The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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DR. KUBUSCHOK: I refer now to Document 16, Page 68, which
contains an extract from the speech which, as the defendant
mentioned, he made in the year 1934 at Gleiwitz. I quote:

  "There are certainly no objections to race research and
  eugenics which endeavour to keep the characteristics of a
  nation as pure as possible, and at the same time to
  foster a pride for nationality. This love of one's own
  race will never degenerate into hatred of other nations
  and races. That is the decisive point. Eugenics must
  never be brought into conflict with Christianity, for
  they are not opposed, they only differ. It was
  Christianity which first made of the German tribes a
  German nation, and it is really not necessary to create a
  new Nordic-Germanic religion in order to preserve our

May I refer also to Document 29, Page 103, which deals with
the second topic discussed by the defendant; it is an
excerpt from the diary of Mr. Dodd, date 4th July. I then
refer to Document 35, Page 115, which contains an article
from the Volkischer Beobachter, dated 19th August, 1932. The
heading of that article is:

  "The Papen government has inscribed the 'Protection of
  Jews' on its Banner."

THE PRESIDENT: That was August, 1932? Where is it?

DR. KUBUSCHOK: Document 35, Page 115. I just read the
heading of this article in the Volkischer Beobachter, dated
19th August, 1932.

  "The Papen Government has inscribed the Protection of
  Jews on its Banner."

The article deals with a statement of Herr Kareski, Berlin,
as representative of the Jewish People's Party. Kareski was
head of the synagogue in Berlin. He stated at that time, and
I quote the last paragraph of this article:

  "Fortunately, the constitution of the German Republic
  still protects the legal position of the Jews and the
  Papen government has inscribed the 'Protection of the
  Jews' on its banner."


The Civil Service Law of 7th April, 1933, contains certain
exceptions applying to Jews. Originally these exceptions
were planned to be much more extensive; did you do anything
to restrict them to the form in which they were then issued?

A. May I just add one thing? I believe you forgot to submit
to the Tribunal Document 33, relevant to the question of
foreign monopolisation in the German legal system.

Q. I shall submit that document after your answer to the
question I have just put.

A. I approved of the Civil Service Law of 7th April, 1933,
only in so far as it applied to Jewish civil servants
appointed after the year 1918. For after the war large scale
immigration into Germany had taken place from the east,
especially from Poland, a country which was strongly
anti-Semitic at the time.

I successfully pleaded with Hindenburg that soldiers who had
taken part in the war should under no circumstance be
affected by this law, for I always held the view that a
German, no matter of what race, who had done his duty to his
country, should not be restricted in his rights.

Q. I refer now to Document 33, Page 114. It is a report of
the Ministry of Justice, which shows that when the Civil
Service Law was issued 3,515 Jewish attorneys were
practising. On account of the alleviations which the witness
has just mentioned, 735 ex-Service men and 1,383 other
attorneys who had been admitted to the Bar before 1914 were
exempted from this law. Thus 2,118 Jewish attorneys
remained, and 1,397 had to resign from office.

What was your view of the Civil Service Law as a whole?

                                                  [Page 284]

A. I think it was completely normal that the National
Socialists, since they were partners in the coalition
government and controlled more than fifty per cent of the
German people's vote, should have a part in filling civil
service posts.

I might point out that the National Socialists, in the
propaganda which they had conducted for years, fought with
all their power the so-called "Bonzentum" (boss rule); but
of course we could not predict that they themselves would
later on revert to the same mistake.

THE PRESIDENT: Would this be a convenient time to adjourn?

(A recess was taken.)


Q. We have been speaking of the Civil Service Law, which, in
the points we have discussed, corresponds to some extent to
the trend of thought of the NSDAP. Why did you feel impelled
to urge certain concessions which were then in fact made?

A. I was convinced at the time that with this Civil Service
Law we were creating something basic. I did not anticipate
and I could not guess that the Party would continually
introduce in the following years new laws in this field, and
would thereby completely ruin the Civil Service.

Q. What was your attitude towards the dissolution of the

A. The exclusion of parties was a necessary result of the
Enabling Act. For four years Hitler had demanded the reforms
which we wanted to make. Document 25 shows that I asked
Hitler to create a new basic State Law, and in his speech of
the 23rd March, Hitler promised that. In that speech, he
spoke of a reform of the Constitution to be carried through
by the appropriate existing constitutional organs. That
reform would have given us, in my opinion in a revolutionary
way, a new and sounder democratic and parliamentary form of
government. Moreover, I must say that I saw no danger in the
temporary use of the one-party system. There were excellent
examples for it in other States, for instance in Turkey and
Portugal, where this one-party system was functioning very
well. Finally, I should like to point out that in my speech
at Marburg on the 17th of June, 1934, I criticized this
development and said that one could only regard it as a
transitional stage which a reconstructed Constitution would
have to terminate.

