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

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
16th April to 1st May, 1946

One-Hundred-and-Eighteenth Day: Wednesday, 1st May, 1946
(Part 7 of 10)

[Page 427]

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: I would like to say that I should have told the Tribunal I would make no objection to Documents 53 and 54, because they do deal with the chartering of Greek steamers by the British Government.

THE PRESIDENT: But you made no objection to them; you did not object to 53 or 54.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: I wanted to make clear that I do not object to them.

THE PRESIDENT: There is no objection on the paper. What you are dealing with, Dr. Siemers, is 63 and 64, not 53 and 54?

Oh, I beg your pardon, I see it further on. Yes, I see. will you please strike that out.

DR. SIEMERS : There is no objection to 53 and 54?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: No, no objection. My Lord, my friend was dealing with the Greek fleet.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes; I beg your pardon, I misheard.

DR. SIEMERS: The same things, as I have already stated regarding Documents 101 and 107, apply also to Document 71.

[Page 428]

Number 99 belongs really to Group 6, to the Norwegian documents, and I should like to refer to these collectively and then refer again later to 99. All these documents concern Norway, that is, the planning by the Allies with respect to Norway. These documents deal positively with the planning of the landing in Narvik, the landing in Stavanger, the landing in Bergen and the absolute necessity of having Norwegian bases. The documents mention that Germany should not be allowed to continue getting ore supplies from Sweden. They also deal in some measure with Finland - there are likewise documents which support the same plan after the Finnish-Russian war had already been concluded.

I should like to quote from these documents to prove their relevancy. Since the Tribunal has told me that I cannot do that, I ask that these brief references be considered sufficient. The facts contained in these documents agree, point for point, with those reports which Grand Admiral Raeder received from September, 1939, until March, 1940, from the Intelligence Service of the German Wehrmacht, which was headed by Admiral Canaris. These plans agree with the information which Raeder received during the same six months through the Naval Attache in Oslo, Lieutenant Commander Schreiber, and with the information which he received in a letter from Admiral Carls at the end of September, 1939.

The information from these three sources caused the defendant Raeder to point out the great danger, if Norway were to fall into the hands of the Allies, which would mean that Germany had lost the war. Therefore, that is a purely strategic consideration. The occupation of Norway did not, as contended by the British Prosecution, have anything to do with the prestige or desire for conquest, but was concerned solely with these positive pieces of information.

I must therefore prove, first of all, that the defendant Raeder did receive this information and, secondly, that these reports were objective.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Siemers, you are dealing with 99, are you not?

DR. SIEMERS: Yes, 99, and all of Group 6.

THE PRESIDENT: I don't know what you mean by Group 6; 99 is in Group B.

DR. SIEMERS: The group under the letter "I", which Sir David called Group 6, the last on the page.

THE PRESIDENT: The objection of the prosecution to that document was that it was a document of 27 April, 1940, at a time after Germany had invaded Norway. You have not said anything about that.

DR. SIEMERS: I wanted to avoid dealing with each document singly, because I believe that these can be treated generally. However, in this specific case ...

THE PRESIDENT: I do not want you to deal with each document separately. I thought you were dealing with Document 99. If you can deal with them in groups, by all means do so. However, you are taking up a great deal of the Tribunal's time.

DR. SIEMERS: This document, number 99, is the minutes of the ninth meeting of the Supreme Council, that is, the military operational staff of England and France on 27 April. Beyond a doubt the heading shows that it was after the occupation of Norway. However, that is only a formal objection. The contents of the document show that at this session the participants discussed the happenings during the period before the occupation, and the most important leaders of the Allies took part in this meeting. Chamberlain, Halifax, Churchill, Sir Samuel Hoare, Sir Alexander Cadogan, etc., and, on the French side, Renault, Daladier, Gamelin and Darlan were present, and these gentlemen discussed the previous plans which, I admit, had misfired because of the German occupation of Norway. But they did discuss how necessary it was that the iron-ore deposits in Sweden should come into the hands of the

[Page 429]

Allies and what was to be done now to prevent Germany getting this ore and how the destruction of these iron-ore deposits could be brought about. I believe, therefore, that even though this happened at a later date, the train of thought I have presented is of significance.

