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

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
2nd July to 15th July 1946

One Hundred and Sixty-Ninth Day: Tuesday, 2nd July, 1946
(Part 7 of 8)

[DR. KRANZBUEHLER continues speaking into the record]

[Page 27]

Question. Did this practice correspond to issued orders?

Answer. Yes.

Question. Did it become known to the United States Naval authorities that Japanese merchantmen were under orders to report any sighted United States submarines to the Japanese armed forces via radio? If yes, when did it become known?

Answer. During the course of the war, it became known to the United States Naval authorities that Japanese merchantmen in fact reported by radio to Japanese armed forces any information regarding sighting of United States submarines.

Question. Did the United States submarines thereupon receive the order to attack Japanese merchantmen without warning; if this order did not exist already before? If so, when?

Answer. The order existed from 7th December, 1941.

Question. Did it become known to the United States Naval authorities that the Japanese merchantmen were under orders to attack any United States submarine in any way suitable according to the situation; for instance, by ramming, gunfire, or by depth charge; if so, when did it become known?

Answer. Japanese merchantmen were usually armed and always attacked by any available means when feasible.

Question. Were, by order or on general principles, the United States submarines prohibited from carrying out rescue measures toward passengers and crews of ships sunk without warning in those cases where by doing so the safety of their own boat was endangered?

Answer. On general principles, the United States submarines did not rescue enemy survivors if undue additional hazard to the submarine resulted or the submarine would thereby be prevented from accomplishing its further mission. United States submarines were limited in rescue measures by small passenger carrying facilities, and by the known desperate and suicidal character of the enemy. Therefore, it was unsafe to pick up many survivors. Frequently survivors were given rubber boats and/or provisions. Almost invariably survivors did not come aboard the submarine voluntarily and it was necessary to take them prisoner by force.

Question. If such an order or principle did not exist, did the United States submarine actually carry out rescue measures in the above-mentioned cases?

Answer. In numerous cases enemy survivors were rescued by United States submarines.

Question. In answering the above question, does the expression 'merchantmen' mean any other kind of ships than those which were not warships?

Answer. By 'merchantmen' I mean all types of ships which were not combatant ships. Used in this sense, it includes fishing boats, etc.

Question. Has any order of the United States Naval authorities mentioned in the above questionnaire, concerning the tactics of the United States submarines toward Japanese merchantmen, been based on the ground of reprisal?

[Page 28]

Answer. The unrestricted submarine and air warfare ordered on 7th December, 1941, resulted from the recognition of Japanese tactics revealed on that date. No further orders to United States submarines concerning tactics toward Japanese merchantmen, throughout the war, were based on reprisal, although specific instances of Japanese submarines committing atrocities toward United States merchant marine survivors became known and would have justified such a course.

Question. Has this order or have these orders of the Japanese Government been announced as reprisals?

Answer. This question is not clear. Therefore I make no reply thereto.

Question. On the basis of what Japanese tactics was reprisal considered justified?

Answer. The unrestricted submarine and air warfare ordered by the Chief of Naval Operations on 7th December, 1941, was justified by the Japanese attacks on that date on United States bases and on both armed and unarmed ships and nationals, without warning or declaration of war.

The above record of testimony has been examined by me on this date and is in all respects accurate and true.

Signed, Chester W. Nimitz, Fleet Admiral, United States Navy."

This document bears the number Donitz 100.

As my next document I submit an expert opinion given by the former naval judge, Jaeckel, on the sentences given by naval courts for the protection of the home population when attacked by the marines. This document has been admitted by the Tribunal and is available in translation and therefore I do not need to read it.

THE PRESIDENT: Will you give us the number?

DR. KRANZBUEHLER: Donitz 49, Mr. President.

Then, Mr. President, some weeks back I made application to admit extracts from the records of a War Crimes Court at Oslo. These had been used by the prosecution on the occasion of the cross-examination of Grand Admiral Donitz. At that time they were not assigned a number. From these records I selected some extracts which, in the case of torpedo boat No. 345, the crew of which were shot because of the commando order, are to prove that this was a boat which was acting on a sabotage mission, and that the High Command of the Navy, and therefore also Admiral Donitz, were not notified of the treatment accorded to these prisoners, this question having been in fact disposed of directly by means of discussions between Gauleiter Terboven and the Fuehrer's Headquarters. I ask that the High Tribunal admit this document as evidence, since this document was used by the prosecution. It would receive the number Donitz 107.

