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

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
4th April to 15th April, 1946

One Hundred and Third Day: Tuesday, 9th April, 1946
(Part 12 of 12)

[COLONEL POKROVSKY continues his cross examination of Hans Heinrich Lammers]

[Page 184]

Q. Very well; and how do you explain the fact that Keitel was signing directives or orders like this one concerning general governmental matters of the Reich and not military matters in particular? How do you explain this? Why should it be signed by Hitler, Keitel and Lammers?

A. This was a Fuehrer decree; and Fuehrer decrees were attested by myself and also signed by Keitel, as Chief of the O.K.W., if the Wehrmacht was in any way interested. They might also be signed by Bormann as a third member if Party interests were involved. That caused Bormann's signature ...

Q. Bormann's signature is not here. It is signed by Hitler, Keitel and Lammers. Is that right?

A. It was signed first by Keitel because it dealt with the occupied regions in the East.

Q. In other words, Keitel was responsible for all legislation in occupied territories; is that so? Do you hear my question? Was the defendant Keitel responsible for all legal measures in occupied territories? Do you hear my question?

A. The signature does not involve any responsibility ...

Q. Then why his signature and what was the purpose of his signature? Just for decorative purposes?

A. Since he was interested or concerned in the matter, he attested that, along with us, but to speak of responsibility ...

Q. You should know better than anybody else about it - all the more since it is not quite clear why there was any necessity to have his signature on the document; and his signature is right above your signature. What is the matter?

A. It was probably assumed that this decree would affect Wehrmacht interests. Field Marshal Keitel must know better than I do why he also signed it.

Q. You read this document and you can see very well for yourself that the Armed Forces are not affected by it. I have two more questions for you. You testified today that Seyss-Inquart received S.S. rank and uniform but he did not have the rights of a commander of the S.S. Is that correct?

A. Yes, that is correct.

Q. Well, then, should one conclude after this that the title of policeman and the police uniform was really an honorary distinction in the Reich? Was it not?

A. Seyss-Inquart did not belong to the police but to the general S.S.

Q. But the S.S. was actually being used for police measures, wasn't that so?

A. No, the general S.S. had no police assignments. That is not correct. And the S.S. uniform was a special distinction in the Reich.

Q. And the uniform of the S.S. was really quite a distinction in the Reich, wasn't it? He received his uniform as a sort of reward for certain work he had done?

A. Yes.

Q. Now, I want to ask you one last question.

A. It was not always a reward for exceptional service, but certain leading personages in the Reich received

[Page 185]

Q. I am satisfied with your answer and I don't need any further details. Now, I want to ask you one last question. On 17th January, the defendant Keitel sent an application to the Tribunal to have you brought in as a witness. He stated in his application that you could testify here before the Tribunal that he, Keitel, as the head of the Armed Forces, along with the military agencies under his charge in the occupied territories, were acting in opposition to Rosenberg's plunder squads and that their arrest was ordered. You, as a matter of fact, were called before the Tribunal to answer that question and for some unknown reason that was the only question not asked you. I would like you to answer this question now. What do you know about the struggle of Keitel and the Armed Forces against Rosenberg's looting squads, as Keitel calls them?

A. I know only that Rosenberg was commissioned to buy up art treasures and that he was also commissioned to obtain furnishings in the occupied territories of the West which were needed for the offices in the East. He received this assignment in his capacity of Minister of the Reich.

Q. Witness, evidently you misunderstood me. Wait a moment. Now, we are not talking about Rosenberg; but I am asking you what you know about the Armed Forces, in regard to Keitel's application, and about their fight against Rosenberg's looting squads. Do you understand my question? Do you know anything at all about this or do you know nothing?

A. No, I know nothing about that.

Q. All right, I am quite satisfied.

COLONEL POKROVSKY: I have no further questions to ask the witness.

THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Pokrovsky, in order to be accurate I understood you to say with reference to that document that you were putting to the witness just now, of 2nd June, 1941, that this document had no reference to military authority. But paragraph 2 of it says:

"To achieve this end he (that is Goering) may give direct orders to the respective military authorities in the occupied territories."
Therefore, it is not accurate to say that the document does not refer to the military authority at all.