Then we turn to Document 100. This deals with the session of the French War Committee of 9 April, 1940, which concerns the same problem: what the Allies planned and what could be planned now that the report had just come in about the action on the part of Germany. Documents 102 to 107 have already been dealt with.

For Document 110 the same statements apply as for Documents 101 to 107.

Document 112 is a document which shows that Churchill as early as May, 1940, expected active intervention on the part of America. I wanted to present this in connection with the accusation raised against the defendant Raeder, that in the spring of 1941 he was instrumental in bringing about a war against the U.S.A. by way of Japan. For me this document is not nearly so important as those basic documents which I have referred to at greater length. Therefore I leave this completely to the discretion of the prosecution or the Tribunal.

The next group consists of documents which were turned down in the case of Ribbentrop. I should like to point out that I did not have the opportunity in the Ribbentrop case to define my position as to the justification and relevancy of these documents. Therefore I consider it sufficient simply to state in summary that these documents were refused in the case of Ribbentrop, that the charges against Ribbentrop ...

THE PRESIDENT: We have already carefully considered the arguments and have decided those documents were inadmissible.

DR. SIEMERS: I believed, that the decision applied only to the Ribbentrop case, since during those proceedings no other point of view was discussed, namely, that of the charges raised against Raeder, in which connection it is expressly said in Document C-152 that Raeder brought about the occupation of the whole of Greece. That is an accusation that was not made against Ribbentrop but only against Raeder. How can I refute this accusation if these documents are denied me?

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Siemers, the Tribunal knows the documents and knows the charges against Raeder, and it does not desire to hear any further argument on it. It will consider the matter.

DR. SIEMERS: I beg the pardon of the Tribunal. In these circumstances I am compelled to ascertain whether all these documents were covered in Ribbentrop's case. My notes, as I told the prosecution this morning, do not agree with the statements of the prosecution. Perhaps after the session, if I am unable to do so at the moment, I might point out whether or not the documents are identical.

It is really a fact that in Ribbentrop's case these documents were not presented in their entirety and that the Tribunal, therefore, does not know them in their entirety. Whether Dr. Horn had marked exactly the same passages as I wish to use, I am not able to say as far as each individual document is concerned. I know only that in the large majority of cases Dr. Horn did not present the entire document, because he was presenting it only from the point of view of the Ribbentrop case.

THE PRESIDENT: Presumably you have submitted your extracts to the prosecution. The prosecution tells us that those extracts are the same that were rejected in Ribbentrop's case.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, we have only a list of those documents so far. We have not seen the extracts.

(Brief consultation between Sir David and an associate.)

My Lord, I am sorry. I spoke too quickly. We have seen the extracts in

[Page 430]

German but we have not had them translated. We have done the best we could in German.

THE PRESIDENT: 24 and 25, at any rate, are both speeches in English.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: Yes, my Lord, some of them are. I am sorry, my Lord; these are. Your Lordship is quite right.

THE PRESIDENT: Sir David, as I understand it, Dr. Siemers says that these are not the same passages of evidence, or suggested evidence, as were rejected in Ribbentrop's case.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, I did not do the actual checking myself. It was Major Barrington who checked the Ribbentrop documents, went through these and compared the two, and he gave me that which forms the basis of our note. That is the position. I cannot tell your Lordship that I have actually checked these myself.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, Dr. Siemers is telling us that that is untrue?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: As I understood Dr. Siemers, he was saying that he did not know whether they were the same extracts . . .

DR. SIEMERS: May I just make one remark in connection with that, please? I am not quite certain that I can say in each specific case which extracts were contained in the Ribbentrop case. But that they are not the same - I know for certain that they are not the same because in order to relieve the work of the translation department I compared the numbers, and in the few cases in which they were the same I told the translation department that these documents were identical, so that they would not be translated a second time. But I am sorry to say that a large number of the documents were not the same, as they were asked for by Dr. Horn and Ribbentrop from a completely different point of view.