COLONEL PHILLIMORE: My Lord, I do not know if the Tribunal has got before it the answer which the prosecution have given to this application.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, we have just looked at it now.

COLONEL PHILLIMORE: Broadly speaking, it comes to this, that we are quite prepared to put in the whole proceedings but we should object to extracts being put in; that is, amongst the affidavits and the evidence of some of the witnesses, material to support the points for which counsel for defendant Donitz contends. There is, on the other hand, a body of evidence the other way on all those points. That is why, my Lord -

THE PRESIDENT: Would not it save translation if you put in the passages in the document upon which you rely?

COLONEL PHILLIMORE: If that would be more convenient, my Lord, we can do that.

THE PRESIDENT: I do not know how long the document is. It may be very long indeed.

[Page 29]

COLONEL PHILLIMORE: The whole proceedings are very long. The trial lasted for four days.

THE PRESIDENT: Then it would be appropriate that you should pick out the parts on which you rely and Dr. Kranzbuehler can put in -

COLONEL PHILLIMORE: My Lord, it is put in the answer that the document which was proved in the defendant's case against this defendant was an affidavit by the Judge Advocate, who set out the effect of the evidence accepted by the Court.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal follows that, but it thinks that it is desirable that you, as well as the defence counsel, should put in the passages upon which you rely.

DR. KRANZBUEHLER: May I submit this document, Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT: What is the number again, please?

DR. KRANZBUEHLER: No. 107, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: And it contains extracts from these proceedings, does it?

DR. KRANZBUEHLER: Yes, extracts.

THE PRESIDENT: The prosecution will put in their extracts and we will consider them both.

DR. KRANZBUEHLER: Mr. President, then I have a question dealing with the documents of the case which we have just dealt with, the case of Katyn.

The witness, Professor Markov, mentioned the expert opinion given by the Italian expert, Professor Palmieri, which is in the German White Book. I should also like to submit this opinion as evidence, for the reasons that there is no mention of insects being found among the corpses, but rather, "larvae". To me the difference appears to be that insects fly about during the summer whereas larvae conceal themselves during the winter months. Mr. President, may I submit this document?

COLONEL SMIRNOV: Mr. President, I should like to make just one factual remark. In Professor Palmieri's report it was indicated that the "larvae" were discovered in the throats of the corpses. I do not know if ever "insects" were found. That is why I do not think that the presentation of the document by defence counsel should be permitted.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Kranzbuehler, you are specifying a particular document referred to in the White Book, is that right?

DR. KRANZBUEHLER: Yes, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: And you mean the whole of the document?

DR. KRANZBUEHLER: That document is about one page long, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Then you may put it in, subject to its being translated.

DR. KRANZBUEHLER: Very well, Mr. President.

COLONEL SMIRNOV: Mr. President, we are talking about one document which is a report on the dissection of corpses performed by Professor Palmieri. This is just an account of an autopsy carried out by Professor Palmieri himself.

THE PRESIDENT: Is it referred to in the conclusions or not?

DR. KRANZBUEHLER: It is put in the general record to the same extent as the record of Professor Markov. It is the findings on the autopsy which Professor Palmieri performed.


DR. KRANZBUEHLER: Mr. President, I have another document in the case of Katyn, which I received from Polish sources just a few days ago. This is a document which was written in English, and appeared in London in 1946. The

[Page 30]

title is, "Report On the Massacre of Polish Officers in the Katyn Forest". In this document Polish sources are used, and I should like to offer this document to the Tribunal as evidence.

However, before I present certain lines of evidence, I would like to ask that the High Tribunal examine this document, for there may be doubts whether it can be used as evidence.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Kranzbuehler, this document is printed for private circulation only. It has no printer's name on it, and it is entirely anonymous.

DR. KRANZBUEHLER: Yes, Mr. President, those were my own doubts. I submitted this document as I assumed that because of the significance of this case, the Tribunal would nevertheless want to take official notice of the contents.

