The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: imt/tgmwc/judgment//j-dissenting-von-papen

Archive/File: imt/ tgmwc/judgment/j-dissenting-von-papen
Last-Modified: 1997/09/23

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

               His Majesty's Stationery Office
                                                  [Page 137]

II. The Unfounded Acquittal of defendant von Papen

The verdict does not dispute the fact that von Papen
prepared the way for Hitler's appointment to the post of the
Reichkanzler and that he actively helped the Nazis in their
seizure of power.

In a speech of November, 1933, von Papen said the following
on the subject:

     "Then and there, on becoming the Reichskanzler
     (this was in 1932) I spoke in favour of the young
     and fighting movement for freedom; just as on the
     30th of January I was chosen by Fate to surrender
     power into the hands of our Kanzler and Fuehrer,
     so to-day I must tell the German people and all
     those who have maintained their trust in me;
     merciful God blessed Germany by granting her in
     these days of deep sorrow a Fuehrer like this."

It was von Papen who revoked Bruning's order dissolving the
SS and the SA, thus allowing the Nazis to realize their
program of mass terror (D-631).

Again it was the defendant who, by the application of brute
force, did away with the Social Democrat Government of Braun
and Severing (Severing's Testimony, Transcript, Afternoon
Session, 14th June, 1946).

On the 4th of January, 1933, Papen had a conference with
Hitler, Hess, and Himmler (D-632).

Papen participated in the purge of the State machinery of
all personnel considered unreliable from the Nazi point of
view; on 21st March, 1933, he signed a decree creating
special political tribunals, he had also signed an order
granting amnesty to criminals whose crimes were committed in
the course of the "national revolution"; he participated in
drafting the text of the order "insuring Party and State
unity"; and so on.

Subsequently Papen faithfully served the Hitler regime.

After the Putsch of 1934, von Papen ordered his subordinate
Tschirschky to appear in the Gestapo, knowing full well what
awaited him there. Tschirschky as is well known, was
executed (D-684) while Papen helped to keep the bloody
murder secret from public opinion. (D-718.)

Defendant played a tremendous role in helping Nazis to take
possession of Austria.

Three weeks after the assassination of Dollfuss, on the 26th
of July, 1934, Hitler told Papen that he was being appointed
Minister to Vienna, specially noting in a letter: "You have
been and continue to be in possession of my fullest and most
unlimited trust." (PS-2799.)

In this connection it is impossible to ignore the testimony
of the American Ambassador Messersmith who quoted Papen as
saying that "the seizure of Austria is only the first step"
and that he, von Papen, was in Austria for the purpose of
"further weakening the Austrian Government." (US-57.)

Defendant was Hitler's chief advisor in effecting plans for
the seizure of Austria. It was he who proposed several
tactical manoeuvers, to quiet the vigilance of world opinion
on the one hand, and allow Germany to conclude her war
preparations, on the other.

This follows indisputably from Papen's statement to the
Austrian Minister Berger-Waldeneck (PS-1760), from the
report of Gauleiter Reuner of 6th July, 1939 (US-61), from
Papen's Report to Hitler of 21st August, 1936 (PS-2246),
from Papen's report to Hitler of 1st September, 1936 (US-
67), and from a series of other documents which had been
submitted in evidence.

                                                  [Page 138]

Papen played this game until the issuance of the order for
alerting the German Armed Forces for moving into Austria. He
participated in arranging the conference between Hitler and
Schuschnigg of 12th February, 1938 (US-69).

It was Papen who in a letter to Hitler emphatically
recommended that financial aid be given the Nazi
organisation in Austria known as the "Freedom Union",
specifically for "its fight against the Jewry." (PS-2830.)

Indisputable appears the fact of the Nazi seizure of Austria
and of Papen's participation in this act of aggression.
After the occupation of Austria, Hitler rewarded von Papen
with the golden insignia of the Nazi Party (D-632).

Neither is it possible to ignore von Papen's role as agent
provocateur when in his capacity of diplomat he was the
German Ambassador to Turkey  -- whenever evaluation of his
activity there is made.

The post of Ambassador to Turkey was at the time of
considerable importance in helping the Nazis realize their
aggressive plans.

The official Nazi biographer wrote about von Papen as

     "Shortly (after the occupation of Austria) the
     Fuehrer had need of von Papen's services again and
     on 18th April, 1939, he therefore, appointed him
     German Ambassador in Ankara" (D-632).

It should also be noted that for his Turkish activities,
Hitler rewarded von Papen with the Knight's Cross for his
"military services". (D-632.)

Thus, evidence submitted establishes beyond doubt that:

     1. Von Papen actively aided the Nazis in their
     seizure of power.
     2. Von Papen used both his efforts and his
     connections to solidify and strengthen the
     Hitlerian terroristic regime in Germany.
     3. Von Papen actively participated in the Nazi
     aggression against Austria culminating in its
     4. Von Papen faithfully served Hitler up to the
     very end, aiding the Nazi plans of aggression both
     with his ability and his diplomatic skill.

It therefore follows that defendant von Papen bears
considerable responsibility for the crimes of the Hitlerite

For these reasons I cannot consent to the acquittal of
defendant von Papen.

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.