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

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
23rd March to 3rd April, 1946

Ninetieth Day: Monday, 25rd March, 1946
(Part 11 of 11)

[COLONEL AMEN continues his cross examination of Karl Stroelin]

[Page 53]

Q. At that time you made a speech at Madison Square Garden, is that correct?

A. Yes.

Q. That was a rally in the Garden?

A. It was for "German Day," on the 6th of October, 1936.

Q. A "German Day" rally, correct?

A. It was the annual meeting of the Germans which took place on the 6th of October.

Q. And a great percentage of the participants in that rally were members of the German-American Bund, is that correct?

A. Yes.

Q. In fact, that whole rally was held under the auspices of the German-American Bund, was it not?

A. The fact is, a festival committee had been commissioned by all German clubs - I believe there are all in all two thousand of them in New York - and these 2,000 German clubs had Agreed to one festival committee which organised the "German Day." I did not know the composition of this committee in detail.

Q. And it was at the solicitation of the German-American Bund that you made your speech, was it not?

A. No, it was at the solicitation of the festival of the German clubs of New York.

Q. Yes, and on that committee were numerous members of the German-American Bund, is that true? Yes or no.

[Page 54]

A. Yes.

Q. And as a matter of fact, there were many of the members of your organisation at that time who were active members of the German-American Bund, is that correct?

A. Yes.

Q. And you personally had had several conferences with them, both here in Germany and in New York City, correct?

A. No, that is not correct.

Q. Well, what is correct?

A. It is correct that I was invited, but there were no further conferences.

Q. But you do not dispute that many of the members of your organisation were at that time members of the German- American Bund?

A. I am not informed on that point.

THE PRESIDENT (to the witness): I have just taken down that you have said that was so.

COLONEL AMEN: Precisely.

THE WITNESS: Please repeat the question.


Q. Did you not just tell me a few moments ago, in response to a previous question, that many members of your organisation were members of the German-American Bund at the time of your speech at the rally in Madison Square Garden?

A. When you speak of an Organisation, do you mean members of the German Ausland Institute?

Q. "Your organisation" is the way I put it.

A. I had no organisation; I had an institute.

Q. Exactly. And under whose auspices were you making this speech in Madison Square Garden?

A. I was asked to make this speech because I had shortly before been appointed Lord Mayor of the City of Foreign Germans. I was Lord Mayor of that city, and therefore I was asked to deliver the address. Stuttgart was made the City of Foreign Germans since the Swabians furnished most of the emigrants, and for that reason Stuttgart was to be the home city of foreign Germans.

Q. Well, is it not a fact that many members of the Ausland organisation were at that time also members of the German- American Bund? Yes or no.

A. Yes.

Q. Is it not also a fact that at that time many members of the Institute were also members of the German-American Bund? Yes or no.

A. Yes, some of these Germans had come from America; they were students who had studied in America and returned to Germany.

Q. And is it not also a fact that many of these members of the German-American Bund, who were likewise members of the Ausland Organisation and the Institute, were indicted and tried and convicted for various espionage offences in the federal courts of the United States? Yes or no.

A. No, I know nothing about that.

Q. You never heard that?

A. No, I never heard about it. I know of the case of Kappe, but that has no connection with the Deutsches Auslandsinstitut.

Q. That is one case, as a matter of fact. Now, you know some others too, do you not?

A. I wonder if you could give me particulars.

Q. I could, but I am asking you the questions rather than trying to tell you the answers.

A. I cannot remember any other case. Please, question me.

Q. No, I will go to another subject now, because it is getting late. Are you acquainted with M. Alfred Weninger - W- e-n-i-n-g-e-r?

A. Weninger - yes, I am familiar with that name.

[Page 55]

Q. Who is he?

A. Alfred Weninger is, to my knowledge, at present in France. I believe he is a jurist.

Q. Well, do you not know? Do you not know whether he is a jurist or not?

A. Yes, he is a jurist.

Q. What is his nationality?

A. He is a Frenchman.

Q. Is he a friend of yours?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you intervene on his behalf on at least one occasion?

A. I provided for his release from prison.

Q. That was in March, 1943?

A. No, there must be some misunderstanding. I mean the Alfred Weninger who is a Frenchman and whom I helped during the war so that he was not sentenced to death, and was later released from prison. However, that took place during the period from 1942 to 1944. I do not know another Weninger. There may be two Alfred Weningers . . .

Q. No, that is correct. He was sentenced along with twelve other comrades for espionage and intelligence with the enemy.

A. Yes, then it must be the same man and he is the one whom I helped.

Q. And you intervened with the Attorney-General at the People's Court?

A. Yes, I intervened with Freisler.

Q. And also, at the Ministries of the Interior and Justice in Berlin?

A. I submitted to the Ministry of the Interior a memorandum. regarding conditions in Alsace, at the time, in order to have the Alsatians pardoned.

