The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2000/03/30

THE PRESIDENT: Well, the Tribunal will be able to judge as
to what you said by the shorthand notes. You say, do you,
that you did not say that "Schulung" meant the preparation
for the occupation of the Rhineland? Is that right?

THE WITNESS: I mean, that as General Staff officer of the
Operation section at that time I had to know what military
preparations were made.

THE PRESIDENT: But, that is not what I asked you. What I
want to know is what you said just now when you were asked
if you remembered what "Operation Schulung" meant. What did
you say? It is suggested that it may have come through
wrongly to us in the translation. What did you say?

THE WITNESS: I said, I believe I recall, but I am not
certain whether this recollection did not result from
studying the documents here, or earlier, that the word
"Schulung" meant the preparations for the evacuation of the
Western Rhenish territory and occupation of the Rhine
boundary in case of French sanctions, for that was the only
thing with which we were concerned at that time. All the
evacuation measures which I later mentioned anyway in
Document EC-405 were part of that.


Q. Well, you remember the date of that last document, 2nd of
May, 1935. Now I refer to EC-405 which is in the big
Document Book 7, Page 261, and it is on Page 277 of the
German Book. Now, this, witness, is a meeting - I want you
to look, please, at Pages 43 and 44 of the original which
you have. Have you got 43 and 44?

A. 43 and 44, yes.

Q. Very good. Well, now, you see there - it is a meeting of
the working committee of the Reich Defence Council. It is
dated the 26th of June, 1935, and at letter "F," Colonel
Jodl talks about participation in mobilization preparations,
and the first three paragraphs deal with general
mobilization, and I do not want to read them, but the fourth
paragraph reads:

  "Demilitarised zone requires special treatment. In his
  speech of 21st of May, 1935, and in other utterances, the
  Fuehrer has stated that the stipulations of the Treaty of
  Versailles and the Locarno Pact regarding the
  demilitarised zone are being observed. To the
  'Aide-memoire' of the French Charge d'affaires of 17
  June, 1935, on 'Recruiting Offices' in the Demilitarised
  Zone, the German Reich Government has replied that
  neither civilian recruiting authorities nor other offices
  in the demilitarised zone have been entrusted with
  mobilization tasks such as the raising, equipping, and
  arming of any kind of formations for the event of war or
  in preparation thereof."

Now, if von Blomberg's hand-written letter of the 2nd of
May, 1935, did refer to preparations for reoccupying the
Rhineland by surprise, it was highly dishonest of the
Fuehrer nineteen days later on the 21st of May, to say that
the Locarno and Versailles treaties were being observed, was
it not?

A. No, it wasn't dishonest, for if it is true at all that
the term "Schulung" -

THE PRESIDENT: That is a matter of comment, if you please.

MR. ROBERTS: I shall, of course, my Lord, have to make
certain comments on the witness as I proceed. No doubt your
Lordship will realize that I am not endeavouring to depart
from this particular ruling which is only for this
particular question, presumably.

                                                  [Page 384]

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal thinks that you ought not to
make comments, but you ought to confine yourself as far as
possible to cross-examination about the facts.

MR. ROBERTS: Well, my Lord, I - about your Lordship's
ruling, I have had, of course, a very extensive experience
in cross-examination in many courts, and I bow entirely to
your Lordship's ruling, but it is very difficult for a
cross-examiner to confine himself entirely to the facts. But
I shall do the very best I can.


O. Then I shall read on:

  "Since political entanglements abroad must be avoided at
  present. Only those preparatory measures that are
  urgently necessary may be carried out in the
  demilitarised zone. The existence of such preparations or
  the intention of making them must be kept strictly secret
  in the zone itself as well as in the rest of the Reich.
  Weapons, equipment, insignia, field-grey uniforms and
  other items stored for mobilization purposes must be kept
  from sight."

And now I want to refer to the last paragraph:

  "Commitment to writing of directives for mobilization
  purposes is permissible only in so far as it is
  absolutely necessary to the smooth execution of the
  measures provided for the demilitarised zone. Without
  exception such material must be kept in safes."

You were collecting weapons and uniforms in the
demilitarised zone, were you?

