The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)
Nuremberg, war crimes, crimes against humanity

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
14th February to 26th February, 1946

Sixty-Sixth Day: Saturday, 23rd February, 1946
(Part 4 of 8)

[Page 255]

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: He seems to be, my Lord, in exactly the same position as Dr. Lohse, and I do not think I need repeat what I said.

THE PRESIDENT: Except that he may be located. I do not know where he is.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: I think this is the first reference to Dr. Bunjes and therefore we have not been able to find out whether he can be located or not.

THE PRESIDENT: Perhaps Dr. Stahmer knows.

DR. STAHMER: I am told just now that Dr. Lohse is in the camp at Hersbruck.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: I will have inquiries made about him.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Stahmer, do you know where he can be located ?

DR. STAHMER: No his home is in Treves, but whether he is there, I do not know.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well; that concludes your witnesses, does it not?


THE PRESIDENT : Are those all the witnesses that you are applying for?


THE PRESIDENT: As far as you know, is that your final list?

DR. STAHMER: I cannot yet foresee how far the prosecution, which has not finished the presentation of its case, will make it necessary for me to make further applications.

THE PRESIDENT: Before we consider your documents the Tribunal will adjourn.

(A recess was taken.)

[Page 256]

THE PRESIDENT: Perhaps we can deal with the documents more as a whole. Have you anything to say about them?

DR. STAHMER: Mr. President, may I make a statement concerning the two witnesses, Koller and Korner? I have just been told that Koller was Chief of Staff of the Air Force, and Korner a lower Staff Officer. Both were repeatedly questioned by the occupying forces. This indication may make it easier to locate the witnesses.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: I will note that point and, of course, we will do our best to help in locating them.

THE PRESIDENT: Which two witnesses are those?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: Koller and Korner. They are both witnesses to whom I made no objection.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, very well.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: It might be convenient, if the Tribunal pleases, if I were to explain the general position of the prosecution with regard to the documents, and then Dr. Stahmer could deal with these points because they fall into certain groups which I can indicate quite shortly. There are three documents which are not in evidence, but to which there is no objection:

No. 19. The Anglo-German Naval Agreement. That is a treaty, of course, and the Court can take judicial cognizance of it.


SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: And the Constitution of the German Reich, the Weimar Constitution, of 11 August, 1919. Again I shall assume the Court will take judicial cognizance of it.


SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: And Hitler's speech of 21 May, 1935.


SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: Then there is a number which are already in evidence as far as I know.

No. 4. The Rhine Pact of Locarno.

No. 5. The Memorandum to the Locarno Powers of 25 May, 1935.

No. 6. Memorandum to the Locarno Powers of 7 March, 1936.

No. 9. The Treaty of Versailles.

No. 17. The Speech by the defendant von Neurath of 16 October, 1935.

No. 18. The Proclamation by the Reich Government of 16 March, 1935.

And then No. 7 was referred to but not read. That is the speech by the defendant von Ribbentrop before the League of Nations on 19 March, 1936.

All these are in or have been referred to and, therefore, there is no objection as far as they are concerned.

Then we come to a series of books. Dr Stahmer has at the moment referred to the books en bloc.

No. 1. The late Lord Rothermere's book, "Warnings and Prophecies".

No. 2. The late Sir Nevile Henderson's "Failure of a Mission".

No. 3. The references to a number of years of the "Dokumente der Deutschen Politik".

THE PRESIDENT: Those appear to be repeated, don't they, in the ones that follow, or some of them? Nos. 6 and 7, for instance, are taken from those volumes, aren't they, of the "Deutschen Politik"?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: Yes, apparently they are, my Lord.

If I might just give your Lordship the others so that you have the group together.

No. 8. Mr. Fay's book on the "Origin of the World War ", the first World War.

No. 20. Mr. Winston Churchill's book, "Step by Step".

No. 24. The defendant Goering's book "Building up a Nation".

No. 26 to which I have already referred, is Dahlerus's book, "The Last Attempt".

[Page 257]

With regard to these, there are two points: First of all, it is mechanically impossible to translate the whole of these books into Russian and French. I think most of them are in English already; secondly, the relevancy of the book cannot be decided until we see the extract which Dr. Stahmer is going to use. So the prosecution submits that Dr. Stahmer should at the earliest opportunity let us know what are the extracts on which he relies, so that they can be translated and we can decide as to whether they are relevant or not. Now the fourth category of books or documents, where either the issue is not clear or in so far as it is clear, it is obviously irrelevant. One to which I have already referred comes into this:

No. 8. Fay on "The Origin of the First World War".

No. 10. Speech by President Wilson of 8 January, 1918. That is the "Fourteen Point Speech".

No. 11. The Note of President Wilson of 5 November, 1918. That is the "Armistice Note".

