The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: imt/tgmwc//tgmwc-16/tgmwc-16-149.01

Archive/File: imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-16/tgmwc-16-149.01
Last-Modified: 2000/05/10
                                                    [Page 1]

                   FRIDAY, 7th JUNE, 1946

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn this afternoon at
4.0 o'clock to sit in closed session. The Tribunal will sit
tomorrow in open session from 10.00 to 1.00.




Q. You have testified that you were the Chief of Operations
Staff of the OKW. That was the Chief Department of the OKW,
was it not?

A. I did not quite understand the last part of your

Q. Was the Operations Staff of the OKW the Chief Department
of the OKW?

A. Because of the significance of the activity, one can
certainly say that the Operations Staff was one of the most
important departments of the OKW.

Q. Is that the reason why you deputized for Keitel in his

A. In the majority of cases I was the deputy only in
operational matters. As for war ministerial questions, was
the senior chief as a rule, Admiral Canaris, who deputized.

Q. Do you deny that you were Keitel's deputy

A. When Keitel was not at headquarters, then, as a matter of
course, whenever the Fuehrer had anything to say to the OKW
he talked with me, as I was the next officer in seniority.

Q. Do you remember the testimony of the witness Wagner to
the effect that either you or Keitel usually represented the
OKW at all important staff conferences at which this
witness, Wagner, was present? Do you remember that

A. I did not quite understand that question on account of
translation difficulties.

Q. That is possible. I shall repeat it. On the 13th May,
here before the Tribunal, the witness Wagner - do you
remember or not? -

A. I remember the witness Wagner. He testified that Field
Marshal Keitel and I were present at every situation report
conference, and I do not dispute it.

Q. He said either Field Marshal Keitel or General Jodl were
present. Is that correct . Do you catch the difference in
the way this question is phrased?

A. In ninety-nine per cent of all cases, both of us were
present at the situation conferences.

Q. Would it be correct to conclude that it was actually you,
Jodl, who was Keitel's acting deputy in the eyes of Hitler,
in the opinion of the whole body of officers and, of the
entire military machinery of the German Reich? Would that be
correct or not?

A. At special times when the Field Marshal was not there,
and in unimportant things, yes, but when it came to
important things I could reach him by telephone at any time
and so it hardly ever happened that I deputized. He was
never ill and was never away on leave; when he was away he
was in Berlin at headquarters.

Q. In that case I would like to remind you of one occasion,
which you yourself confirmed here, on the 6th June, while
testifying to the Tribunal about the motives which caused
you to sign Document RF-1438. You said, at the time, that

                                                    [Page 2]

document had no connection whatsoever with your routine
work. It concerned the deportation of Jews from Denmark and
you signed the document even though it actually had no
connection with the Operations Staff work. You signed it
because Keitel was away at the time. Was it not so? Is it

A. That is absolutely correct. It was an urgent matter and
had to be signed immediately.

Q. Good. We can find a great many documents of that type,
but I do not consider it necessary to waste any more time on
the further elucidation of this point. Tell me, would it be
correct to say that you were well aware of the work carried
out by the OKW, that you well knew what problems were
occupying the OKW at that time?

A. Only to a limited extent, in individual cases. I was not
aware of everything that took place in the many offices in
Berlin. That was quite impossible. It did not concern me. I
have testified already that my time was so fully taken up
that I had much more to do than I had time for.

Q. Very well, you force me to revert to a question which I
really wanted to have done with. Will you please now look at
our new Exhibit USSR-476. This document consists of excerpts
from Keitel's testimony of 9th November, 1945. It is stated

  "Question: Would it have been possible for General Jodl,
  without your knowledge to call such a conference?"

We are talking, my Lord, of the conference in Reichenhall.

  "Reply of Field Marshal Keitel: Yes, it was quite
  possible, as I was frequently on official journeys and
  General Jodl had full authority to call a conference
  because he represented me in my absence."

Have you found the passage? Have you read it?

A. Colonel Pokrovsky, of course, it is very difficult to
speak of these military things. It is ridiculous. Surely I
may question my staff officers. I don't need to call a
meeting for that. These were my general staff officers with
whom I worked in Reichenhall. Surely I could go to them,
that was my office and my duty.

THE PRESIDENT: I do not think it is necessary for you to
raise your voice in that way.

Q. It seems to me that you have still not answered two of my
questions. First, have you read this document?

Please tell me: Have you or have you not read the passage
which I have just read into the record on Page 1?

A. Yes. In this case, Field Marshal Keitel says, "as I was
frequently away on official journeys . . . ."

Q. You do not have to read it a second time. I have read it
already. I merely want you to tell me whether you have read
that passage?

A. Yes, I read that, and it says here: " . . . to ask
General Jodl".

Q. No, you are reading beyond the passage which interests me
at this moment. As for the words "We must ask General Jodl"
- rest assured, we shall get to that passage. But is it true
that Keitel was often away and that you deputized for him? I
do not hear any answer.

A. (No response.)

Q. I still hear no answer.

A. I have already said that now and then he went to the
front for a day or so and that he was in Berlin for a few
days, but he was at those offices which were subordinate to
him. I was alone with my Operations Staff and I could do
whatever I pleased with my staff. During the entire war I
never called a conference of other offices as a deputy of
Field Marshal Keitel. I did not understand anything about
those matters.