A. They were weapons and items of equipment of the State
police (Landespolizei), the security police and the
gendarmerie. There were no troops there. Consequently, there
were no weapons there for them.

Q. Did the police wear field-grey uniforms?

A. To my knowledge the police wore a grey-green uniform or a
green uniform.

Q. Then what was the need of this great secrecy if this was
only police equipment?

A. It was the additional equipment for the reinforced
frontier guards - the customs inspectors - about which I
have already said that it was intended -

Q. My question, witness, was, what was the need for secrecy?
What was the need for secrecy if you were not breaking the
Treaty of Versailles? Can you not answer that?

A. I have already testified to the reasons for keeping all
these measures secret in detail during my direct
examination, and I confirm that in all these preparations it
was a question, in case of an occupation of the western
Rhenish territory by France, of setting up a blockade along
the line with the aid of the police, the gendarmerie and the
reinforced guards. That was the intention at that time, only
for this eventuality. I have already testified under oath
that I learned about the occupation of the Rhineland only
six or eight days beforehand.

Q. I know you have, you see, and I am suggesting to you that
your evidence was quite untrue on that point, and I am going
to suggest it is quite untrue on many points. Now then, will
you please go back to the first paragraph that I read. You

  "To the 'aide-memoire' of the French Charge d'affaires
  ... the German Reich Government has replied that neither
  civilian recruiting authorities nor other offices ...
  have been entrusted with mobilization tasks such as the
  raising, equipping and arming of any kind of formations
  for the event of war..."

Does not that subsequent paragraph about the weapons,
equipment, insignia, and field-grey uniforms show that the
truth was not told to the French Charge d'affaires?

A. I only repeat the answer that was given to the French
Charge d'affaires. I believe that that was essentially true.
No mobilization tasks, such as disposition,

                                                  [Page 385]

equipment and arming of formations for the event of war.
There was no thought of war, no one mentioned it with even
one word.

Q. I will not repeat the point, I submitted ... May I just
remind you - and I think there are copies for the Tribunal
too - of Article 43 of the Versailles Treaty.

Article 42 defines the area, the left bank of the Rhine and
the right bank to the west of a line drawn 50 kilometers to
the east. Article 43:

  "In the area defined above the maintenance and the
  assembly of armed forces, either permanently or
  temporarily, and military manoeuvres of any kind, as well
  as the upkeep of all permanent works for mobilization,
  are likewise forbidden."

I suggest to you the steps you were taking - mentioned at
that meeting - were a clear breach of the Versailles Treaty.
Do you agree, or do not?

A. No, I do not agree to that. They were precautionary
defence measures as we feared the enemy might not abide by
the Treaty and might attack us again.

Q. Very good. Now I propose to refer to you Document 172-L,
which, from time to time, has been described as your speech
- hand it to him, will you - and I want to make it quite
clear first as to what you say the document is, because you
would not say one thing one day and the opposite the next,
would you, witness? That document has your writing in
places, has it not? I can refer you to the pages if you
like. If you look at Page -

A. That is unnecessary. It contains many hand-written
crossings-out and notes by me. But I have -

Q. Thank you, witness, for saving me that trouble then. And
is that a speech, the notes of a speech, which you delivered
at Munich to the Gauleiter in 1943?

A. I have already clearly said that this was the rough
draft, not the speech that I made, but one ... parts of the
first draft, and the majority of the matter in it consists
of notes by my staff, which they sent me for the preparation
of this speech. I crossed out whole pages and sent the whole
rough draft back again and only then did I make my speech.

Well now, I want to examine that, because you said quite
differently, did
you not, when you were interrogated by one American officer
on two separate occasions? You said quite differently, did
you not?

(No response.)

Q. Were you interrogated on this matter on the 8th of
October last year by Colonel Thomas Hinkel? Do you remember
that? Perhaps you would not remember the date.

A. No. Oh, we spoke about this matter a few times.

Q. Yes, and you were 'sworn' when you gave your answers to
the interrogators?

A. Yes.

Q. Well now, may I read, to refresh your memory, a copy from
the shorthand notes of the interrogation?

  "I show you a photostatic reproduction of a number of
  pages of a lecture, which was purported to have been
  given by you on the 7th of November, 1943, and ask you if
  those pages represent the lecture that was delivered. For
  the record, that is identified as L-172."