THE PRESIDENT: No, the Tribunal thinks it would be improper to look at a document of this nature.

GENERAL RUDENKO: Mr. President, I should just like to make one remark, as in fact the Tribunal has already indicated its decision. The statement of defence counsel that this document was received from the Polish delegation astounds me, to say the least. I should like to know from what Polish delegation he received this document, because the Polish delegation represented here could not possibly produce such a Fascist propaganda document as this.

THE PRESIDENT: I think General Rudenko misunderstood what Dr. Kranzbuehler said.

DR. SAUTER (counsel for the defendant Funk): Mr. President, four interrogatories were granted to me on behalf of the defendant Funk. When I presented my case, I could not yet submit these affidavits because they had not been translated. In the meantime, I have received these translations, and they have been submitted to the Tribunal. I ask to be permitted to present them briefly to the Tribunal at this point.

One of them, in Document Book Walter Funk, Supplement No. 2 will be assigned Exhibit No. 16. This is the very comprehensive interrogation of the witness Landfried who held the position of State secretary in the ministry of the defendant Funk. This witness - I do not believe I need to read this record in detail - in answer to the first question, deals with the economic policy of the defendant Funk in the occupied countries. He describes it in exactly the same way as it was described by Funk. In answer to question 2, he deals similarly with the directions given by the defendant Funk to the military commanders and to the Reich commissioner of the occupied countries.

Under question 4, the witness deals with the question of the plundering of the occupied territories. He confirms the fact that the defendant Funk always opposed such plundering, that he fought the black market, that he opposed devaluation of the currency, that he tried to maintain currency in the occupied territory at an even level.

In reply to question 5, the witness describes in detail how the defendant Funk tried to prevent financial overburdening of the occupied countries, specifically to lower the costs of occupation as far as possible.

Then in the other questions, in part 2, namely in reply to question 11, the witness discusses the activities of the defendant Funk in the Ministry of Economics, in regard to German preparations in the event of a war.

Then, in reply to question 12, the witness examines the position of the General Plenipotentiary for Economy and he concludes that in practice it merely stood on paper. However, I do not wish to read these detailed statements and take up too much of the time of the Tribunal, for in the main these are only repetitions of statements that have already been made.

In the last two questions, Nos. 14 and 15, the witness Landfried, who as I have already said was for years the defendants deputy, describes the defendant's attitude toward the policy of terror, and his fundamental attitude in regard to the

[Page 31]

use of foreign workers and similar matters. I ask that the Tribunal take judicial notice of this very detailed testimony and that these brief statements will suffice. The next interrogatory comes from the witness Emil Puhl. This is the same witness who was interrogated in this courtroom about other questions, namely the question of gold teeth, etc. This is the interrogatory and the answers of the witness Emil Puhl, Document Book Funk, Supplement No. 3, Exhibit 17.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Sauter, has this interrogatory been granted?

DR. SAUTER: Yes, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: He gave his evidence. We do not generally allow interrogatories to witnesses who have given their evidence.

DR. SAUTER: Mr. President, the matter was like this: As far back as December I had applied for this interrogatory and repeatedly asked about it, but it did not arrive. And only after two days of cross-examination, this witness Emil Puhl was suddenly questioned by the prosecution on entirely different matters, viz., the matter of gold deposits made by the SS and of gold teeth. This interrogation at the instigation of the prosecution did not refer to the interrogatory, which I believe, was granted by you in February.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Sauter, what I mean is this: Supposing the Tribunal is asked to grant an interrogatory and it grants the interrogatory, and then the witness is subsequently called to give evidence. When he is called to give evidence, he ought to be questioned upon all the matters which are relevant to the trial. The Tribunal does not want to have to read his evidence in one place and then his interrogatory in some other place.

Is there any objection, Mr. Dodd, to accepting it in this case?

MR. DODD: No, I have no objection, Mr. President. That is the situation. It was granted before Puhl was called. He was called here for cross-examination and I do not recall off- hand whether or not counsel inquired concerning these matters that are contained therein. We have no objections. It may be some annoyance to the Tribunal, which we regret.

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