Q. And as a result of your efforts, these people received temporary suspension of their sentences, is that correct?

A. Yes. I would like to mention expressly that I asked Herr von Neurath to intervene and it is due to a letter which he wrote to Hitler that these Alsatians were pardoned.

Q. So that this individual, to put it mildly, is under a considerable obligation to you at the present time? Correct?

A. Yes, I imagine so.

Q. Well, you saved his life in effect, did you not?

A. I also saved the lives of many others. I do not know if the people are grateful for it or not.

Q. Well, in any event, I take it you do not question the truth of what he might report as a conversation with you; correct?

A. I do not doubt that he would remember this.

Q. Do you recall having a conversation with him in June of 1940?

A. At the moment I cannot say unless you tell me what it was about.

Q. Well, I will tell you what you are reported by him to have said and I ask you whether you recall having said that to him either in the exact words which I put to you, or in substance. Do you understand?

A. Yes, I understand.

Q. Here are the words. "I warn you against National Socialism, which does not recoil before anything and which makes justice its servile agent. They are criminals and I have but the one wish - to get out of it." Did you say that to Weninger in words or in substance? Yes or no?

A. I did not quite understand what you said. Will you please repeat it?

Q. You understand English, do you not, witness?

A. Some. I understand just a little.

Q. As a matter of fact, you were interrogated in English by one of our interrogators, were you not?

A. I spoke a little English only on one occasion, but I believe that he did not understand me.

[Page 56]

Q. And you understood perfectly well what I just read to you, did you not?

A. I did not fully understand the German translation of what you said and the substance of your question is not clear to me.

Q. Well, I will read it to you again. But I suggest that you are merely taking this time in order to find out what answer you want to make. I ask you again whether you said to Weninger in words or in substance, in June of 1940, the following:

"I warn you against National Socialism, which does not recoil before anything, and which makes justice its servile agent. They are criminals and I have but the one wish - to get out of it."
Do you understand?

A. Yes, I understand but I do not recall having made that statement.

Q. Do you deny having made that statement When I tell you that Weninger so states - Weninger, whom you have just told us has every obligation to you?

A. I do remember it. It is perfectly true that I made critical statements, but I do not recall the wording.

Q. Do you deny having made that statement? Answer yes or no.

A. I deny the statement. I deny that I made it in this form.

Q. Did you make it in substance, did you make that statement?

A. I cannot remember the conversation at all.

Q. Do you recall having made another statement to Weninger in 1936 in Strassbourg. . . . Were you in Strassbourg with Weninger in 1936?

A. At the moment I cannot recall.

Q. But you do not deny it?

A. I cannot recall.

Q. It is quite possible?

A. It is possible, but I cannot recall it. I cannot at a moment's notice recall the date I was in Strassbourg.

Q. And did you not say to Weninger in Strassbourg in 1936, in words or in substance, the following: " When I am abroad I am ashamed to be a German "? Yes or no.

A. It was entirely out of the question at that time, since in the year of 1936 I was very proud of the fact that I was a German.

Q. And then, do you deny having made that statement to Weninger?

A. I am quite certain that I did not make that statement in the year 1936.

Q. When did you make it?

A. I do not recall, having made such a statement to Weninger at all, at least not in 1936.

Q. When did you make that statement to Weninger or anybody else? In what year did you decide to make statements like that?

A. I cannot recall having made such a statement at all.

Q. But you do not deny it?

A. I frankly admit that there was a time when one was no longer proud of Germany.

THE PRESIDENT: Do the other prosecutors wish to cross- examine?

DR. SEIDL: I have no questions to ask the witness.

THE PRESIDENT: Then the witness can retire.

Does that conclude your case, Dr. Seidl, or have you got any other evidence to offer?

DR. SEIDL: Yes. First, I have to read into the record the questionnaire of the witness Alfred Hess which arrived in the meantime. The Tribunal has admitted his testimony in the form of a questionnaire. I would then like to refer to various documents in document book No. 3, but before going into that and to conclude today's proceedings, I would like to establish upon the request of the defendant Hess - (this refers to Volume 2 of the document book) - that Lord Simon came

[Page 57]

to the meeting as the official representative of the British Government; I therefore read a few sentences from page 93:
Lord Simon said: " Herr Reichsminister, I was informed that you believe you have come here charged with a mission and that you wished to discuss it with someone who has governmental authority. You know that I am 'Dr. Guthrie' and therefore I come by order of the Government to hear your report and to discuss with you any information which you think should be given the Government."
That was what I wished to state in completion of my reading of the Simon minutes.

THE PRESIDENT: Would you be able to finish tonight if we went on for a few minutes or not?

DR. SEIDL: Mr. President, the answers on this questionnaire are rather long. The witness was cross-examined and I assume that the prosecution also intends to read the particulars of the cross-examination and I do not believe this would be possible today.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well, we will adjourn.

(The Tribunal adjourned until 1000 hours on 26th March, 1946.)

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