Q. What is your view of the Reichsstatthalter Law of April,
1933? Will you also state your attitude to the question of
German federalism?

A. This question has been brought up by the prosecution in
order to accuse me of duplicity, untruthfulness or deceit.
The prosecution has alleged that in 1932 my views on the
federal character of Germany were different from those I
expressed in 1933. But even if I had changed my mind in this
respect, I cannot see why the question of a federal or a
central government should be a crime within this Charter.
Besides, I did not change my mind at all. The view I
expressed in 1932 was this: I recognized the advantages of a
federal system for Germany and I wanted to maintain it, but
I always wished, even in 1932, that there should be joint
agreement on the major political issues in Germany. That a
federal country is governed on uniform principles is surely
a matter of course. That was the only question, and it was
also the basis of my intervention in Prussia on the 20th of

If one knows the history of Germany, one will be aware that
Bismarck overcame that difficulty by combining the offices
of the Reich Chancellor and the Prussian Minister President.
Therefore, when in 1933 we appointed Reichsstatthalter in
the various Lander, we merely intended to establish a common
political line. Besides, the rights of the Lander remained
unaffected. They had their own financial, legal and
educational systems, and their own parliaments.

Q. With regard to the Reichsstatthalter Law, may I refer to
Document 31, particularly Page 111 of that document.

The passage quoted there from the Pfundtner-Neubert account
shows that the authority of the Lander was abolished
afterwards by the later Reichsstatthalter Law in the year
1935, when the defendant von Papen was no longer in office.

                                                  [Page 285]

Why did you on the 7th of April, 1933, resign as Minister
President of Prussia?

A. My letter to Hitler, dated 10th April, 1933, has been
submitted by the prosecution. It contains the reasons for my
resignation. In Prussia - I have already stated that - in
Prussia I had already carried through the co-ordination of
political aims on the 20th of July. The Reichsstatthalter
Law enabled the Reich Chancellor to be Minister President of
Prussia himself or to nominate a substitute. And so my task
in Prussia was completed. Apart from that, I should like to
mention the following point: The elections of March 5th had
given the National Socialists a strong majority also in the
Prussian Parliament. The Prussian Parliament then met and
naturally desired that a National Socialist should become
Minister President of Prussia. For these reasons I resigned.

Q. The prosecution charges that you, as a prominent member
of the Catholic Church, were particularly active in the
effort to consolidate the Nazi regime in the field of the
Churches. We must therefore discuss your attitude regarding
the Church. Will you give an account of the situation of the
German Church at that time?

A. This charge is, for me, the most serious of the entire
Indictment - the charge that I, as a Catholic, assisted in
this conspiracy against world peace. May I be permitted,
therefore, quite briefly to explain my attitude on the
Church question.

The Catholics in Germany had politically organized
themselves as the Centre Party. Before 1918, the Centre
Party, as a moderate party, had always endeavoured to
establish a balance between the Left and the Right political
wings. After that date, we find the Centre Party mostly in
coalition with the Left. In Prussia, this coalition was
maintained during all the years from 1918 until 1932.
Undeniably the Centre Party deserves much credit for the
maintenance of the life of the State during the years after
the collapse, but the coalition with the Social Democrats
made co-operation of the Centre Party with the Right
impossible, particularly with regard to Church policy.
Regarding important political questions and matters of
internal party policy, the Centre Party advocated a policy
of compromise which resulted in concessions in the field of
church policy. That this state of affairs  -

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Kubuschok, to what is all this relevant?

DR. KUBUSCHOK: The prosecution maintains that Papen used his
position as a prominent Catholic to consolidate the Nazi
regime; was double-faced, and that this characteristic is
especially obvious in this connection and throws light on
his personality.

