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-Eighth Day: Thursday, 6th June, 1946
(Part 4 of 12)

[MR. ROBERTS continues his cross examination of ALFRED JODL]

[Page 387]

Q. Well, please do not worry yourself. I know I am stopping you, but I apprehend that I am stopping you from saying something quite irrelevant, and in the interest of time I regard it as my duty to stop you. Please do not worry about why I should do something. I want to know whether that document roughly represents what you said in the speech. It is quite a different thing to being in a waste paper basket.

A. The introduction and the conclusion, as contained here in the first draft was, of course, basically retained in the speech in this form. However, the whole speech was only finally worked out on the basis of this first draft; it was shortened, changed, parts were crossed out and mistakes were eliminated. And only then came the main part of the speech for which only the material is here. There is no proof, and I am not in a position to say whether I actually spoke even one sentence of the matter in the form in which it is found in the first draft.

Q. Very good; I will accept that.

A. If you give me a copy of my actual speech I will recognize it.

Q. That is all we can give you, witness, because that is all we found.

THE PRESIDENT: I think we might as well adjourn now.

MR. ROBERTS: If your Lordship pleases.

(A recess was taken.)

DR. EXNER: (Counsel for Defendant Jodl): Mr. President, I should like to call attention to the following: When my client was interrogated here, he was heard through an interpreter, since he does not understand the English language. On the basis of this testimony of his, the minutes were, as I have just heard, set down in the English language. These minutes he never saw and he did not sign them. And now these minutes, which were compiled in English, are submitted, to him in a German translation. In my opinion it is quite impossible, under such circumstances, to tie the defendant down to specific words which are contained in the minutes. He abides by what he said, but he cannot recognize everything that is in those minutes when -

THE PRESIDENT: That is true. We will keep these facts in mind. The Tribunal will keep these facts in mind, if you will draw them to their attention.

MR. ROBERTS: If it please the Tribunal, I am passing from that point. The witness, I think, said the document was the basis of his speech, and I accept that answer and I pass to another point.

Would you please give the witness his diary, Document 1780-PS, German 113-PC. And it is Page 133 in the large Document Book.

[Page 388]


Q. Witness, I think you have seen this entry. My Lord, it is the 5th of November, 1937, I am dealing with:

"Fuehrer develops his ideas about intentions for future course and conduct of policy"; Page 133 of the large book.
THE PRESIDENT: When you say "large book," you mean "No. 7"?

MR. ROBERTS: Yes, No. 7; I am sorry. I should have given it a number.


Q. 5th of November, 1937:

"Fuehrer develops his ideas about intentions for future course and conduct of policy to the Commanders-in-Chief of the Armed Forces," etc.
There is a divergence in the recording of his ideas as made by the chief of Armed Forces office and by the Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force.

" ... the intention of L ... " - does that mean your department, Landesverteidigung, its intention to have these thoughts put on paper?

(No response.)

Q. Please answer my question, witness.

A. "Intention L"; that means the intention of the Department of National Defence (Landesverteidigung) to have these thoughts put down on paper and transmitted to the branches of the Wehrmacht.

Q. Very good. Now, the meeting that you were talking about was what we have called the Hoszbach Conference, was it not, which is Document 386-PS? The Tribunal is very familiar with it. You remember the conference, do you not? You have heard about it many times here?

A. Yes, but I was not present at this conference. I do recall the things that were read here.

Q. I know you were not present. But presumably you, as Head of the Home Defence Department, were told of what was said at the conference?

A. I have already stated as to that, that the report which I received was in no way sensational. The directives for the preparation after this time are available to the Tribunal in writing; what we prepared and worked out at the time is proved thereby. We have the order of 20th May, and of 14th June; they are available.

THE PRESIDENT: Defendant, you were only asked whether you were told what happened at the conference. It was not necessary to make a long statement about that.


Q. You see, I try to put simple questions, and I am asking for simple answers. The last thing I want is to interrupt you.

Were you told that at that conference, Hitler said Germany's problem was a question of space?

A. No, not one word.

Q. Were you told that Hitler said that the German question could only be solved by force?

A. No.

Q. And were you told that Hitler said that German rearmament was practically complete?

A. No.

Q. And the last question I will ask you, were you told that Hitler said that the first aim in the event of war would be Austria and Czechoslovakia?

A. The report about the more active preparations for the march against Czechoslovakia, was, I believe, contained in these statements. But I can only say that the details which I received from Field Marshal Keitel are not in my recollection at present. I recall only one thing, that it was no surprise or sensation for me, and only small corrections of the directive which had been given out up to that point were necessary.

[Page 389]

Q. Very good. Thank you. Now, then, you were not present at Obersalzberg when Keitel was there with Schuschnigg in the following February, were you?

A. No, I was not present.

Q. But Keitel later told you what had happened?

A. He made a few brief remarks about that in narrative form, for after all, I was not otherwise concerned with this matter.

