The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2000/03/30

                                                  [Page 333]



THE MARSHAL: If it please the Tribunal, the report is made
that defendant Seyss-Inquart is absent.

PROF. KRAUS (Counsel for defendant Schacht): Mr. President,
in agreement with the prosecution, I ask permission to
submit a memorandum of Hitler referring to the Four-Year
Plan of 1936. It is a certified copy, certified by a British
officer in Dustbin Camp. I have numbered it Exhibit Schacht
"48." In the afternoon session of 1st May, my friend, Dr.
Dix, referred to this memorandum, which could not, at that
time, be incorporated into the record. Dr. Schacht then
quoted a few passages from it. The President stated that we
could submit the memorandum at a later date, provided, of
course, that the prosecution agreed. The prosecution has
done so, and I therefore trust that I may now be permitted
to submit it.

Furthermore, I am handing in a number of English
translations. I regret I have not yet been able to provide
translations in the other languages, and I ask permission to
supply those translations later on.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Kraus, until the other translations are
actually made, the documents will not become part of the

PROF. KRAUS: No, the English translations are available, and
the others are not yet ready. May I submit them later?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, certainly. And they will then become
part of the record.

PROF. KRAUS: Yes, as a supplement to the Document Book.





Q. General, you told us yesterday that you were the Chief of
Operations Staff of the Armed Forces and that your main task
consisted in the preparation of military operational plans.
Is that correct?

A. That is correct.

Q. Then, from where did you get the plans? Who decided what
plans you had to make?

A. It was the same as in any other military staff. The
Commander-in-Chief, in this case the Fuehrer in person,
received documents for his decisions; maps, strength returns
- both of our own and enemy forces - and general information
about the enemy. He then made his own decisions, after which
he set my General Staff to work, giving these decisions the
military form necessary for the entire machinery of the

Q. Now in the course of these tasks and studies, you also
had to work on operations which were never actually carried

                                                  [Page 334]

A. I prepared a number of such operations. Of the total
number of operations which I prepared by issuing orders and
instructions, there was only one which I definitely knew
would be carried out - that was the operation against
Yugoslavia. In the case of all the other operational plans
the decision as to whether they would be carried out or not
remained undecided for a long time.

As an example of operational plans which had been drafted in
every detail but which were never carried out, there was the
invasion of England, the march into Spain, the seizure of
Gibraltar, the seizure of Malta, the capture of the Fischer
Peninsula near Petsamo, and a winter attack on Kandalakscha,
on the Murmansk Railway.

Q. Then did these tasks of yours cover all the theatres of

A. At the beginning of the war, the work of my General Staff
did not apply to theatres of war at all, but the Fuehrer's
instructions were addressed only to the branches of the
Wehrmacht and so to the Army, Navy and the Air Force, and
only after the Norwegian campaign was the Operations Staff
of the Wehrmacht, for the first time, made responsible for a
theatre of war. But this condition changed completely when,
in the beginning of 1942, the Fuehrer himself assumed
supreme command of the Army. Kesselring has already been
asked about this but he did not answer. However, it stands
to reason that the Fuehrer, as supreme commander of the
armed forces, could not - with my assistance - issue orders
to himself, in his capacity as Commander-in-chief of the
Army and then have them carried out with the assistance of
General Zeitzler. Consequently a separation arose; from that
moment on he, with the General Staff of the Army, directed
the entire Eastern front, while the Operations Staff of the
Armed Forces became responsible for the general staff work
of all the other theatres of war.

Q. Now the witness, Field Marshal Paulus, has testified
before the Tribunal that the OKW was responsible for the
order to hold Stalingrad and, as a matter of fact, both
Keitel and you have been repeatedly accused by the foreign
Press of issuing this so disastrous order. Is that true?

A. No, that is not true. The witness, for whom I feel the
deepest sympathy and with whom I have worked in the most
comradely fashion possible, could not have known anything at
all about it. The facts are as follows: the decision to hold
Stalingrad was taken, the moment danger threatened, by the
Fuehrer himself in a private conversation with General
Zeitzler and contrary to the latter's advice. Zeitzler told
me so himself on his return from this interview. At a later
stage, when the blizzards were already raging across the
steppes of the Don, the question of a break-through by the
Stalingrad garrison was discussed again. Field Marshal
Keitel, General Zeitzler and I were present on this

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Exner, I do not quite see how that is
relevant, although Field Marshal Paulus may have said
something about it. I mean, he may have given some evidence
on the fighting at Stalingrad, and he undoubtedly did, but I
do not see how it bears upon the case before us or how it
bears upon the case for Jodl.

