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 Eighth Day: Monday, 15th April, 1946
(Part 8 of 10)

[Page 375]

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Dix, the objection to 34 was not that the original wasn't available but that it was a speech by Hitler which was about re-armament and didn't seem to be relevant.

DR. DIX: Yes, that is correct. Thank you very much, Mr. President.

Mr. Dodd, of course, could not recognise the relevancy of the document. Schacht could recognise it, since he alone knows his own inner development. This is a speech of Hitler in which there is a passage which confirmed the slowly developing suspicion on Schacht's part that this policy not only would result in a war of aggression, but that possibly Hitler actually desired the war. This suspicion was particularly roused by this speech made by Hitler in the Reichstag on 28th February, 1938. This speech is an important milestone in presenting Schacht's inner attitude towards Hitler and his policy, beginning with the year 1933, when he was a follower until the turning-point when distrust started, followed

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by opposition which was increased to continuous preparations for revolt. For that reason I believe it is relevant evidence. That is No. 34.

Then there is No. 38. That is the article from the "Basler Nachrichten." In my opinion it is evidence of the greatest importance. At any rate, I shall fight to my very last breath to have that document admitted.

Subject: Before the war - the fight against the war; during the war - the fight against the spreading of the war and the attempts to bring about an early peace.

In 1941 - that is to say, before Russia's entry into the war and before the entry of the United States into this war - Schacht had a conversation with a political economist from the United States, which he did not recollect until an acquaintance sent him the article which had appeared in the "Basler Nachrichten" of 14th January, 1946. He said, "Of course, now I remember. Four years ago, in the spring of 1941, I had this conversation with an American political economist." The name, he has also forgotten now. This conversation shows once more the efforts he made as late as 1941 to prevent any spreading of the war and to make contacts which would serve the purpose he was aiming at, in particular by opening pourparlers with the United States and the men near President Roosevelt.

We have no other evidence to prove the fact that this conversation took place, since we cannot call upon this professor because Schacht has forgotten his name. But it is the professor himself who is anonymously speaking in this newspaper article of 14th January, 1946.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Dix, what is the nature of the conversation which you say is reported in this newspaper?

DR. DIX: It is a fairly long article. Perhaps I may choose at random a few points so that the Tribunal can understand the nature of the conversation. The professor relates in this interview that, at that time, Schacht took an extremely critical attitude towards the National Socialist system of government; and that Schacht pointed out to him the dangers of maintaining such a system, since this would lead to a complete atrophy of intellectual activities. And he continued to tell the professor that this war was entirely senseless and that, when considered from a higher level, it would prove to be senseless and futile even for a victorious Germany. He explained to the professor that every means should be employed to stop the war, because in an orderly world - in a world put in order by a just peace - the governments would automatically become liberal. In the end he suggests, therefore, that an attempt should be made at all costs to establish contacts between the nations, particularly with representative people from the United States, before Russia and America entered the war.

He goes on to regret that Roosevelt - I beg your pardon ... he goes on to name Roosevelt - and his friends - as the very men who could carry out this great task, cleverly and carefully. It is an attempt, your Lordship, similar to the one which appears in the letter to Fraser which I quoted before. Fraser, too, belonged to the closer ... at any rate, let us say, one of these people who had entre to President Roosevelt. It is the last desperate effort on his part, relying on the confidence Roosevelt had in him personally, to bring about peace before it was too late.

Such an attitude is, of course, of extraordinary relevancy in rebutting the charge of aggression and that is why I think that the Tribunal should admit this article as important evidence. We cannot, after all, assume that this professor is not telling the truth. Technically, it might be possible to try to discover his name from the "Basler Nachrichten," but I am afraid that the "Basler Nachrichten" will not disclose the name without making further inquiries from the professor in America. It is questionable whether he will permit his name to be disclosed, and we may have serious difficulties. Since personal experience shows that the professor's report in the "Basler Nachrichten" is true, then why should he not speak the truth here? Moreover, he is a respected man. That is why I think that this

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piece of evidence is equilavent to a personal examination of the professor. Therefore I urge you to admit this document not only for translation but also in evidence. That was Document A 38.