Q. Did you make that entry in your diary; that is, the next entry to the one I was referring to, Page 133, Book 7, the same page, under 11th of February, 1938:

"On the evening of 12th February, Keitel, Reichenau and Sperrle at Obersalzberg. Schuschnigg and Schmidt were again put under heaviest political and military pressure." Did Keitel tell you that?
A. Yes. You only inserted the word "again." That is not in my diary. This entry I made personally, because Keitel told me that during lurch, Reichenau and Sperrle had carried on warlike conversations, that they had talked about the new rearmament of Germany.

Q. Very good. Now, in March - I think this is common ground - you signed or initialled one or two orders for the operation "Otto."

A. Yes; but at that time it was not called "Otto" but "for the march into Austria."

Q. Hitler, when he heard that Schuschnigg was going to obtain the opinion of the people by plebiscite, decided to invade at once, did he not?

A. Yes, I was told when he heard that there was to be a grotesque abuse of public opinion through the trick of a plebiscite, he said that he would certainly not tolerate this under any circumstances. This is what I was told.

Q. He would not tolerate public opinion being ascertained?

A. No; he would not tolerate public opinion being abused through this trick. That is how it was told to me.

Q. So the armed forces of Germany then marched into Austria? That is right?

A. That is right; the Wehrmacht marched in.

Q. And Austria, from that day, received all the benefits of National Socialism, is that right?

A. That is a political question. At any rate, it could perhaps, have become the happiest country on earth.

Q. I was not asking what it could have become, but what it received. It received the SS, the Gestapo, the concentration camps, the suppression of opponents and the persecution of Jews, did it not?

A. Those are questions with which I did not concern myself. Those questions you have to put to the competent authorities. In addition, it received me as artillery commander; and they loved me, I only want to confirm that.

Q. Very good. You say the people appeared pleased to see you?

A. The people who were under my jurisdiction were very happy about this officer, that I can tell you.

Q. They had to appear to be, whether they were or not did they not?

A. No, they did not have to be. At any rate, after I had been away for a long time, they certainly did not have to write enthusiastic letters to me, letters which I received throughout the war from these Austrians to whom my heart belonged.

Q. There was one man who was not pleased to see you, was there not?

A. I know no such person.

Q. Do you not?

A. No.

What about Schuschnigg?

A. I never saw Schuschnigg. He does not know me and I do not know him. I do not know

Q: He was not pleased to see you come in, was he?

A. I cannot say that.

Q. What happened to him?

[Page 390]

THE PRESIDENT: We know that, Mr. Roberts.

MR. ROBERTS: I quite realize that. I cannot imagine my question is not admissible, but if you do not want me to put it - it is one of a series of questions - I will not.

Q. Schuschnigg was put in a concentration camp, was he not?

A. I was told that the Fuehrer had decided: "I do not want a martyr, under any circumstances, but I cannot liberate him; I must put him in honorary custody." That was the impression I had during the entire war.

Q. Honorary custody?

A. It was called honourable custody.

Q. What; was he an honorary member of Dachau?

A. That I do not know. Those are not questions that you can put to me, for I was a soldier and not the commandant of a concentration camp.

Q. That is an honour that one would be glad to dispense with, is it not?

A. I would gladly dispense with much that took place during these years.

DR. EXNER: Please, I must protest against questions like that, purely political and based purely on legal questions and on matters which the defendant cannot at all answer on the strength of his own knowledge. It is not a fact whether Schuschnigg was happy.

MR. ROBERTS: My Lord, in my respectful submission, these questions are perfectly proper; they are questions the like of which have been put by every counsel who has cross-examined both for the prosecution and the defence.

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Roberts, the Tribunal thinks that the cross-examination is proper.

MR. ROBERTS: My Lord, I am passing from that point. I am grateful to you.

Q. The only question I ask in conclusion is that Schuschnigg was kept in prison or kept in confinement for several years without any charge and any trial. That is right, isn't it?

A. It may be, I do not know.

Q. You knew, did you not, when you signed those orders for the march into Austria, that Germany had given an assurance in May, 1935, to respect the territorial integrity of the State of Austria, and that on the 11th of July, 1936, your government and the Austrian government entered into an agreement according to which Germany recognized the full sovereignty of the Federal State of Austria? Did you know of this?

A. At that moment I did not know that; in my position as a colonel in the General Staff, that did not concern me in the least.

Q. I am passing from Austria with this one last question: Is there an entry in your diary - it is a passage in L-172, the basis for the draft of your speech - that after the Anschluss, Czechoslovakia was enclosed by pincers and was bound to fall a victim? My Lord, that is Page 290 of Book 7. Do you remember that passage?

A. In the first draft which I made for my Gauleiter speech it was put down exactly what strategic improvements had taken place through the various actions of the Fuehrer, in retrospect; but only these strategic results.

Q. Well, but ... Again I do not want to stop you, but did you say that ... something to this effect - and I will give you the document if you like - that Czechoslovakia was enclosed by pincers and was bound to fall a victim?

A. In the first draft I set down that through the taking over - through the Anschluss of Austria the strategic situation of Czechoslovakia had become so hopeless that at any time it must fall a victim to a pincers' attack; a strategic retrospect about facts, indisputable facts.

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