The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2000/03/18

DR. KRANZBUHLER: Mr. President, the question was raised
as to whether a document concerning Norway had been
translated correctly. I will find out what number it
is. The English translation, which I have before me, is
not identical with the German original. It differs
considerably. It is Exhibit GB 482.

I shall read the German text which, in my opinion,
differs from the English translation.

  "The Commander-in-Chief of the Navy states: Conquest
  of Belgian coast provides no advantage for our
  submarine warfare; points out value of winning
  Norwegian bases (Trondhjem) with the help of Russian
  pressure. The Fuehrer will consider the question."

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Kranzbuhler, would it not save time,
really, if we have the sentence which is said to have
been wrongly translated referred to a committee of
experts in the translating division. It really is not a
matter which it is worth while wasting time over.

DR. KRANZBUHLER: I beg your pardon, I did not know that
it was to be examined again.

THE PRESIDENT: I think we had better have it examined
and then the translation certified to.

DR. KRANZBUHLER: I beg your pardon, Mr. President. I,
myself, have a question to put to the witness.

                                             [Page 316]


Q. Admiral, Document D-873 has been put to you before.
That was a War Diary of U-71, and concerned the
supplying of three Norwegians in a lifeboat. The entry
was on 21st June. I have already submitted to the
Tribunal under Donitz 13, on Page 23 of my Document
Book, a statement by the above-mentioned Commanding
Officer Flachsenberg. According to that statement, this
submarine put to sea on 14th June. It was west of
Norway. Can you tell me if that U-boat, therefore, on
21st June, was putting out for operations or returning
from operations?

A. You mean from memory?

Q. No, you have the dates: put out to sea on 14th June;
and the entry was on 21st June.

A. The answer is putting out.

Q. Putting out. As you know, this submarine was a
500-ton vessel. Is a boat of that size in a position to
carry out an operation over several weeks with three
additional people on board?

A. I believe not. I am not enough of an expert to be
able to judge definitely what the extra weight of
additional persons on board might mean as far as
trimming experiments and such things are concerned;
but, apart from that, I do not believe that such a
small boat, which is putting out to sea for an
operation, can load itself on the way with prisoners. I
do not consider that possible.

DR. SIEMERS: Then, with the permission of the Tribunal,
the witness may retire.

THE PRESIDENT: The witness can retire.

DR. SIEMERS: Mr. President, in accordance with my
intention, as stated at the beginning of this case, I
have submitted the majority of my documents during the
examination. With the permission of the Tribunal, may I
proceed now to submit as quickly as possible the
remainder of the documents with a few accompanying

I submit to the Tribunal Exhibit Raeder 18, an excerpt
from the Document Book II, Page 105 an excerpt from a
book which Churchill wrote in 1935, called Great
Contemporaries. I ask the Tribunal to take official
notice of the contents. Churchill points out that there
are two possibilities; that either Hitler will be the
man who will start another world war, or he will be the
man who will restore honour and a sense of peace to the
great German nation, and bring it back serene, helpful
and strong to the forefront of the European family of

As Exhibit Raeder 20, I submit a short excerpt from
Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf, with reference to the fact
that the prosecution has said that from that book one
could see that Hitler intended to wage aggressive wars.
I shall show in my final pleadings how much one can see
from that book. I ask that the Tribunal take judicial
notice of the short excerpt on Page 154: "For such a
policy there was but one ally in Europe, England."

Exhibit Raeder 21, a speech made by Hitler to the
German Reichstag on 26th April, 1942, is to show how
freedom became even more strictly limited in Germany,
and the dictatorship even more powerful.

Document Book IV, Exhibit Raeder 65, intended to
facilitate my arguments, is the Hague Agreement about
the rights and duties of neutrals in case of naval
warfare. I need that for my final pleadings in
connection with Exhibit Raeder 66, the statement of
opinion by Dr. Mosler in Document Book IV, Page 289,
the first document.

THE PRESIDENT: Can you give us the pages?

DR. SIEMERS: Page 289, Mr. President. It is the first
page of the Document Book IV.