No. 12. A Speech by M. Paul Boncour of 8 April, 1927.

No. 13. A Speech by General Bliss in Philadelphia, which is before 1921, because it is quoted in "What Really Happened at Paris", published in 1921.

No. 14. A Speech by the late Lord Lloyd George of 7 November, 1927.

No. 15. An Article by Lord Cecil on 1 March, 1924, and another on 18 November, 1926.

No. 16. Lord Lloyd George's Memorandum for the Peace Conference of 25 March, 1919.

May I pause here? As far as the prosecution can judge, the only relevancy of these books and documents is to the issue of whether the Treaty of Versailles accorded with the Fourteen Points of President Wilson. The prosecution submits that that is poles removed from the issues of this trial and is just one of the matters against which the whole intendment of the Charter proceeds and which should not be gone into by this Court. It may be that I am wrong ; it seems difficult, in view of the collection of documents, to suppose that there is another issue, but it may be, and I put it in this way, that Dr Stahmer ought to indicate quite clearly what is the issue to which these documents are directed and, where the document is long, to indicate to what extract he refers. But if the issue be the one to which I have referred, then, in the submission of the prosecution - I speak for all my colleagues - we submit that it is a completely irrelevant matter.

I am sorry; I should have included in that same category Nos. 21 and 22, which are two letters of General Smuts in 1919. They ought to be added.

Then I have already dealt with No. 20, Mr. Churchill's book. Apart from the question of extracts, again the prosecution submits that it ought to be made clear what is the issue for which that book has been quoted.

No. 23 is a missive of M. Tchitcherin, stated to be the Foreign Commissar of the USSR, to Professor Ludwig Stein. Again the prosecution has not the slightest idea as to what is the issue to which that is directed.

The defendant Goering's book I have already dealt with, and I ask that we should get extracts.

No. 28. General Fuller's book on "Total War" or an essay on "Total War". Again the prosecution does not know the issue to which it is directed.

Then my fifth category, No. 27, which is the "White Books of the German Foreign Office".

I draw attention also to No. 4, document to the Anglo-French policy of extending the war; No. 5, further document as to the Western policy of extending the war; No. 6, secret files of the French General Staff; No. 29, documentations and reports of the German Foreign Office regarding breaches of the Hague regulations for land warfare and crimes against humanity committed by the powers at war with the German Reich. These last documents seem to raise quite clearly the issues of "tu quoque": if the Reich committed breaches of the laws and usages of war, other people did the same thing. The submission of the prosecution is

[Page 258]

that that is entirely irrelevant. The standard is laid down by the conventions and it is no answer, even if it were true, that someone else had committed breaches. But, of course, there is the additional reason, that it would be quite impracticable and intolerable if this Tribunal were to embark on the further task of investigating every allegation, however tenuously founded, that some one else had not maintained these conventions.

It is, in the submission of the prosecution - again I speak for all my colleagues - a matter which is completely irrelevant, and therefore we object to any evidence, whether oral or documentary, intended on that point. Of course, we all along have taken the view that we haven't any objection to the defence counsel having access to these documents in order to use them for refreshing their memory as to the background, but we object to their introduction in evidence, for the reasons that I have given.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Stahmer, perhaps you could say in the first instance whether you agree that, so far as the books are concerned, you would be willing to provide the extracts upon which you rely? You cannot expect the prosecution or the Tribunal to get the whole books translated.

DR. STAHMER: This was not my intention either, and I believe that I prefaced my list of documents with a remark to the effect that I was willing to specify the quotations. To that extent, of course, the objection in itself is in order.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, I see. Very well.

DR. STAHMER: Another point the prosecution has attacked concerns the books which I have cited which refer to the Treaty of Versailles. Here also I will state specifically to what extent I wish to use quotations from these books. As a matter of principle, however, the defence must be granted the right to present its point of view in this matter, since after all -

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Stahmer, as regards all these books which Sir David referred to, of which the Tribunal will take judicial notice, of course you can make comment upon them if you wish, as on any document of which the Tribunal takes judicial notice.

(The President confers with members of the bench.)

THE PRESIDENT: Oh, I thought you were referring to the Treaty of Versailles.

DR. STAHMER: No, with the literature concerning the Treaty of Versailles.

THE PRESIDENT: You are now dealing with the ones which Sir David itemised as follows : 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 21 and 22?



DR. STAHMER: Since an essential accusation made by the prosecution is that the defendants violated the Treaty of Versailles, the defence naturally has to take a stand relative to the question as to whether and to what extent the breach of the Treaty took place, and whether and to what extent that Treaty was still valid. To that extent, at least, the books and dissertations which deal with these questions are important. I believe that an understanding of this question in detail can be reached only after I have submitted the quotations, and that will take place at the beginning of the presentation of testimony. I have not been able to finish the work involved.

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