The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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DR. KUBUSCHOK: I only need to refer briefly to a few

In Document Book 1, I submit Document 24, Page 86. I refer
to the note:

  "An agreement was reached with the prosecution to the
  effect that the fact should be accepted that the Enabling
  Act of 24th March, 1933, was preceded by two Enabling
  Acts in 1923."

I refer to Document Book 2, Document 63, an article from
Stars and Stripes of 27th March, 1946. These are the peace
efforts through Earle. The article is to supplement the
interrogatory of Lersner.

THE PRESIDENT: Did you say 36?

DR. KUBUSCHOK: No. 63, Page 153.

Furthermore, I refer to Volume 2 -

THE PRESIDENT: One moment. This document that you just put
before us is a document of March 27th, 1946. What are we
going to do with that? It is a newspaper article.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: It is a newspaper article on an interview
with Earle. He was speaking with Lersner. To supplement the
testimony of Lersner which we do not have here I should like
to use this newspaper article. It adds to something which is
briefly mentioned in Lersner's written testimony.

THE PRESIDENT: But you had the opportunity of getting an
affidavit from Lersner or for putting what questions you
wanted to Lersner, and now you are putting in a newspaper
article dated in 1946 whilst the trial is going on.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: Mr. President, since I cannot hear Lersner
himself because of his absence - we intended to hear him as
a witness - the question in the interrogatory was answered
rather briefly. To complete it -

THE PRESIDENT: What is the date of the interrogatory?

                                                  [Page 384]

DR. KUBUSCHOK: The Lersner interrogatory is dated 15th
April, 1946. It is Document 93. Date of the interrogatory,
15th April, 1946.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, the Tribunal does not think that this
document ought to be admitted. Newspaper articles whilst the
trial is going on are not the sort of evidence which the
Tribunal thinks it right to admit.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: In Volume 3 I submit Document 99, an
affidavit by Sehaffgotsch, Page 245. It is just being
submitted, Mr. President. It is a brief affidavit concerning
Papen's vain efforts in the spring of 1934 to reach

Finally, as Document 100, I shall submit the appeal of the
Reich Government of 1st of February, 1939, which was
mentioned yesterday, and also an excerpt on foreign policy
from Hitler's speech of 23rd March. Yesterday it was
referred to during the proceedings.

Furthermore, I refer to all documents in all three Document
Books which have been submitted and ask that you take
judicial notice of them.

Then I have one final request. Yesterday, parts of the
discussion of the affidavits of Schroder and Meissner were
read into the record. I believe the prosecution, since they
have not made use of the affidavits, will he willing that
these parts be stricken from the record.

THE PRESIDENT: It was Meissner's affidavit which was used to
some extent, was it not?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: Yes, my Lord, it was. My Lord, I
should have thought the most convenient course would be for
the Tribunal to take it that I have merely put the facts out
of the affidavit and not consider that the evidence of the
affidavit was before them. Otherwise, I think it would be
very difficult to correct the record, but of course I accept
that position.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, we think so. We will treat it as those
facts having been put to the witness and the witness having
answered them, without considering it as a sworn statement.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: Yes, my Lord, purely as my

DR. KUBUSCHOK: I am now finished with the case of the
defendant von Papen.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. The Tribunal will adjourn.

(A recess was taken.)

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will sit on Saturday in open
session from ten to one.

I call on counsel for the defendant Speer.

DR. FLAECHSNER (on behalf of the defendant Speer):

Mr. President, gentlemen of the Tribunal:

Perhaps the High Tribunal will recall the fact that, when we
were discussing the material evidence which I had suggested
for presentation in this case, I dispensed with the
testimony of witnesses and stated that I would limit myself
to the use of interrogatories and to the questioning of
witnesses outside of the court-room.

I had hoped I should thus be able to produce my entire
evidence. However, I am not in possession of all the
interrogatories I sent out. I have only received part of
them. I will use those replies which are at my disposal to
the best of my ability in the examination of the defendant
so that a special presentation of those interrogatories and
of the protocol will be superfluous. Despite everything, I
hope to conduct the examination-in-chief of the defendant in
such a manner that, in my estimation, I shall be finished in
seven hours or, at the most, in a day.

