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

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
7th June to 19th June 1946

One Hundred and Fifty-Eighth Day: Wednesday, 19th June, 1946
(Part 2 of 11)

[SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE continues his cross examination of Franz von Papen]

[Page 355]

Q. That is your explanation. I will not waste time on it.

THE PRESIDENT: You gave us the date, but where does it come from?

SIR. DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, it came from Document 694-D. That is a report of the defendant to Hitler, made on 26th November, 1935. It is Page 110 in Document Book IIA.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, we have got that, but the date is not on it.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: No, my Lord, that is why I gave you the date.

THE PRESIDENT: How did you get the date?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, I looked it up in the original. That is, Major Barrington did. Your Lordship will see the date was omitted. It came between one of the 11th of November and one in January.




Q. Now, I want to pass - and again I want to deal with it very quickly - to your own personal experiences in Austria. You remember when you went to the Salzburg Festival in 1935, when you had been there about a year - do you remember? I do not know because you probably went every year. The point that I want to remind you of is this. Do you remember when you went there that 500 National Socialists greeted you with music and made such a demonstration that some other guests in the hotel wanted to telephone or telegraph to the Federal Chancellery to say that the German Ambassador had caused a great Nazi demonstration? Do you remember that?

A. Yes.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, the reference to that is on Page 102, Document 689-D, which I have already referred to, Page 102 of Document Book IIA.


Q. Well now, let me take another example. Do you remember the meeting of the Comrades of the First World War at Wels?

A. Yes.

[Page 356]

Q. That was, if my recollection is right, in 1937, was it not?

A. Quite right, yes.

Q. And all the preparations had been made for a non-political meeting, reunion of the Austrian regiments and old comrades from the German regiments, and after the meeting they were to have a sort of dinner or lunch together, and the evening was to finish in jollity and song. That was the programme, was it not?

A. Yes.

Q. That meeting was addressed by General Glaise Horstenau and yourself?

A. Yes.

Q. General Glaise Horstenau - without any disrespect to him - I think you will agree made a not very powerful speech. That was your impression, was it not, a not very powerful speech? Interesting but not dynamic? Believe me, I am not being offensive to the general. I am merely trying to get the point.

A. No.

Q. You made quite a short speech, did you not? Do you remember?

A. Yes.

Q. After your speech, there was beating and shooting of people in the streets of Wels, was there not? There was a riot there, was there not?

A. May I give you a more exact description?

Q. Well, if you can. I wanted to establish the fact. You are perfectly entitled now to give your explanation.

THE PRESIDENT: Is there a document on this?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: There is no document on this.

A. A meeting had been arranged in Wels by members of organizations of the old German Army from the First World War, the so-called Veterans' Association (Kriegerverein) and the veterans' associations of Austria. It was perfectly legitimate and in the spirit of our joint policy that the associations from the First World War should be renewed between these formations. At this meeting, which, according to my wish and that of the Austrian Government, was to be completely non-political in character, the following events took place: when I arrived, the meeting place of these veterans' associations was surrounded by perhaps five to ten thousand people. The Austrian Government, to receive its German guests, provided a guard of honour, and when the Austrian band played the Austrian national anthem on my arrival, these 10,000 people who surrounded the place sang the German national anthem, for the melody is the same, as you know.

When, in the course of the celebration, I made a brief speech, I found myself constantly interrupted by thousands of people, in a demonstrative manner. Of course, I immediately realised that the Austrian National Socialists had planned a big political demonstration here; so I broke off my speech, and shortly afterwards I left the place and Wels also.

It is quite true, as Sir David said, that when the celebration broke up and the Austrian police began to proceed against the thousands of persons who were demonstrating, very unfortunate incidents occurred.

Q. Well, if that is your explanation, I have put the facts of the incident. Now I want to pass to another point, because I can only give examples of your activities in Austria.

Before you heard the evidence of the defendant Seyss-Inquart, do you remember the phrase "the Trojan Horse technique" being referred to with regard to Austria?

A. Yes. Seyss-Inquart did not want to lead the Trojan Horse.

Q. Yes, but before that, you know, you had referred to the Trojan horse technique.

My Lord, it is Document Book IIA, Page 133. The passage I am referring to is from Page 134. The document is 706-D, which will become Exhibit GB 506. It is Page 163, Sergeant Major.

Q. That is your report on 21st August, 1936, where you quote an instruction of the Prague Secret Service to its Vienna branch, which says:

[Page 357]

"Unfortunately it must be noted that the wild National Socialist excesses of 29th July of this year have not had the result we expected. Austria's approach to the Third Reich in the field of foreign politics is making further progress, as well as the development of cultural collaboration between the two sister nations. One can also assume from your most recent reports that the Trojan Horse of National Socialism is bringing greater confusion into the ranks of the Fatherland Front and particularly into the ranks of the Heimatsschutz (Home Guard). Opposition to the normalising of German-Austrian relations, which is extremely dangerous to Austrian independence, appears nevertheless to be relatively very great; it obviously only lacks good organization."
Now, does that Czech report describe correctly what was going on, the superficial normalisation of relations and the Trojan Horse movement working inside the country?

A. Sir David, that is the opinion of the Czech Secret Service and perhaps of the Czech Government.

Q. May I remind you, defendant, that it is the opinion quoted by you in your report to the Fuehrer and not contradicted. There is not a word in your report suggesting that it is not the truth. In fact you say you introduce it "lastly, to throw light on the present position in Austria."