COLONEL POKROVSKY: I suppose that the Tribunal remembers the testimony which was given here in regard to the circumstances under which Keitel signed general directives and general laws. He explained it by saying that all these orders and directives were of an operational staff character.

In this particular case, the question concerns governmental significance of the document and has really no bearing on military matters.

THE PRESIDENT: I do not want to argue with you. I only want to point out it was not accurate to say that the document did not refer to military matters at all.

Dr. Nelte, do you want to re-examine?

DR. NELTE: Mr. President, I should be grateful if the Soviet Prosecutor would make clear his last question to the witness. He has stated that the defendant Keitel called Lammers as a witness to the fact that he, Keitel, had opposed the efforts made by Rosenberg's special staff in the Eastern territories. Did I understand him correctly? Perhaps the translation from German into Russian was not very good.

THE PRESIDENT: I am not sure that I understood the question but I understood the. witness was not able to answer it, but I do not think it can be of very great importance. The witness was not able to answer the question.

DR. NELTE: No, I thought that the Soviet Prosecutor meant that Dr. Lammers had been called as a witness to give certain evidence and I did not ask the witness any such question. I only want to make it clear that this is not the case; otherwise I have no query on the matter, nor have I personally any further questions to put to the witness on behalf of the defendant Keitel.

THE PRESIDENT: I do not think the Tribunal thinks that it is necessary for you to

[Page 186]

go into that. You have covered the ground fully in your examination-in-chief. Then, Dr. Nelte, have you any other witnesses to call?

DR. NELTE: I can finish in half an hour to-morrow morning. I have no further witnesses to examine.


Q. I would like to ask you two or three questions about the Reich Cabinet.

You said the first meeting was on 30th January, 1933, and the last was in November, 1937. Were there any other meetings in 1937?

A. No, the Cabinet meetings were not replaced by any other meetings.

Q. I did not ask you that. Would you listen?

You said there was a meeting in November, 1937. Were there any other meetings in the year 1937?

A. Yes, there were some before that. There were some Cabinet meetings but not very many. There were comparatively few in 1937.

Q. How many would you say in 1937?

A. How many? There might have been five or six Cabinet meetings. I don't think there were more.

Q. Do you know how many there were in -

A. There may not have been so many.

Q. Do you know how many there were in 1936?

A. There were rather more Cabinet meetings then, but not so many as at the beginning in 1933 and 1934.

Q. That is enough, thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, Dr. Laternser?

DR. LATERNSER (counsel for the High Command): Mr. President, I have no questions to put to the witness but I simply wanted to interpose a few remarks on the following matter.

My colleague, Dr. Nelte, has dispensed with the examination of further witnesses. By so doing he has dispensed with General Halder, among others; and, of course, he is entitled to do so, although in dispensing with the examination of the witness Halder, he is encroaching on my rights. The Tribunal will recall that when a written statement by the witness Halder was submitted, the Tribunal ...

THE PRESIDENT: Doctor, if Dr. Nelte does not call General Halder then you can apply to call him yourself and the matter will be considered. Presumably you have already asked for him and you have been referred to the fact that he has been specified by Dr. Nelte. Now, Dr. Nelte has not called him. You can renew your application, if you want to, in writing.

DR. LATERNSER: Mr. President, I do not believe that that point of view is quite correct. When the written statement was presented by the Soviet Prosecution it was stated, upon objection by the defence, that the witness Halder should be called for cross-examination and, in agreement with my other colleagues, I changed this so that Halder would be heard during the proceedings for the defendant Keitel. Dispensing with this witness will encroach upon my rights. I believe, consequently, that I have a right to ask that the witness be put at my disposal for interrogation.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Laternser, we will consider the matter of General Halder and let you know in the morning. It is five o'clock now.


DR. SEIDL (counsel for the defendant Frank): Mr. President, I should have liked to ask the witness some questions which have been made necessary by the cross-examination and which touch on certain questions ...

THE PRESIDENT: You cannot do it tonight at any rate. We will consider it and let you know tomorrow morning but you cannot do it tonight.

DR. SEIDL: I simply wanted to bring it up so that the witness would still be at hand tomorrow.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well, he shall be at hand.