As to Merton - I am perfectly agreeable to sending an interrogatory to Merton, but I believe that this would be a superfluous effort: Actually I need this letter of Merton's only to prove the fact that Lord Montague Norman, on his return from a meeting of the B.I.S. (N.B. Bank for International Settlement.) to England in 1939, told this man Merton - who was a citizen of very high standing in Frankfort-on-Main, belonged to the Metal Corporation (Metallgesellschaft) and later emigrated - that Schacht was in considerable personal danger because of his political attitude. That is the main fact which I want to prove with this letter, and it is contained in the letter. This letter was not written by Merton to me or to Schacht. It is a letter which was addressed to the Solicitor of the Treasury and from there it was given to the prosecution here and the prosecution was kind enough to inform us of the letter. We thought it would be too complicated to have Merton called as a witness. I am perfectly willing to have him interrogated, but I think it would be a more simple and just as reliable a method if the Tribunal permitted me to quote two short passages from that letter. However, I am equally prepared to send an interrogatory to London. That is No. 39.

Regarding No. 43, this is correspondence between Sir Nevile Henderson and the editor of the Diary of the late Ambassador Dodd. It is of the greatest importance in establishing the reliability of the statements in the Dodd Diary from which, not I, but the prosecution has quoted repeatedly, to the detriment of Schacht. In order to prevent any misunderstanding, I should like to emphasise at once that by no means do we question the reliability of the late Ambassador Dodd. Both Dr. Schacht and myself knew him personally and we consider him to be an absolutely honourable man. But the Tribunal knows that this Diary, which was based on sketchy notes made by the Ambassador, was edited by his children after his death. Therefore, it is possible that mistakes may have occurred, bad mistakes. This becomes evident from the correspondence between Sir Nevile Henderson and the editor of the Diary, in which Sir Nevile Henderson points out that a conversation or several conversations, which according to the Diary Dodd is supposed to have had with him, were quoted quite wrongly. I believe there can be no better proof of the unreliability of this Diary, than this correspondence between Sir Nevile Henderson and the editor. Therefore, in order to test the credibility of this evidence which was produced by the prosecution, and to reduce its value to the proper proportion, I ask to have this document admitted in evidence.

Regarding 54 to 61, I do not intend in any way to introduce evidence by means of these documents. It is perfectly agreeable to me if they are not translated, but the idea I had in mind was merely that of making the work of the Tribunal easier. I will examine Schacht with reference to the excerpts of Goering's testimony. If the Tribunal believes that it is not necessary to have these extracts available when they are quoted or if it prefers to use the record only or have the record which is here brought up for use, then. of course it won't be necessary to translate these passages. It is therefore merely a question of what the Tribunal considers to be the most practical way. We have made the extracts and if the Tribunal wishes, they can be translated.

Now there is left only the affidavits. Mr. Dodd did not mention them but I think at the time, when Sir David and I discussed the witnesses and affidavits here in court in open session, the affidavits had already been admitted by the Tribunal. However, reserving the right of the prosecution to ask counter-questions or call the witnesses for cross- examination after having read the documents, that is, of course, its privilege. We have been satisfied with affidavits instead of personal appearances merely in order to save time, but if the prosecution wishes these

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witnesses, from whom we have affidavits, to appear, then, of course, the defence is perfectly agreeable to this.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn now.

(A recess was taken.)

THE PRESIDENT: I will deal first of all with the documents on behalf of the defendant Schacht.

The following documents will be translated:

No. 7, No. 8, No. 9, No. 14, No. 18, No. 33, No. 34, No. 37, No. 38, No. 39 and No. 49.

With reference to Documents 54 to 61 which are already in the record, they will not be translated but Dr. Dix is requested to give references to those documents in his Document Book.

Documents 1 to 6 will not be translated at all.

I meant that the documents which I have not alluded to will be translated - the documents which I have not referred to specifically will be translated.

Now, Dr. Thoma.