Q. You have uttered a great many words, but have not given
me a clear answer to my very short and simple question,
namely: Do you confirm or do you not confirm the truth of
Keitel's statement? "Yes" or "No". That is still easier to
say, is it not?

                                                    [Page 3]

A. That is what it amounts to, but the thing as written down
is ridiculous.

Q. We shall gauge the truth of your statement later. It is
important to me to establish the fact.

I am submitting our Exhibit USSR-263 to the Tribunal.

You will now have the pleasure of reading it yourself. It is
an excerpt from the evidence of another officer who worked
with you, General Warlimont. Please acquaint yourself with
that passage which is marked on your copy while I read it
aloud. That will be quicker.

The question put to Warlimont is as follows:

  "When did the staff of the OKW first receive the order to
  prepare for the attack on the Soviet Union?"

Have you found this passage?

A. The document which I have before me, which is marked in
red, contains a statement by Warlimont as to the
organization of the offices of the OKW. On the next page
something follows about the preparations for the attack on
the Soviet Union.

Q. Have you found it now?

A. Yes.

Q. Very well.

  "When did the staff of the OKW first receive the order to
  prepare for the attack on the Soviet Union?"

Warlimont replies: "I personally first heard about the plan
on the 29th July, 1940. On that day General Jodl arrived by
special train in Bad Reichenhall; where Section D of the
Wehrmacht Operations Staff was quartered at that time."

Have you found the passage?

A. Yes.

COLONEL POKROVSKY: My Lord, I do not consider it necessary
to read the greater part of Warlimont's testimony, because
we are dealing with a well known fact, i.e.-the convening of
the conference at which Jodl gave his colleagues the order
to prepare the plans for the attack on the Soviet Union.
This document has been accepted in evidence by the Tribunal.

Q. Warlimont then states: "Jodl stunned us by his
announcement of the coming attack for which we were not
prepared." Have you found the passage? Please look at the

A. (No reply).

Q. Jodl, will you please take the document in your hand and
see whether it has been read into the record correctly.

THE PRESIDENT: Is it not coming through properly? Wait a

DR. EXNER (Counsel for defendant Jodl): I just wanted to
call the attention of the Tribunal to the fact that part of
the translation and the transmission is coming through to us
so very badly that I have scarcely understood anything. I
hear only half a question at a time, and I am surprised that
the defendant could answer at all.

THE PRESIDENT: Is it coming through better now? Is the
translation coming through better now?

DR. EXNER: I am of the opinion that the translation itself
is poor, not only the technical transmission. It is often
very difficult to understand the question. It makes no sense
at all, and my colleague, Dr. Stahmer confirms this.
Therefore it is difficult for us.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, we had better go on and see if it will


Q. I would like you to read one other sentence to yourself.
It is the passage in which Warlimont says to whom the
responsibility for elaborating the plans was

                                                    [Page 4]

entrusted and how the officers present had reacted. He
testifies: "Jodl stunned us by his announcement." It is on
the first page at about the middle of the page. Have you
found it?

A. I could not find the sentence which you have just read:
"Jodl stunned us." I cannot find that sentence.

Q. In that case, I shall begin with the preceding sentence.
Perhaps it will be easier for you.

  "Besides myself, he also ordered three other senior
  officers: Colonel Lossberg, Lt.-Colonel vom Falkenstein
  of the Luftwaffe, and Captain Junge to attend."

Have you found it?

A. Yes.

Q. Thank you. "Jodl stunned us by this announcement for
which we were not prepared."

And then a little farther down,

  "Jodl announced that the Fuehrer had decided to prepare
  for war against Russia. The Fuehrer based his decision on
  the fact that war with Russia must come sooner or later
  and for that reason it would be better to carry it
  through during the war already in progress".

Have you found the passage?

A. Yes, I have it.

Q. Very well. Now, I would like you to read one more
paragraph from Exhibit USSR 476, which has just been handed
to you, on Page 1. It is, Jodl, the one which you began to
read the first time and I told you then that we should get
back to it eventually. Keitel is asked whether he knew
anything about that conference and he answered:

  "I know nothing whatever about a conference with regard
  to an attack on the Soviet Union: I heard about it for
  the first time when I was already imprisoned here."

Have you found the place?

A. No. I have not found it, but I do recall it. I read it
just a short while ago.

Q. I should like you to have it: we do not want any
misunderstandings. A little lower down Keitel states that
you did not, subsequently, even report the conference to
him. Is that so? Do you confirm this statement or do you
not? Would you say that Keitel had testified correctly?

A. Actually there is no such thing as a conference in these
military matters; you have conferences in civil and
parliamentary life, but we do not have conferences.

I talked to my general staff officers as often as I pleased.
Therefore it is ...

Q. Excuse me, I am going to interrupt you here. Later on you
may add all you wish to say but I merely want a direct
answer to the question: Is Keitel's testimony correct that
you never reported this conference to him? Is that true or

A. I certainly did not report to him about this actual talk,
but that is not in the least important. I am certain that I
reported to him what the Fuehrer told me, because that was
an important matter and later, because of this, he wrote a
memorandum. Therefore he must have heard about it, but that
is only a supposition, a more or less certain supposition,
which I am making here.

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.