The defendant is now explaining what his attitude in Church
matters has been from the beginning of his political
activity. Since he was first a member of the Centre Party,
and then left it, it is necessary to discuss the split which
developed between him and the leaders of the party. Later we
shall -

THE PRESIDENT: Why is it necessary to go into this extreme
detail? Surely the thing that he wants to show is that he
was not assisting the Nazi Party. He was undoubtedly a
Catholic, and he wants to show that he was not assisting the
Nazi Party. He does not want to go into all of these details
about Catholic influences and his part in Catholic

DR. KUBUSCHOK: Mr. President, may I say quite frankly that
in dealing with the case of Papen it is our intention to
prove that from the very beginning the defendant
consistently adhered to his principles. For this purpose it
is essential that the conditions prevailing at particular
times should be elucidated. We are now not very far from the
point at which we can leave the internal political
conditions, and the other subjects will be dealt with much
more briefly. I do think, however, that for the sake of
completing the picture of the defendant's personality, I
must go into certain details, but, of course, we shall make
every effort to omit all superfluous and avoidable

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Kubuschok, we are perfectly well aware
that the case of every one of these twenty-one defendants is
different from the others. We are

                                                  [Page 286]

perfectly aware of that, but what we desire is that their
cases should be put forward fairly but without unnecessary
and burdensome detail. We hope that you will try to confine
the defendant to the really essential matters. Will you go

DR. KUBUSCHOK: Very well, Mr. President. We shall do our


Q. Will you continue, please.

A. Perhaps I may complete my reply to this question by
saying that my opposition within the party, my plea for the
use of conservative forces, gave me the reputation of being
a bad Catholic. A foreign judge, a non-German judge, cannot
know that in those years a Catholic who was not a member of
the Centre Party but belonged to the Right Wing parties was
regarded as a bad and inferior Catholic; and that was a
conception I always fought against.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: In his government statement of 4th June,
1932, von Papen referred to the fact that the outcome of the
previous coalition policy in Prussia was fully evidenced in
the entire public life of Germany. I refer to Document 1,
Page 2, and I quote the last part of the first long

  "The disintegration by atheistic-marxist ideas has
  already too deeply permeated all the cultural fields of
  public life, because the Christian forces of the State
  were all too ready for compromises. The purity of public
  life cannot be maintained or re-established by way of
  compromises for the sake of parity. A clear decision must
  be made as to what forces are willing to help to
  reconstruct the new Germany on the basis of the
  unchangeable principles of the Christian ideology."

I also refer to Document 37, Page 119, a speech at Munich on
1st March, 1933 in which the witness discussed the aspects
which he has just mentioned.


Q. Witness, how did you think the position of the Churches
was safeguarded by the new government, and what did you do
in that respect?

A. First of all, I asked Hitler to make a clear-cut
statement on this question, and he did so in a positive
manner. In the foreword to my speeches made at that time,
there is the observation that it is the first and most
important task to revise the Nazi programme with reference
to the religious problem, since such a revision is a
prerequisite for a united front of the two Christian
confessions in that coalition. Secondly, I attempted to
protect church policy by giving it, after the conclusion of
the Concordat, a certain foreign political context.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: In this connection may I refer to Document
37, Pages 119 and 120, containing an extract from several
speeches delivered by the witness, and to Volume 1, Document
38 further down on Page 119, which is a speech made at
Dortmund in February, 1933. In it the defendant von Papen

THE PRESIDENT: We have that document before us.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: Document 37, Page 119.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I have got that, yes. All I was
suggesting was that it was sufficient to refer us to the
document. As a matter of fact, you have already got to the
time when he resigned his post as Minister President of
Prussia in 1934, and now you are going back to 1933 -

DR. KUBUSCHOK: He resigned, in Prussia, in 1933. May I draw
the Tribunal's attention, then, to this speech on Page 720.

THE PRESIDENT: Did he resign in 1933 or 1934?


I draw the Tribunal's attention to this speech and to Page
120, a proclamation of the Reich Government of the 1st of
February, 1933.


Q. What were the events leading up to the Concordat?

                                                  [Page 287]

A. I reiterate that I wanted to secure a Christian basis for
the Reich at all costs. For that reason, I suggested to
Hitler in April, 1933, that the rights of the Church should
be firmly laid down in a Concordat, and that this Concordat
should be followed by an agreement with the Evangelical
Church. Hitler agreed, although there was strong opposition
in the Party, and thus the Concordat was concluded. The
prosecution has adopted the view that this Concordat was a
manoeuvre intended to deceive. Perhaps I may in this
connection point to the fact that the gentlemen with whom I
signed this Concordat were Secretary of State Pacelli, the
present Pope, who had known Germany personally for thirteen
years, and Monsignor Kaas, who for years had been the
Chairman of the Centre Party. If these two men were willing
to conclude a Concordat, then surely one can not maintain
that this was a manoeuvre intended to deceive.

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