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

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
27th May to 6th June, 1946

One Hundred and Forty-Second Day: Thursday, 30th May, 1946
(Part 1 of 10)

[Page 132]

DR. EXNER (Counsel for the defendant Jodl): Mr. President, I should like to put a request to you. My client comes next in order and he would like to be excused, if possible, this afternoon and all day tomorrow, so that he can prepare his case.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, certainly.

THE MARSHAL: May it please the Tribunal, the report is made that the defendant von Papen is absent.




Q. Defendant Sauckel, I was asking you yesterday whether you considered that Germany's foreign policy should be determined according to the Hitlerian theories as to living space and the Master Race.

A. May I ask you to repeat the question? I did not quite understand it.

Q. I was asking you yesterday if you considered that the foreign policy of Germany should be determined according to the two Hitlerian theories, "Lebensraum" and "Master Race."

A. I understood whether German foreign policy should have been determined according to the principles of "Lebensraum" and the "Superior Race."

Q. Yes, I am asking you to answer whether, in your opinion, it should have been so.

A. Not according to the principle of the "Superior Race." I should like to be permitted to give an explanation of this. I, personally, have never approved of the statements made by some of the National Socialist speakers about a "Superior Race" and a "Master Race." I have never advocated that. As a young man I travelled about the world. I travelled in Australia and in America, and I made some contacts which I count among my best memories, but I loved my own people and sought for them, and this I admit, equality of rights, and I have always stood for that. I have never believed in the superiority of one particular race, but I always held that equality of rights was necessary.

Q. That being so, you did not approve of the whole of the foreign policy of Hitler, and you did not collaborate with it?

A. In answer to the question by my counsel, I stated that I never considered myself to be one to formulate foreign policy. I entered the Party through quite another door and for quite different motives.

Q. Do you remember the declaration which you made on 4th September, 1945, to two American officers?

M. HERZOG: This declaration is Document PS-3057. It was submitted as Exhibit USA 223.

[Page 133]


You said the following:-

"(1) I have been a convinced National Socialist since 1921 and adhered 100 per cent to the programme of Adolf Hitler. I have worked actively to that end, and during the period from 1921 until the assumption of power in 1933 I made about 500 speeches, the sense and content of which represented the National Socialist philosophy. It was for me a particular satisfaction to have elevated the Gau of Thuringia to a predominant position, as regards its National Socialist capacity and aspirations. There was no doubt in my mind, for I never questioned the commands of Hitler. Up to the time of the crash, I obeyed his orders blindly."
THE PRESIDENT: You are going a little bit too fast. This has been read, M. Herzog. I do not think you need read all of it.


Q. I would ask you then, defendant Sauckel, if you confirm the declarations which were made under oath and voluntarily and without any duress on 4th September, 1945, and which are in contradiction with those that you made yesterday and which you have just made to me.

A. I confirm that my signature is appended to this document. I ask the Tribunal's permission to tell how that signature came about.

This document was presented to me in its finished form. I asked that I might read and study this document in my cell in Oberursel and decide whether I could sign it. That was denied me. During the conversation an officer was called in. This officer told me that he belonged to the Polish or Russian army, and said that if I hesitated too long in signing this document, I would be handed over to the Russian authorities. Then this Polish or Russian officer entered and asked "Where is Sauckel's family? We know Sauckel of course and we will take him with us, but his family will have to be taken into Russian territory as well." I am the father of ten children. I did not ponder long about it and, thinking of my family, I signed this document.

When I returned to my cell, I sent a written message to the commandant of the camp, and asked to talk with him alone on this matter. But that was not possible, because shortly afterwards I was brought to Nuremberg.

Q. Your signature is at the end of this document in which you declared that you "made the above declarations voluntarily and without any duress"?

A. That is correct, but in this situation -

Q. I think your explanation is sufficient.

THE PRESIDENT: Will you ask him whether he read it, has now read it, and whether it is true.


Q. I asked you a few moments ago, and I ask you now: Are you ready to confirm that your statements are correct?

A. These statements are not correct in the details on individual points, and I asked that I might correct these various points, but I was not given the time to do that.

On the last morning before I came to Nuremberg, I was told I could discuss this matter in Nuremberg, and when I was interrogated here I told the American officer about that matter.

THE PRESIDENT: M. Herzog, was this document read to the Tribunal by the prosecution?

M. HERZOG: This document was submitted under Exhibit USA 223.

DR. SERVATIUS (Counsel for the defendant Sauckel): Mr. President, as far as I recall, this document was not submitted. At the time I had a conversation

[Page 134]

with the American representative of the prosecution and told him about these objections. He did not bring it up at a later session because of these objections and the President himself, at the conclusion of this, asked whether this document would not be produced, and the prosecutor said, "No, having talked it over with the defence, I will dispense with this document."

THE PRESIDENT: Well, you tell us that it was not read over in court.

DR. SERVATIUS: No, it was not read in court. I would like to object to the admissibility of this document, for it was given under duress.

THE PRESIDENT: Under these circumstances, M. Herzog, you may cross-examine in what way you like upon the document. The Tribunal was under the impression that it had already been read over. That is why they stopped you reading it.


Q. In paragraph 2 you declared:

"After the putting into effect of the Nuremberg Laws, I took necessary measures for carrying out those laws in the Gau of Thuringia."
Paragraph 4:
"I agreed with all the decisions taken by Hitler and the NSDAP concerning the means to be used and the measures to be taken to obtain these ends, and I collaborated actively in the execution of this plan."
A. I could not follow your concluding sentences.

Q. I will read it once more:

"I agreed with all the decisions taken by Hitler and the NSDAP concerning the means to be used and the measures to be taken to obtain these ends, and I collaborated actively in the execution of this plan."
I ask you to confirm that you made these statements.