                                             [Page 317]

DR. SIEMERS: Then I ask the Tribunal to be kind enough
to take up Document Book V, since the remaining
documents have already been submitted. I submit as
Exhibit Raeder 100 Document Book V, Page 437, a
document from the "White Book" concerning the meeting
of the French War Commission on 9th April, 1940, "top
secret," with Reynaud, Daladier, Gamelin, General
Georges, the Minister of the Navy, the Minister of the
Colonies and the Air Minister present. It concerns the
suggestion by Admiral Darlan of entering Belgium. The
suggestion was supported by General Gamelin and also by
the Minister for National Defence and War. On Page 442
there is mention of the march into Holland and finally
of Luxembourg. Since the High Tribunal has knowledge of
the contents from the discussion of the documents, I do
not want to read any details. I simply ask the Tribunal
to take judicial notice. I should also like merely to
point out that on Page 443 of this very long document,
mention is made of the occupation of the harbour of
Narvik and of the intention to seize the mines of

I now submit Exhibit Raeder 102, in the same Document
Book, Page 449. This is an order of the Second Belgian
Infantry Regiment of 13th April, 1940, concerning
information about friendly troops and the plan of a
fortified position. It can be seen from the document
that the friendly troops mentioned are the Allies.

Then I submit Exhibit Raeder 103, Page 452, which is a
French document from Headquarters, of 16th April, 1940,
concerning measures about the rail transportation of
French troops into Belgium.

I ask the Tribunal to take judicial notice of all of
these documents, which I shall not read in detail.

The same applies to Exhibit Raeder 104, Document Book
V, Page 455, which is the order of the Second British
Division concerning security measures in Belgium of 9th
April, 1940. There we find a directive similar to one
in a document which has been submitted by the
prosecution, a directive to establish contact with
Belgian civilian authorities.

Exhibit Raeder 105 Document Book V, Page 459, is the
statement of a Luxembourg citizen which shows that 200
men, French soldiers in uniform, entered Belgium in
armoured cars seven days before the outbreak of the
German-Belgian hostilities.

May it please the Tribunal, I originally intended not
to submit anything in this trial concerning the
character of my client, because I was of the opinion
that Grand Admiral Raeder, both at home and abroad,
enjoyed sympathy and respect. The first trial brief
against Raeder did not affect that intention. Shortly
before the presentation of that trial brief, it was
changed, becoming considerably more severe and
containing moral accusations which seriously inure and
impugn Raeder's honour.

I have no doubt that the High Tribunal will understand
why under these circumstances, I ask to be permitted to
submit some of the documents granted me which concern
Raeder's character.

I submit Exhibit Raeder 119 Document Book VI, Page 514.
That is a letter from Frau von Poser addressed to me.
It is not an affidavit and quite purposely I have
submitted the original because, in my opinion, it will
make a more immediate and direct impression than an
affidavit which I would first have to ask for in my
capacity as defendant's counsel.

Similarly, there is a fairly long letter from Professor
Dr. Seibt, who also, on his own initiative, approached
me. I submit Exhibit Raeder 120 Document Book VI, Page
517. I would be grateful to the Tribunal if it would
take judicial notice of that letter. In order to save
time, since it is six pages long, I should like to
refrain from reading it.

Then I submit Exhibit Raeder 122, Document Book VI,
Page 526, a letter from Herr Erich Katz, which I submit
with its appendices, and I ask the Tribunal to take
judicial notice of it, in order to present one of the
cases in which Raeder intervened personally, using his
influence and position - he used the official
stationery of the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy - in
order to intervene on


behalf of Herr Katz, who had been attacked as a Jew,
and actually to be able to protect him. Herr Katz, on
his own initiative, has sent me these documents in
order to show his gratitude.

As Exhibit Raeder 123, I submit a letter from Gunter
Jacobsen that concerns a similar case. Jacobsen, also
without my asking it, approached me in order to testify
that Raeder rescued his father, who, as a Jew, had been
accused of race defilement, from the concentration camp
Fuhlsbuttel - I believe it was still a prison at that
time - so that Jacobsen could emigrate to England,
where he is living now.

I submit as Exhibit Raeder 124, an affidavit -

GENERAL RUDENKO: Mr. President, I must make the
following statement. All four exhibits mentioned just
now by Dr. Siemers are personal letters from various
persons to Dr. Siemers. They are not sworn affidavits.
They are not interrogations. Therefore these documents
have little probative value, and I wonder whether they
ought to be admitted as evidence. Many letters are
received, and if they were all to be submitted to the
Tribunal, the Tribunal would have great difficulty in
establishing the truth, and how far they are of
probative value. In that connection, I personally
object to the fact that these documents should be
accepted as evidence in Raeder's case.

DR. SIEMERS: My Lord, may I -

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal does not think that the
matter is of sufficient importance to insist upon
evidence being upon oath. The documents are admitted.