Now, with the permission of the High Tribunal I should like
to call the defendant Speer to the witness box.


ALBERT SPEER, a witness, took the stand and testified as

                                                  [Page 385]


Q. Will you state your full name, please?

A. Albert Speer.

Q. Will you repeat this oath after me:

I swear by God, the Almighty and Omniscient, that I will
speak the pure truth and will withhold and add nothing.

(The witness repeated the oath.)




Q. Herr Speer, will you please tell the Tribunal about your
life up until the time you were appointed minister?

A. I was born on 19th March, 1905. My grandfather and my
father were successful architects. At first I wanted to
study mathematics and physics but studied architecture, more
because of tradition than inclination. I attended the
universities at Munich and Berlin and at the age of 24, in
1929, I was the first assistant at the technical college in

At the age of twenty-seven, in 1932, I went into business
for myself until 1942.

In 1934 Hitler noticed me for the first time. I became
acquainted with him and, from that period of time onwards, I
followed my profession with joy and enthusiasm, for Hitler
was quite fanatical on the subject of architecture and I
received many important constructional contracts from him.
In addition to putting up a new Reich chancellery in Berlin
and the various buildings on the Party grounds in Nuremberg,
I was entrusted with the re-planning of the cities of Berlin
and Nuremberg. I had draughted plans for buildings which
would have been among the largest in the world, and the
carrying through of these plans would have cost no more than
two months of Germany's war expenditure. Through this
predilection which Hitler had for architecture, I had a
close personal contact with him. I belonged to a circle
which consisted of other artists and his personal staff. If
Hitler had had any friends at all, I certainly would have
been one of his close friends.

Despite the war, this peaceful constructional work was
carried on until December 1941, when the catastrophe in
Russia put an end to it. The German personnel of the
manpower was furnished by me for the reconstruction of the
destroyed railway installations in Russia.

Q. The prosecution, in Document 1435-PS, which is Exhibit
USA 216, has quoted a remark from your first speech as a
minister, dated February 1942, in which you state that, at
that time, you had placed ten thousand prisoners of war at
the disposal of the armament industry.

DR. FLAECHSNER: Mr. President, this remark may be found in
my document book on Page 4 of the English text and Page 1 of
the French text.


Q. Herr Speer, what do you have to say to us about this

A. At that time, in my capacity as an architect, I had
nothing to say as to whether these workers were to be taken
into armaments or not. They were put at the disposal of the
prisoner-of-war organization of the OKW. I took it as a
matter of course that they would be utilised in the armament

Q. Herr Speer, did you ever participate in the planning and
preparation of an aggressive war?

A. No. Since I was active as an architect up until the year
1942, there can be no question about that whatsoever. The
buildings which I constructed were completely representative
of peacetime activities. As an architect, I used up
material, manpower and money in considerable amounts for
this purpose. This material, in the last analysis, was lost
to armaments.

Q. Were you -

                                                  [Page 386]

A. One moment, please.

The carrying out of these large building plans which Hitler
sponsored was, actually and especially psychologically, the
antithesis to armament.

Q. The prosecution asserts you had been a Reichsleiter.

A. No, that is a mistake on the part of the prosecution.

Q. You wore the Golden Party Emblem. When and why did you
receive it?

A. I received the Golden Party Emblem from Hitler in 1938.
It was because I had completed the plans for a new building
programme in Berlin. Besides myself, five other artists
received this Golden Party Emblem at the same time.

Q. Were you a member of the Reichstag?

A. In 1941 I was made a member of the Reichstag by Hitler,
that is, without being elected, as replacement for a member
who had left the Reichstag. Hitler At that time said that he
wanted me in the Reichstag as representative of the artists.

Q. Did you ever receive a donation?

A. No.

Q. How did your activity as a minister start?

A. On 8th February, 1942, my predecessor, Dr. Todt, was
killed in an aeroplane crash. Several days later, Hitler
declared I was to be his successor in his many offices. At
that time I was thirty-six years of age. Up until that time,
Hitler considered the main activity of Todt to be in the
building sphere, and that is why he called me to be his
successor. I believe that it was a complete surprise to
everyone when I was appointed as minister.