A. I certainly would not have made those statements in the way I did if I had been able to act freely and according to my own will.

Q. Is it a fact that you were appointed -

THE PRESIDENT (interposing): M. Herzog, the Tribunal thinks that the document is before the witness and he should be asked to point out in what way he says the document is wrong.


Q. Defendant Sauckel, you heard what the President has said. You say that this document does not coincide with the truth. Will you kindly tell the Tribunal in what way it does not?

A. I should like to take this document point by point. I was 100 per cent for the social programme and I told my counsel that when he examined me.

THE PRESIDENT: Defendant, what the Tribunal wishes is that you should take the document and point out, sentence by sentence, what is wrong in it.

THE WITNESS: In paragraph 1, the year 1921 is incorrect. I became a member, as my first membership card shows, in 1923 or 1925. Before the year 1923, I was a sympathiser with the ideas of the Party.

As far as 100 per cent agreement with Adolf Hitler is concerned, I meant "100 per cent" in this way; in so far as the programme appeared to be justified legally and constitutionally and according to ethics and morality.

Just how many meetings I conducted, I cannot say. My speeches and lectures, in the main, were based on my life and on my experiences. Those were the only things that I could talk about, and I wanted to bring about a reconciliation between the German trades and the German professions according to National Socialist ideology.

THE PRESIDENT: Defendant, I have pointed out to you that what the Tribunal desires is for you to take the document and say what sentences in it are wrong, and not to make speeches.

[Page 135]

THE WITNESS: In my eyes, all of the sentences are wrong. I would not have put them that way if I myself had been able to formulate them. The way they stand, I dispute each and every sentence, for I did not write them and I was not consulted. These sentences were shown to me as they are now.

DR. SERVATIUS: Mr. President, if I may be permitted to give an explanation of this matter. This statement is a resume of all the interrogations, in which the various points represent a confession in the sense of the Indictment. The defendant could not say a word in his own defence if this were correct. Since it is a resume, and since conclusions can be drawn from it, he must have the opportunity of refuting these conclusions, and that necessitates a statement. These are not definite facts which can be answered with yes or no.

THE PRESIDENT: The defendant has just said that the whole document is wrong, and he has also said that the document was obtained from him under duress.


THE PRESIDENT: And it is therefore not any use to go through it in detail. But the Tribunal would like to hear from the American prosecution if they have anything to say about the matter.

MR. DODD: I have not a copy of the document before me in English, but I -

THE PRESIDENT (interposing): You see, Mr. Dodd, M. Herzog has said that it was offered in evidence under the exhibit number USA 223.

MR. DODD: My recollection is that - I will check the record, Mr. President - my recollection is that in the presentation of the case on slave labour, we included this in our document book, but did not offer it in evidence. I think I told the Tribunal at the time that we had decided not to offer it. It had been printed and put in the document book.

My memory may be faulty, but my recollection is, Mr. President, that the President of the Tribunal asked me if I did not intend to offer it, and I then stated that we had thought it over and decided not to use it.

THE PRESIDENT: I do not understand how it gets an exhibit number if it is not offered in evidence.

MR. DODD: I do not either. I think it is an error.

THE PRESIDENT: I see. Mr. Dodd, do you know whether this is a resume or a summary of a number of interrogations which were taken?

MR. DODD: My understanding is to the contrary. I think it was taken before the defendant Sauckel was in Nuremberg and before any interrogations were conducted on the part of the Interrogation Division of the American prosecution.

THE PRESIDENT: Were you aware Dr. Servatius was objecting to the document on the ground that it was obtained under duress?

MR. DODD: My recollection is that at the time of the presentation of the Slave Labour case Dr. Servatius made some objection and I think that is what brought the matter up at that time; and that is why we did not use it.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well. Then you had better pass from it.


Q. You were appointed Plenipotentiary for Labour by an ordinance of 21st March, 1942?

A. Yes, that is correct.

Q. Is it correct to say that this decree was countersigned by your co-defendant Keitel? .

[Page 136]

A. The decree, I believe, was countersigned three times. I believe that is right. At the moment I cannot confirm it with certainty.

Q. Would you kindly explain to the Tribunal under what circumstances you were appointed to that office?

A. I answered that question when it was put to me by my counsel yesterday. It was a surprise to me.

Q. Did Speer, the Reich Minister for Armaments, have anything to do with your appointment?

A. I cannot tell you that from my own knowledge. In Bormann's announcement it said at the suggestion of Speer, but I cannot tell you this from my own knowledge.

Q. Do you recollect having made any statement on that subject in your interrogation in September, 1945?

A. At this moment I cannot remember the statement.

Q. On 12th September, 1945, you were interrogated by Major Monigan, and you appear to have stated the following-the Tribunal will find this on the first page in the extracts of the interrogatory, which has been handed them.

"In March, 1942, I was summoned rather suddenly by Minister Speer who had been appointed a short while previously. Speer told me that it was urgent that I should assume -
THE PRESIDENT: Could you move away those papers from the light, you cannot see the light which is constantly going on.

(A short interruption.)

Q. (resuming). " ... Speer told me that it was urgent that I should assume new functions concerning the matter of manpower. A few days later he asked me to go with him to the General Headquarters and I was introduced into the presence of the Fuehrer, who told me that I should not fail to accept this new appointment which was offered to me."
Do you confirm that statement?

A. It is correct. However, I cannot say whether that was before a decision - whether my appointment was arranged before these meetings through the initiative of some other gentlemen; but except for that, the facts are correct.

Q. But you confirm that the defendant Speer, Minister for Armament and Munitions, took you to the Fuehrer Headquarters on the occasion of your appointment.

A. Yes, that is correct.

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