Then you answer:

  "Yes. A number of things are not contained therein, which
  I explained
  with the map.
  "Question: You interpolated the remarks that do not
  appear in the
  written part; is that correct?
  "Answer: Yes, many particulars I set forth just with the
  map at hand.
  "Question: Is that your handwriting appearing on the
  cover page?
  "Answer: No, it is not mine.
  "Question: But the remaining sheets you identify as the
  written version
  of a lecture at Munich?

                                                  [Page 386]

  "Answer: I cannot say whether it was actually my lecture
  as it was, because I see the signature of Putlag. It is
  not the lecture itself. That is the materials of the
  brochures which had been furnished to me."
  "Question: Do you identify" - Just follow this, will you,
  witness? - "Do you identify the first twenty-nine pages
  as constituting the lecture that you delivered?
  "Answer (after examining the document): Yes, that is my

Do you want to alter that sworn answer now? Do you?

A. I have not read the transcript of the notes which were
taken there. I do not know the translation. I made several
other statements in that regard. I observed in the second
interrogation that that was not actually my speech, and that

Q. I will read the second one, witness. I have that for you.
This was on the 16th -

THE PRESIDENT: Defendant, had you finished what you wanted
to say?

THE WITNESS: No, I had not finished. I was interrupted.

THE PRESIDENT: Then finish what you want to say.

THE WITNESS: I wanted to say that before I had looked over
the whole document, at the first moment, of course, I had
the impression that that was the copy from which I delivered
my speech. However, when I looked at it more carefully in
the course of the interrogations, I noticed that it was only
the material collected for this speech, and I said clearly
and distinctly:

  " It contains the first draft, the outline and the
  conclusion by me. The whole middle part is only material
  furnished by my staff, and the whole thing is not at all
  the speech which I gave."

That is word for word what I told Colonel Hinkel.


Yes. Let me read now what I was going to read, the second
interrogation. This is the 16th of November, 1945, four days
before the trial:

  "This document is identified for the record as L-172. I
  show you the photostatic reproduction in order to refresh
  your recollection concerning it.
  As I remember your previous testimony, it was to the
  effect that the first part of the document is the speech
  that you wrote for delivery to that meeting. The second
  part consists of various thoughts on the basis of which
  this speech was prepared; is that right?
  Answer: One moment, please. This is not my real lecture.
  This is a conglomerate of the pieces of writings which
  are partly drafts of my own, that is, the introduction,
  but all the appendices are the basis of my lecture,
  furnished me by my staff.
  The photostats appended to the original lecture-it was a
  copy-and also, a number of maps which were drawn up were
  This is not my lecture as such, and the annotations made
  here are not mine.
  I do not know the origin of this copy. Most likely it was
  furnished me by the OKW for the purpose of my giving this
  lecture. It is altogether a conglomeration of various
  pieces of writing, and it is usable only with
  limitations. However. . . "

And just listen to this, will you?

  " ... as to the broad lines of it, this is what I have
  used as a lecture."

Then the next question was

  "I believe you stated before that the written speech that
  you had was not delivered as set forth in the text,
  because you interpolated various remarks in the course of
  the speech, particularly whenever you referred to one of
  the maps that you placed before the audience to
  facilitate the following of the campaigns which you
  discussed. Is not that correct?"

                                                  [Page 387]

Now listen to this

  "What I have written down I have actually spoken and I
  stick to this text, written down by myself. But in regard
  to the momentary situation on the various fronts" - and
  that is Part 3 and 4, where you will find a note
  "delivered extemporaneously" - "I had that so clearly in
  mind that I did not need to depend on any written
  statements. Also, I referred to the maps freely."

Then the last question on this point:

  "Is it not true, however, that the document before you
  represents, in general, the speech that you gave at
  Munich in November 1943, to this meeting?"

The answer is:

  "Yes; much, without doubt, is the same. I did not use
  during my speech all the appendices with regard to these
  various theatres of war and other appendices. I had
  returned them."

Do you agree with your answers to that interrogation?

A. On the whole, you have confirmed just what I said.
However, I do not know why we have to talk so long about it.
The case is completely clear. It is -

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