DR. EXNER: Mr. President, this has already clarified the
matter. It was necessary to correct Field Marshal Paulus's
error. But this has already made the matter clear.

Q. We now return to the time when you, in 1939, were
recalled from Vienna to Berlin. What state of affairs did
you find in Berlin on your arrival?

A. I found a completely incomprehensible state of affairs in
Berlin. At least, it was incomprehensible to me. Nobody knew
what was the truth and what was bluff. The pact with Russia
was feeding all our hopes for the preservation of peace,
hopes which were immensely increased and strengthened by the
surprise cancellation of the attack ordered for 26th August.
None of the soldiers to whom I spoke expected a war with the
Western Powers at that time. Nothing had been prepared
except the attack on Poland.

                                                  [Page 335]

There was only a defensive concentration of troops on the
West Wall. The forces stationed there were so weak that we
could not man all the pillboxes at one time. All the efforts
for the preservation of peace, efforts I have heard about
here from the Reichsmarschall remained unknown to me, in so
far as they were not published in the Press, even the name
of Dahlerus. But there is one thing I can say in conclusion:
when the declarations of war were received from England and
France, their effect on us soldiers who had fought in the
First World War was like a blow from a cudgel, and I heard
in confidence, from the General Staff - today the matter is
no longer confidential - that the Reichsmarschall reacted in
exactly the same way.

Q. Do you know when Poland mobilised?

A. That I cannot say. I only know that at the moment when I
arrived in Berlin and was being informed by General
Stulpnagel for the very first time about the situation and
our own strength, a Polish operation was already in progress
along the frontier as well as the German one.

Q. That in itself answers the accusation brought against you
in the Trial Brief, namely, "planning against Poland."

Had you prepared a plan against Poland?

A. No. Not by a single stroke of the pen did 1 participate
in any preparations for a Polish war.

Q. Then I am right in summing up that, when you left Berlin,
there was not yet an operations plan against Poland?

A. Yes.

Q. But when you returned to Berlin the plan was ready?

A. Yes, the plan of attack was completely worked out.

Q. Did you hear the Fuehrer's speech of 22nd August, which
has been so often quoted here.

A. No, on that day I was still in Vienna.

Q. When did you hear of that speech?

A. For the first time here in Nuremberg.

Q. Do you remember a meeting in the Fuehrer's special train
on 9th September, 1939, described here by General Lahousen?
Can you remember that?

A. Yes, I remember that meeting perfectly.

Q. Tell me what was the subject of the conversation during
that meeting?

A. I met the Fuehrer in the so-called Staff-car, in the
chartroom, where Field Marshal Keitel, Canaris and Lahousen
were, and then Canaris made a brief report on the
information he had received from the West, and expressed the
opinion that a French attack in the Saarbrucken sector was
imminent. The Fuehrer contradicted this and so did I, and
apart from that, nothing else was talked about.

Q. Then Lahousen's statement is correct that you were only
present during that particular part of the discussion?

A. As far as I am concerned, I have not a word of objection
to raise against Lahousen's statement. Absolutely correct.

Q. Frequent mention has been made during this trial of the
artillery and air bombardment of Warsaw. Did you participate
in the giving of the orders for this?

A. Yes, I participated in so far as the Commander-in-Chief
of the Army had applied to the Fuehrer for permission for
the artillery to bombard Warsaw as soon as the concentration
of artillery units had been completed. The Fuehrer refused
to do this. He said: "What is happening here because of the
Poles is madness." He ordered me to draft new leaflets -
which I did personally and immediately - and have them
dropped again over the city of Warsaw. Only when this
renewed demand to cease the hopeless resistance had proved
absolutely unsuccessful did he sanction artillery
bombardment and air attacks on the fortress of Warsaw - and
I emphasize the word "fortress."