You are introducing it as correct information for the Fuehrer so you cannot, I suggest, dismiss it by saying it is merely a Czech report.

A. Yes, yes. Let me point out that this report was written on 21st August, 1936. That is one month after the conclusion of our July agreement, which you asserted was a deceitful manoeuvre and which we and the Austrian Foreign Minister thought was a very seriously intended agreement. We were now on a completely different basis with Austria and for that reason I quoted this peculiar Czech. report as an interesting document to show how, in spite of our efforts for normalisation, the Czechs regarded matters in Austria.

THE PRESIDENT: Are you leaving that document?


THE PRESIDENT: What about the last paragraph?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: If your Lordship pleases, I will certainly deal with that.


SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: If your Lordship pleases.


Q. It goes on:

"Besides, it appears hopeless and also impracticable to us to strive to influence Austrian legitimism or the Heimwehr movement. There are, on the other hand, comparatively strong elements in Austrian Catholicism which could, with certain reservations, be called democratic. These elements, which are gradually grouping themselves round the Freiheitsbund (Freedom Union) and which are inclined on principle to work for an agreement with the Social Democrats, represent, in our opinion, that group which would in certain circumstances be inclined to bring about a revolution in internal politics in Austria."
Did you put that forward as also representing your view?

A. Sir David, I gave the Tribunal a most exact explanation of the aims and character of the Freiheitsbund yesterday; and the Tribunal knows from the report that the Czech Government endeavoured to exert a certain amount of political influence on this Freiheitsbund. That is quite clear from the text. This is all in the Czech report.

[Page 358]

Q. Then you were putting it forward, were you not, as your view to Hitler that, to speak loosely, the Catholic Left might be used as a means of approach by you. That is really what you are saying.

A. Sir David, surely you do not want to impute that I submitted a Czech report to Hitler in order to identify myself with this report.

Q. Yes, that is what I am accusing you of. If you write to the Head of the State, "to throw light on the present position in Austria, I append an extract from a report ..." then what I am suggesting is that that means this report accurately represents the position, as I see it. That is what I am putting to you.

A. No, for another report which you also submitted to the Tribunal shows that I asked Hitler to work against these efforts made by the Czech Government to exert influence on the Freiheitsbund by binding the latter to ourselves. I was of quite a different opinion.

Q. Defendant, you asked Hitler to give one hundred thousand Reichsmarks to the Freiheitsbund. That is exactly what you are following out in what you have suggested here, that they might be a body who would be a useful point d'appui for you in order to gain an influence with another section of Austrian opinion. I am suggesting to you the two things are quite consistent. You tell Hitler that they are useful.

A. Yes.

Q. And you support them with one hundred thousand Reichsmarks. That is what I am putting to you.

A. Yes.

Q. That you were all the time burrowing under one section of Austrian opinion after another in order to work towards the suppression of the freedom of Austria. That is what I am putting to you. I do not think there is any doubt about it.

A. Sir David, if this report shows anything clearly it is the fact that, apart from the National Socialists in Austria, there were other groups, namely the Christian Unions and the Freiheitsbund as well, who worked politically towards the union of the two countries. And you cannot say I am committing a crime if, as a diplomat who wants to bring about such an aim in an evolutionary way, I co-operate with these groups towards that aim.

Q. There was not anything very evolutionary about the Trojan Horse, was there? However, that may be comment. Let us go on to another point.

Did you know Baron Gudenus?

A. No, I did not know him.

Q. You know that he was the closest confidant of the Archduke Otto. Do you remember?

A. Yes, that is shown in my report.

Q. Yes. Well now, let us just look and see what Baron Gudenus had to say.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: Your Lordship will find that on Page 93, Pages 72 to 75 of the German version, Document 687-D, which will become Exhibit GB 507. It is paragraph 2 (b) and it appears on Page 74, defendant.

Baron Gudenus, the closest confidant of the Archduke Otto, writes:

" ... I brought back with me from. Austria many gratifying impressions of the progress of our movement; but I cannot deny that in some respects the government's policy worries me greatly. Of what use is it that the ring-leaders of February and July 1934 - or those of them who were caught - are sentenced, if the government is too weak, too slovenly or intentionally too tolerant, to prevent brown and red propaganda being carried on privately, unhindered in the cinema, in the Press and on the radio, and mainly by State officials or organs of the Fatherland Front, supported and paid for out of funds which are pouring in bountifully from Germany. What is that learned idealist Schuschnigg actually doing? Does he not notice that Papen and the

[Page 359]

other brown agents in his own country continually spit into the hand so persistently held out to them? He must not imagine that he can thus maintain and save Austria as long as Hitler rules in a Germany which is painted brown inside and out. The methods over there have, it is true, become more clever and more careful but this makes them all the more dangerous."
That was about seven months after your arrival.
"Sinister also are the continual differences between Schuschnigg and Starhemberg ..." and so on.

Q. Now, is not it correct, defendant, that anyone, that everyone, even a visiting monarchist agent, knew that these activities were going on with you on the top and the Austrian National Socialist Party working underneath?

Before you answer, it is only fair to look at your own comment on that.

"The difficulties of the internal Austrian situation could hardly be described more graphically than in this letter."
Why did you not say to Hitler, if these were the facts: "Baron Gudenus is talking nonsense. I am carrying out a perfectly honest, moral assignment for the normalising of relations with Austria." Why did you not deny it, if it was not true?

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