Immediately upon my assuming office, it was plain that not
building but armament production was to be my main task.
Because of the heavy losses of material in the battles in
Russia during the winter of 1941-1942, Hitler called for
considerable intensification of armament production.

Q. When you assumed office, did you find the Reich Ministry
for Munitions well and completely organized?

A. No, Dr. Todt had neglected this function of his up to
that time, and in addition, in the autumn of 1941, Hitler
had issued a decree according to which the armament of the
army was to take second place to the armament of the air
force. At that time he foresaw a victorious outcome of the
war in Russia and had decreed that armament was to be
concentrated on the imminent war against England, and was to
be converted to that end. Because of this unbelievable
optimism of his, the rescinding of that order was postponed
until January 1942, and only from that date onward, for a
month - that is, during the last month of his life - did Dr.
Todt start to build up his organization. Therefore, I had
the difficult task, first of all, to make myself acquainted
with a completely new field of activity; secondly, at the
same time to create all organisational prerequisites for my
task; and thirdly, to increase armament production for the
army, and to increase production generally as much as
possible within the next few months. As is very well known
today, I succeeded in doing that.

Q. What promises did you receive from Hitler about the
duration of your task and about your staff of collaborators?

A. Hitler promised me that I should consider my task only as
a war task and that after the war I might once more resume
my profession of architect.

DR. FLAECHSNER: At this point I should like to mention a
passage from Document 1435 which deals with a speech
delivered by Speer on 24th February, 1942, ten days after he
assumed office. This document shows that he was very
reluctant about changing his profession of architect for
that of a minister. I quote:

   "Finally, I can say for myself that my personal
   contribution is a very large one. Up until very recently
   I lived in a world of pure ideals."

In Document 1520-PS, which is Exhibit GB 156, which is on
Page 2 of my Document Book; Page 5 of the English text and
Page 2 of the French and Russian texts, on 8th May, 1942,
Hitler stated, and I quote

                                                  [Page 387]

  "The Fuehrer thereupon stated several times that the
  Reich Ministry Speer would be dissolved on the day when
  peace was concluded."

I should further like to submit Speer Document 43, which is
a memorandum from Speer to Hitler, dated 20th September,
1944. Mr. President, this may be found on Page 6 of the
English text, Page 3 of the French and Russian texts. From
this document you can see that Speer was considered hostile
to the Party ("parteifremd" and "parteifeindlich") by
Bormann and Goebbels because of his circle of collaborators.
Speer writes in his memorandum, and I quote:

  "The task which I have to fulfil is a non-political one.
  I was content in my work, as long as I personally and my
  work were evaluated only according to professional
  achievements and standards. I do not feel strong enough
  to carry out successfully and without hindrance the
  technical work to be accomplished by myself and my
  co-workers if it is to be measured by Party political


Q. Herr Speer, can you describe the fundamental principles
according to which you built up your ministry?

THE PRESIDENT: What exhibit number are you giving that?

DR. FLAECHSNER: Exhibit No. 1, Mr. President.


Q. Herr Speer, can you describe the fundamental principles
which you followed in building up your ministry?

A. I personally was no expert, and I did not want to act as
an expert. Therefore, I selected the best possible experts
to be found in Germany as my co-workers. I believed that
these men were to be found within industry itself.
Therefore, I made up my ministry of honorary industrial
co-workers. This was done in the United States in a similar
way during the war in matters of production. Professional
civil servants were lacking in my ministry and you cannot
really consider my ministry as one set up on normal lines.

In June 1944 I delivered a speech in Essen about the
fundamental principles upon which I founded my ministry and
its work, to defend myself against the various attacks on my
system in Party circles.

DR. FLAECHSNER: Mr. President, I believe that the High
Tribunal is not yet in possession of my Document Book
containing the interrogatories. I would have been glad to
point out that the statements given by witnesses Sauer and
Schieber in this connection are summed up in this answer.
Now I shall submit -

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