a matter of
fact, the exact opposite might easily result.

DR SIEMERS: I should like to call the attention of the
Tribunal to the fact that these things may be seen in
documents which date from the time of the war, one of which
is Exhibit Raeder 69, of 13th January, 1940, which has just
been handed over. This document is a study - and it is
claimed that this study is based on the consideration that
if England were to have the bases in Norway, the situation
would be impossible for the conduct of the war by Germany
and such a situation could be prevented only if we
forestalled England by occupying Norway ourselves. What the
witness has just said is stated in exactly the same way in
the War Diary.

In the same connection, I should like to refer to the
prosecution's Document C-66, Exhibit GB 81, which may be
found in British Document Book 10-A, Page 35. This document
is dated 10th January, 1944. May I ask the Tribunal to take
judicial notice of the fact that under the code-name
"Weserubung" - that was the name covering this action - may
be found the explanations which the witness has just made. I
do not wish to read all of them since we would lose valuable
time thereby.

THE PRESIDENT: You mean C-66? That is about the Plan
Barbarossa. Is that the one you mean?

DR. SIEMERS: The last page, under the heading "Weserubung,"
Page 39, of the English Document Book. Mention is made there
of the letter by Admiral Karls, spoken of by the witness,
and of his thoughts in connection with this matter. In the
German original there is the heading, "Appendix 2."

                                                  [Page 148]

A clearer version is found in Document Raeder 69, since that
dates from January, 1940, three months later, and in the
meantime new reports had come in. This, on the other hand,
is a description dating from October, 1939.


Q. Grand Admiral, I must once more refer to Document C-122,
which you have already mentioned.

The prosecution, in that document, accuses you of saying:
"The Chief of SKL deems it necessary to tell the Fuehrer as
soon as possible of the ideas of the SKL, on the possibility
of expanding the sphere of operations in the North," and
thinks it may conclude therefrom that that was your primary
thought, to expand the operational sphere of the Navy.

A. No, I have already said that by the possibility of
expansion of the operational zone to the North I meant an
expansion of British operations and its consequences, and
also the possibility of our forestalling this, thus gaining
bases which would be of certain importance to us.

Q. What did Hitler reply at this discussion on the 10th of
October, 1939?

A. Hitler had not yet concerned himself with this question.
The question was very far from his mind, for he knew very
little about matters of naval warfare. He always remarked
that he had no overall picture of these things, and
therefore felt somewhat uncertain. He said that he would
deal with this question and that I should leave the notes
with him, which I had worked out on the basis of statements
made by the SKL, so that he might use them as a basis for
his deliberations on this problem.

It was typical, and really speaks very much against the
character of the conspiracy, that on this occasion Hitler,
when confronted with the problem of Norway, did not say a
single word about the fact that in the summer of that year
he had already discussed Norwegian questions with Rosenberg.
I gather from a document which I saw for the first time
here, that on 20th June, 1939, Rosenberg had submitted to
the Fuehrer a comprehensive report about his connections
with Norwegian political circles, but I heard of these
connections for the first time on 11th December.

It would have been natural if the Fuehrer, who was dealing
with Norwegian strategical matters, had told me on this
occasion: "I have such and such information about Norwegian
matters." But he did not do that - as our work was always
separate. He told me that we should await the arrival of
further reports, and that he would then deal with these

Q. In the subsequent period of October and November, up to
11th December, did you discuss this question with Hitler

A. No, the question was not discussed at all during those
months, but in September, Lt.-Commander Schreiber, who had
first been appointed assistant attache in Oslo and later,
naval attache, gave me further reports about conditions in
Norway, and so did the Intelligence Service. He told me of
reports which were circulating there about a possible
British landing. Later on Captain Schreiber was actually my
chief collaborator in these Norwegian problems, and he
showed a particular understanding of the whole situation.

DR. SIEMERS: In this connection, I should like to submit to
the Tribunal, Exhibit Raeder 107, an affidavit of the naval
attache who has just been mentioned, Richard Schreiber. This
may be found in my Document Book V, Page 464.

According to that document, Schreiber was drafted on the 7th
of September, 1939, as a reserve officer and was sent to
Oslo as a naval attache. He states that he held that post
since the autumn of 1939.

With the permission of the Tribunal, I should like to read a
portion of this, under I, on Page 464, at the bottom.

THE PRESIDENT: We told you that we had read all these
documents which were objected to. We allowed this document,
so it is not necessary for you to read it all again.