Q. Did you have anything to do with the co-ordination of
German and Soviet operations?

                                                  [Page 336]

A. Yes. When we were still three days' march away from the
Vistula, I was informed - to my great surprise - by, I
believe, the representative of the Foreign Office, while I
was entering the Fuehrer's Headquarters, that Soviet troops
would occupy the Polish Territories -

THE PRESIDENT: Defendant, if it is convenient to you, I
think you might speak a little faster -

A. - that the Polish territories ... east of an agreed
demarcation line would be occupied by Soviet troops at a
suitable time. After we had closely examined this agreed
demarcation line - which was shown to me on a map - after we
had closely examined this demarcation line-it was the East
Prussian Lithuanian frontier line, Narev-Vistula-San - I
telephoned to our Military Attache in Moscow to the effect
that we could probably reach individual points of this line
in the course of the following day. Shortly afterwards I was
informed, over the telephone, that the Soviet divisions were
not yet ready.

When, on the day after next, we reached the demarcation line
and had to cross it in pursuit of the Poles, I once again
received news from Moscow, at 0200 hours, that the Soviet
divisions would take up their position along the entire
front at 0400 hours. This manoeuvre was punctually carried
out and I then drafted an order to our German troops,
wherever they had contacted the troops of the Soviet Union,
to withdraw behind the demarcation line after reaching an
agreement with the Russians.

Q. Do you know on what day all this happened?

A. I cannot tell you exactly when the troops reached the
line, but I would say it was on or about 14th or 15th

Q. We shall now deal with aggressive wars against the
neutral countries.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Exner, now all that the defendant has
just been telling us seems to be to me a simple waste of our
time, with absolutely no relevance to this case at all; and
why you let him do it, I do not know.

Q. You have been accused of having used your personal
influence and your close relations with the Fuehrer to
attack a whole series of neutral countries. Tell me, is that

A. No, it is untrue. I remember that a witness here spoke of
a sinister influence, of a key position of a sinister kind.
At any rate, something sinister. But my influence on the
Fuehrer was unfortunately not in the least as great as it
might or perhaps even ought to have been in view of the
position I held. The reason lay in the powerful personality
of this despot, who could not easily submit to advice.

Q. When did you first hear of, a plan for the possible
occupation of Norway?

A. The Fuehrer first spoke to me about it - I think it was
in mid-November 1939 - at any rate a fairly long time after
Grand Admiral Raeder had first spoken to him. At that first
conference which, I believe, took place on 10th October, I
had not yet heard of anything, nor did the Fuehrer give me
any information. But in the middle of November, he spoke to
me about it. I first learned the details in the verbal
report made by the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy, which
took place on 12th November and at which I was present.

Q. In this connection I would draw your attention to
Document C-64, Exhibit GB 86, Page 46 of the Document Book.
But I do not need to read it aloud. Volume I, Page 46.

What was the Fuehrer's point of view?

A. The general attitude of the Fuehrer at that time - it is
also confirmed in writing - was "I am not at all interested
in extending the theatres of war, but if the danger of an
occupation of Norway by England really exists, and if that
is true, then the situation would be quite different."

Q. Were any orders given at that time?

                                                  [Page 337]

A. None; he merely instructed me to study this problem on
general lines. The preliminary work, as has been proved by
documents, began on 27th January, 1940.

DR. EXNER: That is obvious from Document C-63, Exhibit USA

Q. Were you, at that time, of the opinion that the
assurances given by Hitler in September and October 1939, to
respect Norwegian neutrality, were you of the opinion that
this assurance was given for the purpose of lulling Norway
into a state of security, as has been alleged by the

A. That allegation can be definitely refuted, and by means
of a few dates which I shall now give. These assurances,
these political assurances, were given by the Fuehrer or by
the Reich Government - I do not know which - on 2nd
September and 6th October. On 9th October the Fuehrer read
and signed the famous memorandum known as Document L-52. I
do not know whether the
Tribunal is aware of the fact that this is a personal
memorandum of the Fuehrer.

DR. EXNER: This is Document L-52, Exhibit USA 540, on Page
48, Volume I, of my Document Book.

Q. For whom was the memorandum prepared?

A. This memorandum, I think it is obvious from the document,
went out to the three commanders-in-chief and the chief of
the OKW. It was dictated word for word by the Fuehrer in
person, and was completed in two nights.

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