DR. SIEMERS: Exhibit Raeder 124; I submit an affidavit
by Konrad Lotter. The affidavit is very short and with
the permission of the Tribunal, I should like to read
this one page:

  "Grand Admiral Raeder has always appeared to me a
  man who embodied the finest traditions of the old
  Imperial Navy. This was true, particularly in regard
  to his philosophy of life. As a man and as an
  officer, he was at all times the best model
  In 1941, when the anti-Christian policy of the
  Hitler regime began with its full might in Bavaria,
  when cloisters were closed, and in the education of
  the youth, intolerance against every creed became
  crassly manifest, I sent a memorandum of twelve
  pages to the Grand Admiral, in which I presented to
  him my objections to this policy. Grand Admiral
  Raeder intervened at once. Through his mediation, I
  was called to the Gauleiter, and Minister of the
  Interior Wagner, in Munich. After a series of
  discussions between the clerical, governmental and
  party authorities, an agreement was reached which
  had the following results: the school prayer was
  retained, the crucifix was allowed to remain in the
  schools, etc.; furthermore, fifty-nine clergymen who
  had been fined 500 marks each were pardoned.
  The closing down of cloisters was also stopped at
  that time. Gauleiter Wagner had to - "

THE PRESIDENT (Interposing): Dr. Siemers, all these
documents have been read by us very recently.

DR. SIEMERS: Very well. Then I just ask the Tribunal to
take judicial notice of the remainder.

I submit also the two last documents, Exhibit Raeder
125, and Exhibit Raeder 126.

One hundred and twenty-five is an affidavit by the
former Reich Defence Minister Dr. Otto Gessler, and 126
is an affidavit by the Navy Chaplain, Ronneberger. I
ask you to take judicial notice of this latter

I should like to be permitted to read the short
affidavit by Dr. Gessler, since it contains not only
something of a purely personal nature, but also remarks
concerning accusations against Raeder.

                                             [Page 319]

  "I, Gessler, have known the former Grand Admiral
  Raeder personally since about the middle of the
  1920's when I was Reich Minister for Defence. Raeder
  was then Inspector of the Educational System in the
  Navy. I always knew Raeder as a man of
  irreproachable, chivalrous character, as a man
  conscious of his duty. As to the subject of the
  indictment, I know very little.
  Raeder visited me repeatedly after my release from
  imprisonment by the Gestapo in March, 1945, when I
  lay in the Hedwig Hospital in Berlin, and he also
  made arrangements for me to get home, as I was ill
  and completely exhausted. I told him then about the
  ill-treatment which I had suffered, especially the
  torture. He was obviously surprised and incensed
  about this. He said he would report it to the
  Fuehrer I asked him at once to refrain from that,
  for I had been told officially before that the
  torture, that all of this was taking place at the
  explicit order of Hitler. Moreover, I knew
  definitely that I would immediately be rearrested,
  since on my release I had signed the well-known
  declaration, and could not even obtain a
  confirmation of my detention in order to get a
  ticket for my trip home.
  I heard nothing about secret rearmament in the Navy,
  neither during my term of office, nor later. During
  my term of office, until January, 1928, Grand
  Admiral Raeder could not have been responsible
  either, for at that time he was not Chief of the
  Naval Command.
  At the time of the National Socialist regime, I was
  both ignored and snubbed by my former department.
  One of the few exceptions to this was Admiral
  Raeder. Before 1939, he invited me a third time to
  visit the cruiser Nuremberg, although I had refused
  twice. During the visit in June, 1939, he came to
  Kiel personally to greet me. At that time we also
  discussed the political situation. I expressed the
  apprehension that an attack on Poland would mean a
  European war. Raeder declared positively that he
  considered it out of the question that Hitler would
  attack Poland. When this did happen later, I
  explained this to myself on the grounds that Hitler
  liked to place even the highest military leaders
  face to face with accomplished facts."

Then there is the statement "under oath," and the
signature of the notary.

As to the last Exhibit Raeder 126, from the Navy
Chaplain Ronneberger, I ask the Tribunal to take
judicial notice of it since it is too late to read it.
It is a factual description and survey of church and
religious questions as they affected the Navy.

Mr. President, with that, with the exception of three
points, I can conclude my case. Firstly and secondly,
there are still two interrogatories missing which have
not yet been returned. I ask permission to submit these
as soon as they are received.

Then, there is the witness, General Admiral Bohm, who
has already been approved, but who, on account of
illness, has not yet been able to appear. The British
Delegation, through Sir David, has been kind enough to
agree that if necessary, this witness can be
interrogated at a later date. May I be permitted to ask
the Tribunal to keep this open, and, if possible, to
allow this to be done. I want to point out now that it
will not involve so large a complex of questions as was
the case with Admiral Schulte-Monting which the
Tribunal knows from the material I have submitted.

This concludes my case Raeder.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn.

(The Tribunal adjourned until 23rd May, 1946, at 1000 hours.)

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