[Page 187]

MR. DODD: Your Lordship, if I may have one minute of the Tribunal's time, Justice Jackson asked me to bring to the attention of the Tribunal for its information these facts apropos of the discussion of this morning.

We have received from Colonel Dostert the original transcript which was handed to him by Dr. Thoma, and it shows that there was a red line drawn in the margin beside the passage which was translated and mimeographed and included in the document book. Dr. Thoma this morning felt that he had not underlined it and he also felt that there was undoubtedly a mistake in the translation, and Colonel Dostert tells us that there is no mistake in the translation and that it was underlined.

THE PRESIDENT: Well now, Dr. Nelte, we should like to know what your position is about General Westhoff, and, I think it is, Obergruppenfuehrer Wielen, or some such name. You were given the opportunity of calling those witnesses and we understand you do not desire to do so.

DR. NELTE: Gentlemen of the Tribunal, I think that the cross- examination has made it clear that the prosecution has abandoned the original charge against Keitel, namely that he issued an order - or transmitted an order from Hitler - to the effect that the fifty Royal Air Force officers should be shot.

Sir David Maxwell Fyfe confronted the defendant with the four points on which he based his charge against the defendant Keitel in connection with this case; and the defendant admitted these four points.

Since I named General Westhoff as a witness only to testify that Keitel did not issue the order and he did not pass it on, and as Westhoff was not present at the conference at the Obersalzberg and has no first-hand knowledge, there is no further need for me to call this witness.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Nelte, you, of course, are to decide whether you call him or not. But unless Sir David Maxwell Fyfe says that he has withdrawn any charge against Keitel I do not think that you ought to refrain from calling him on the ground that a charge has been abandoned. There has not been any express abandonment of any charge. Subject to anything that Sir David Maxwell Fyfe says I should not have thought that that would be a good reason for not calling him, but it is entirely a matter for you.

Yes, Sir David.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, there is no abandonment of any charge. In fact, the prosecution stands by what is stated by General Westhoff in his statement which I put to the defendant Keitel. That is the evidence for the prosecution and the prosecution stands by that as it is put in.

DR. NELTE: May I ask whether the prosecution wishes to assert that General Westhoff has testified that Keitel did issue this order or transmit it?

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Nelte, you have seen the document which contains an excerpt of the statement by General Westhoff. You therefore know what he says in that statement. The Tribunal, subject to what counsel desires to address to it on the subject, proposes to call General Westhoff itself in order to hear him testify to the statement and whether he adheres to his statement. And also Wielen. Wielen's evidence, of course, is principally against the, defendant Kaltenbrunner.

DR. NELTE: Then may I also ask the prosecution to submit to the Tribunal the affidavit deposed by General Westhoff with regard to this matter, so as to make clear ...

THE PRESIDENT: When you say affidavit, do you mean the statement?

DR. NELTE: No. I mean the affidavit, not an unsworn statement. So far, the prosecution has dealt only with statements not made under oath. In addition to these, however, Colonel Williams required and received an affidavit from the witness Westhoff, and this affidavit contains a precise statement from Westhoff to the effect that he does not wish to say and never has said that Keitel ever issued or transmitted any such order.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: I have no affidavit. I have checked with Mr. Roberts

[Page 188]

and we have not got one. There were two interrogations, if my recollection is correct, one which was early and one on 2nd November. There were two interrogations, one of which I put in. They are in Dr. Nelte's document book. I have no affidavit. If I had, of course I should produce it at once. I don't know where Dr. Nelte got the information, but certainly no affidavit has ever been brought to my attention.

THE PRESIDENT: The only thing the Tribunal has got is a statement made by General Westhoff and a certain gentleman whose name I have forgotten. Oh yes, Brigadier Shapcott. The course which the Tribunal proposes to take is to call General Westhoff and to ask him whether his statement made in that document is accurate and also true.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFF: The prosecution has not the slightest objection to that.

THE PRESIDENT: The Marshal will have General Westhoff and also Wielen - they will be here tomorrow morning at 10.00 o'clock.


THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will now adjourn.

(The Tribunal adjourned until 10th April, 1946, at 10.00 hours.)

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