                                                  [Page 149]

DR. SIEMERS: Very well. Then in this connection, may I refer
to the first part of this affidavit, Part I?

Mr. President, I should like to point out a small but
misleading error in translation on Page 466. In the second
paragraph, second line, the word "Deutsch," "German," is
missing: "there were clear directives of the German Foreign
Office that Norwegian neutrality should be particularly
respected by the Germans." In the English text it says "of
the foreign office." It should read "of the German Foreign
Office." I should be very grateful if this mistake would be


Q. Grand Admiral, you know the affidavit given by Schreiber.

A. Yes.

Q. Different reports are contained therein. You have already
referred to them in part. Did any additional special reports
come in during those two months? Was Narvik mentioned in
addition to the ports already mentioned?

A. As far as I remember it was Captain Schreiber who
mentioned Narvik expressly for the first time. Captain
Schreiber had very quickly made himself acquainted with
conditions there. He had established good connections in
Norwegian circles. A confirmation of all that I had known up
to that point only came on 11th December.

Q. Now, would you please describe your meeting with Quisling
on 11th December, 1939?

A. May I first ask whether the Documents 004-PS and 007-PS
which, I believe, were submitted by the prosecution, may be
used in this connection? For example, the minutes of the
conference of 11th and 12th December, an accompanying letter
by Rosenberg referring to these minutes, and similar

Q. Grand Admiral, I believe that you will be permitted to
use these documents. But since they are known you only need
to mention the points that you remember.

A. Yes.

Q. On this occasion I should merely like to ask whether you
did not know the documents by Rosenberg, 004-PS and 007-PS?

A. No, I did not know those documents.

Q. Did you see them for the first time here?

A. I saw them for the first time here. But the reports
contained in these documents were already known to us at
that time as is proved by the documents according to date.

Q. Please tell us only what you heard at that time from

A. Up until 11th December I had neither connections with
Herr Rosenberg - except for the fact that I had seen him on
occasion - nor, above all, did I have any connections with
Quisling, about whom I had heard nothing up to that time.

On the 11th December my Chief of Staff, Schulte-Monting,
reported to me that Major Quisling, a former Norwegian
Minister of War, had arrived from Oslo. He was asking for a
discussion with me through a Herr Hagelin, because he wished
to tell me about Norwegian conditions.

Herr Hagelin had been sent to my Chief of Staff by Herr
Rosenberg. Rosenberg had already known Hagelin for some time
as I have mentioned before. Since reports from such a source
on Norwegian conditions seemed to be of great value to me, I
declared myself ready to receive Herr Quisling.

He arrived on the same morning and reported to me at length
about the conditions in Norway, with special reference to
the relations of the Norwegian Government to England and the
reports on the intention of England to land in Norway, and
characterised the whole situation as especially critical
for, according to his reports, the danger seemed to be
imminent. He tried to determine a date. He thought it would
occur before 10th January, since a favourable political
situation would arise then.

                                                  [Page 150]

I told him that I was not really concerned with the
political situation, but I would try to arrange that he
should give his information to the Fuehrer. I would be
concerned only with the military and strategic situation,
and in that connection I could tell him right away that it
would not be possible to take any measures from 11th
December until 10th January, firstly, because time was short
and secondly because it was winter.

I considered his expositions to be of such importance that I
told him I would try to arrange for him to report to the
Fuehrer personally, so that these reports would reach him

Then on the 12th - that is, on the next day - I went to
Hitler and informed him of the conversation between Quisling
and me, and asked him to receive Quisling personally so that
he might form a personal impression of him. On this occasion
I told him - and this is written down in one of the
documents - that in cases of this kind one would have to be
especially cautious, since one could not know to what degree
such a party leader would try to further the interest of his
party. Therefore, our investigations would have to be
especially careful. And I again called the attention of the
Fuehrer to the fact that an attempt to occupy Norway would
bring with it great risk as well as certain disadvantages
for the subsequent situation. In other words, I carefully
presented both sides of the picture in a neutral manner.

Hitler then decided to receive Quisling together with
Hagelin, on one of the following days. The two gentlemen in
the meanwhile were obviously in touch with Rosenberg - I
believe they stayed with him - and Rosenberg sent me, by
letter, a record of a meeting which had apparently been
taken down by Quisling and Hagelin, and also a description
of Quisling's personality.

In this letter, which is here as a document but which was
not read by the prosecution, it says specifically that
Rosenberg knew what the political conditions were, but that,
of course, he would have to leave the military side entirely
to me, since I was the competent authority on that.

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