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                           of the
               International Military Tribunal
                           For The
             Trial of German Major War Criminals

               His Majesty's Stationery Office
                                                  [Page 116]
The President:

                          VON PAPEN

Von Papen is indicted under Counts One and Two. He was
appointed Chancellor of the Reich on 1st June, 1932, and was
succeeded by von Schleicher on 2nd December, 1932. He was
made Vice Chancellor in the Hitler Cabinet on 30th January,
1933, and on 13th November, 1933, Plenipotentiary for the
Saar. On 26th July, 1934 he was appointed Minister to Vienna
and was recalled on 4th February, 1938. On 29th April, 1939,
he was appointed Ambassador to Turkey. He returned to
Germany when Turkey broke off diplomatic relations with
Germany in August, 1944.

Crimes against Peace

Von Papen was active in 1932 and 1933, in helping Hitler to
form the Coalition Cabinet and aided in his appointment as
Chancellor on 30th January, 1933. As Vice Chancellor in that
Cabinet he participated in the Nazi consolidation of control
in 1933. On 16th June, 1934, however, von Papen made a
speech at Marburg which contained a denunciation of the Nazi
attempts to suppress the free press and the church, of the
existence of a reign of terror, and of "150 per cent Nazis"
who were mistaking

                                                  [Page 119]

brutality for vitality". On 30th June, 1934, in the wave of
violence which accompanied the so-called Roehm Purge, von
Papen was taken into custody by the SS, his office force was
arrested, and two of his associates, including the man who
had helped him Work on the Marburg speech, were murdered.
von Papen was released on 3rd July, 1934.

Notwithstanding the murder of his associates, von Papen
accepted the position of Minister to Austria on 26th July,
1934, the day after Dollfuss had been assassinated. His
appointment was announced in a letter from Hitler which
instructed him to direct relations between the two countries
into normal and friendly channels" and assured him of
Hitler's "complete and unlimited confidence". As Minister to
Austria, von Papen was active in trying to strengthen the
position of the Nazi Party in Austria for the purpose of
bringing about Anschluss. In early 1935 he attended a
meeting in Berlin at which the policy was laid down to avoid
everything which would give the appearance of German
intervention in the internal affairs of Austria. Yet he
arranged for RM200000 a month to be transmitted to "the
persecuted National Socialist sufferers in Austria". On 17th
May, 1935 he reported to Hitler the results of a conference
with Captain Leopold, the leader of the Austrian Nazis, and
urged Hitler to make a statement recognizing the national
independence of Austria, and predicting that the result
might be to help the formation of a coalition between
Schuschnigg's Christian Socialists and the Austrian Nazis
against Starhemberg. On 27th July, 1935 von Papen reported
to Hitler that the union of Austria and Germany could not be
brought about by external pressure but only by the strength
of the National Socialist movement. He urged that the
Austrian Nazi Party change its character as a centralized
Reich German party and become a rallying point for all
National Germans.

Von Papen was involved in occasional Nazi political
demonstrations, supported Nazi propaganda activities and
submitted detailed reports on the activities of the Nazi
Party, and routine reports relating to Austrian military
defenses. His Austrian policy resulted in the agreement of
11th July, 1936, which nominally restored relations between
Germany and Austria to "normal and friendly form", but which
had a secret supplement providing for an amnesty for
Austrian Nazis, the lifting of censorship on Nazi papers,
the resumption of political activities by Nazis and the
appointment of men friendly to the Nazis in the Schuschnigg

After the signing of this agreement von Papen offered to
resign, but his resignation was not accepted. Thereafter he
proceeded to bring continued pressure on the Austrian
Government to bring Nazis into the Schuschnigg Cabinet and
to get them important positions in the Fatherland Front,
Austria's single legal party. On 1st September, 1936 von
Papen wrote Hitler advising him that anti-Nazis in the
Austrian Ministry of Security were holding up the
infiltration of the Nazis into the Austrian Government and
recommended bringing "slowly intensified pressure directed
at changing the regime".

On 4th February, 1938 von Papen was notified of his recall
as Minister to Austria, at the same time that von Fritsch,
von Blomberg, and von Neurath were removed from their
positions. He informed Hitler that he regretted his recall
because he had been trying since November, 1937 to induce
Schuschnigg to hold a conference with Hitler and Schuschnigg
had indicated his willingness to do so. Acting under
Hitler's instructions, von Papen then returned to Austria
and arranged the conference which was held at Berchtesgaden
on 12th February, 1938. von Papen accompanied Schuschnigg to
that conference, and at its conclusion advised Schuschnigg
to comply with Hitler's demands. On 10th March, 1938 Hitler
ordered von Papen to return to Berlin. von Papen was in the
Chancellery on 11th March when the occupation of Austria

                                                  [Page 120]

was ordered. No evidence has been offered showing that von
Papen was in favor of the decision to occupy Austria by
force, and he has testified that he urged Hitler not to take
this step.

After the annexation of Austria von Papen retired into
private life and there is no evidence that he took any part
in politics. He accepted the position of Ambassador to
Turkey in April, 1939, but no evidence has been offered
concerning his activities in that position implicating him
in crimes.

The evidence leaves no doubt that von Papen's primary
purpose as Minister to Austria was to undermine the
Schuschnigg regime and strengthen the Austrian Nazis for the
purpose of bringing about Anschluss. To carry through this
plan he engaged in both intrigue and bullying. But the
Charter does not make criminal such offenses against
political morality, however bad these may be. Under the
Charter von Papen can be held guilty only if he was a party
to the planning of aggressive war. There is no evidence that
he was a party to the plans under which the occupation of
Austria was a step in the direction of further aggressive
action, or even that he participated in plans to occupy
Austria by aggressive war if necessary. But it is not
established beyond a reasonable doubt that this was the
purpose of his activity, and therefore the Tribunal cannot
hold that he was a party to the common plan charged in Count
One or participated in the planning of the aggressive wars
charged under Count Two.

Conclusion: The Tribunal finds that von Papen is not guilty
under this Indictment, and directs that he shall be
discharged by the Marshal, when the Tribunal presently

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