I might also point out that the numbers under Group D which are enumerated here as Ribbentrop Documents 29, 51, 56, 57, 60, 61, 62, although I made every effort to find them, could not be found in the Ribbentrop Document Book. And the list does not show which numbers they should be in the Ribbentrop Document Book.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, that is not suggested. What is said is that they are in the same series which deals with the same subject - that is, the question of Greece and the Balkans - as those documents which the Tribunal ruled out in the case of Ribbentrop.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, Dr. Siemers, I think the best course would be for you to go through these documents this afternoon under the heading C and find out whether they are the same as those rejected in Ribbentrop's case, and if they are not, indicate exactly in what they differ from the documents rejected in Ribbentrop's case, so as to show they have some relevance to your case, and we shall expect to have that by five o'clock.

Now will you go on with the others?

DR. SIEMERS: May I perhaps make one remark about what Sir David said regarding Group "13"? They were not objected to because they have already been mentioned in Ribbentrop's case, but only because they deal with the same subject matter, that is true. The same subject matter, namely, Greece, is dealt with: and I can only reply that the prosecution has charged the defendant Raeder in C-152 with having brought about the occupation of the whole of Greece. The facts concerning this statement of three lines I can present only if I am allowed some documents referring to Greece, and only if these are not refused on the grounds that the documents concerning Greece were turned down in Ribbentrop's case.

Now, I come to Group "E", which begins with Document 26. The same statements apply which I have already set forth in regard to Documents 101 to 107. The attacks planned by the Allies on the oil regions in neutral Roumania and in the neutral Caucasus, as I should like to remark in parenthesis, have

[Page 431]

already been dealt with in these proceedings. The Tribunal will remember that I asked Goering during his examination about entries in Jodl's war diary pertaining to this question and that he has given information about the reports received by Germany. This testimony, too, concerns only the subjective side, that is what was known by Germany. I must prove that the objective side, the fact that this had actually been planned, agrees exactly with the subjective side, that is, with these reports. These Documents, 26, 30 to 32, 36, 37, 39, 40 to 44, are to prove that. Then comes No. 99, which has already been dealt with, which seems to be here in duplicate, 101, and 110, which also seem to be duplicates.

I turn now to Group 6, which is supposed to be irrelevant, dealing with the attack on Norway. I have already set forth my reasons. I beg the Tribunal not to deny me these documents in any circumstances. If I am not granted these documents I shall simply not be in a position to present evidence in a reasonable manner without relating everything myself. I can present proof in regard to a question of such importance only if documents are granted me just as they are granted the prosecution. But if all the documents concerning this question are refused, then I do not know how I am to treat such a question. I believe that the Tribunal will wish to assist me in this matter.

I am requesting this especially for the following reasons: When I gave my reasons for wanting to present this particular evidence, I asked that those files of the British Admiralty be brought in which dealt with the preparations and planning regarding Scandinavia, that is, Norway. Sir David did not object at that time, but said he would have to consult the British Admiralty. The Tribunal decided accordingly and granted my application. In the meantime the British Admiralty has answered, and I assume that Sir David will agree to my reading the answer which has been put at my disposal. This answer is as follows - it concerns, if I may say that in advance ...

THE PRESIDENT: We have had the answer, I think, have we not? We have had the answer and transmitted it to you.

DR. SIEMERS: Thank you very much. From this reply it can be seen that the files will not be submitted, that I cannot get the necessary approval. It can also be seen that certain facts, which will be important for my presentation of evidence, will be admitted by the British Admiralty, but in reality I am not in a position to prove anything by means of documents. Since I am unable to make use of this evidence, I ask at least to be allowed the other means of presenting evidence, that is, the documents contained in the German White Books. These are documents recognised as being correct. In all cases they are facsimiles. They can be carefully examined and I believe ...

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Siemers, we are dealing with your application for particular documents. We are not dealing with any general argument or general criticism that you have to make. We are only hearing you in answer to certain objections on behalf of the British Prosecution.

DR. SIEMERS: Your Honour, if I am not very much mistaken, in which case please correct me, Sir David, with a few exceptions, defined his position regarding these documents under "F" - this is a large number, from 59 to 91 - as a whole, and not his position regarding each individual document. But I have to say the same thing to practically each document and asked only that I be granted those documents as a whole, for I cannot make much headway without these documents.

THE PRESIDENT: You were not referring to these documents. You were referring to the fact that the British Admiralty was not prepared to disclose its files to you. It has nothing to do with these documents at all.

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