DR. THOMA: Mr. President, first of all I am submitting copies of the documents which were granted me this morning and which are from Rosenberg's publications "Tradition and our Present Age," "Writings and Speeches," "Blood and Honour," "Formation of the Idea," and "The Myth of the Twentieth Century," as evidence of the fact that the defendant did not participate in a conspiracy against the peace and in the psychological preparation for war. These excerpts contain speeches which the defendant made before diplomats, before students, before jurists and are meant to prove that on these occasions he fought for social peace, and that, in particular, he did not want the battle of ideologies to result in foreign political enmity. In these speeches he advocated respect for all races, spoke against the propaganda for leaving the church, advocated freedom of conscience and a sensible solution of the Jewish problem, even giving certain advantages to Jews. In particular, he called for equality and justice in this matter. I ask the Tribunal to take official notice of these speeches and with the permission of the Tribunal I call the defendant Rosenberg to the witness stand.

ALFRED ROSENBERG, defendant, took the stand and testified as follows:


Q. Will you state your full name?

A. Alfred Rosenberg.

Q. Will you repeat this oath after me:

I swear by God the Almighty and Omniscient to speak the pure truth and withhold and add nothing?

(Defendant repeated oath.)

THE PRESIDENT: You may sit down.


Q. Herr Rosenberg, will you please give the Tribunal your biographical data?

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Thoma, you have not given your exhibits any exhibit numbers, have you?

DR. THOMA: Yes, I have. That is Ro-7a.

THE PRESIDENT: Oh, they have all been numbered?


THE PRESIDENT: Very well. When you refer to any of the documents you will give them their exhibit number.

DR. THOMA: Yes, indeed.

Q. Will you give the Tribunal your biographical data ...?

THE PRESIDENT: Wait one minute, Dr. Thoma. For the purposes of the record,

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you see, which is contained in the transcript, I think you ought to read out a list of the documents which you are putting in, stating what the exhibit numbers are. Have you got a list there of the documents you are going to offer in evidence?


THE PRESIDENT: Will you just read it into the record?

DR. THOMA: Exhibit Ro-7, "The Myth of the Twentieth Century."


DR. THOMA: Ro-7a "Gestaltung der Idee" (Formation of the Idea), Ro-7b Rosenberg, "Blut und Ehre" (Blood and Hdnour), Ro-7c Rosenberg, "Tradition und Gegenwart" (Tradition and our Present Age), Ro-7d Rosenberg, "Schriften und Reden" (Writings and Speeches) and Ro-8 "Volkischer Beobachter," March and September, 1933.

THE PRESIDENT: That one was excluded by the Tribunal; Nos. 7e and 8 were excluded.

DR. THOMA: I did not cite 7e but Ro-8.

THE PRESIDENT: You cited 8 though.

DR. THOMA: Yes, I mentioned Ro-8 and I beg to apologise.

THE PRESIDENT: No. 8 is excluded too.



Q. Herr Rosenberg, please, give the Tribunal your biographical data.

A. I was born on 12th January, 1893, in Reval in Estonia. After graduating there from High School (Oberrealschule) I began to study architecture in the autumn of 1910 at the institute of Technology at Riga. When the German-Russian front lines approached in 1915, the Institute of Technology, including the professors and students, was evacuated to Moscow and there I continued my studies. In January or February, 1918, I finished my studies, and received a diploma as an engineer and architect and returned to my native city.

When the German troops entered Reval I tried to enlist as a volunteer in the German Army but, because I was a citizen of an occupied country, I was not accepted without special recommendation. Since in the future I did not want to live between the frontiers of several countries, I tried to get to Germany.

To the Baltic Germans, notwithstanding their loyalty toward the Russian State the Homeland of German culture was their intellectual home, and the experience I had had in Russia strengthened my decision to do everything within my power to help to prevent the political movement in Germany from backsliding into Bolshevism. I believed that this latter movement in Germany, because of the sensitive structure of the system of the German Reich, would have been a tremendous catastrophe. At the end of November, 1918, I travelled to Berlin, and from there to Munich. Actually, I wanted to take up my profession as an architect, but in Munich I met people who felt the way I did, and I became a staff member of a weekly journal, which was founded at this time in Munich. I worked on this weekly paper from January, 1918, and have continued to write since that time. I lived in Munich through the development of the political movement until the Rate Republic in 1919 and its liquidation.

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