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 Seventieth Day: Wednesday, 3rd July, 1946
(Part 10 of 10)

[DR. BERGOLD continues his direct examination of Erich Kempka]

[Page 75]

Q. And then you crept away?

A. When I came to myself I could not see anything and then I crawled away, and crawled until I knocked my head against a tank block.

Q. Where did you go to that night?

A. Then I waited there for a while and then I said farewell to my drivers, some of whom were still there, and then I stayed in the ruins of Berlin, and then the following day I left Berlin.

Q. Where were you captured?

[Page 76]

A. I was captured at Berchtesgaden.


Q. How near were you to the tank when it exploded?

A. I estimate three to four metres.

Q. And how near was Bormann to the tank when it exploded?

A. I assume that he was holding on to it with one hand.

Q. Well, you say you assume it. Did you see him or did you not see him?

A. I did not see him on the tank itself. I had done the same thing in order to keep up with the tank and had held on to the tank behind.

Q. Did you see Bormann trying to get on the tank just before the explosion?

A. No, I did not see that. I did not see any effort on Bormann's part which indicated that he wanted to climb on to the tank.

Q. How long before the explosion were you looking at Bormann?

A. All this happened in a very brief period. When I was still talking to Bormann the tanks arrived and we went through the tank trap right away and after thirty or forty metres the tank was hit.

Q. What do you call a brief period?

A. Well, during the conversation, that was perhaps only a few minutes.

Q. And how long between the conversation and the explosion?

A. I cannot tell you the exact time, but surely it was not a quarter of an hour, or perhaps rather not half an hour.

Q. Had you been in the Chancellery just before this?

A. I left the Reich Chancellery in the evening about nine o'clock.

Q. Have you ever told this story to anyone else?

A. I have been interrogated several times about this and have already made the same statement.

Q. And who took your interrogation, some officers?

A. Yes.

Q. Of what army, what nation?

A. I have been interrogated by various officers of the American Army, the first time at Berchtesgaden, the second time at Freising and the third time at Oberursel.

MR. DODD: As a result of the Tribunal's inquiry there are one or two questions that occur to me that I think perhaps should be brought out which I would like to ask the witness, if I may.




Q. You were with Bormann, were you, at 9 o'clock in the bunker in the Reich Chancellery, on that night?

A. Yes, indeed. I saw him for the last time about 9 o'clock in the evening. When I said farewell to Dr. Goebbels, I also saw Martin Bormann down in the cellar and then I saw him again during the night about two or three o'clock in the morning.

Q. Well, maybe you said so but I did not get it if you did. Where did you see him at two or three in the morning prior to the time that you started to walk with him along with the tank?

A. Before that I saw him at the Friedrichstrasse Station between two or three in the morning and before that I saw him for the last time at 21 hours in the Reich Chancellery.

Q. Well, I know you did. But did not you and Bormann have any conversation about how you would get out of Berlin when you left the Reich Chancellery bunker at about nine o'clock that night?

A. I took my orders from former Brigadefuehrer Milunke. I was not receiving direct orders from Reichsleiter Bormann any more.

[Page 77]

Q. I did not ask you if you got an order from him. I asked if you and Bormann had not, and whoever else was there had not, discussed how you would get out of Berlin. It was nine o'clock at night and the situation was getting pretty desperate. Did you not talk about how you would get out that night? There were not many of you there.

A. Yes, there were about four to five hundred people in all still in the Reich Chancellery and those four or five hundred people had been divided into separate groups, and these groups left the Chancellery one by one.

Q. I know there may have been that many in the Chancellery. I am talking about that bunker that you were in. You testified about this before, did you not? You told people that you knew that Hitler was dead as well as Bormann. And you must have been in the bunker if you knew that.

A. Yes, I have already testified to that effect.

Q. Well, what I want to find out is whether or not you and Bormann and whoever was left in that bunker talked about leaving Berlin that night before you left the bunker?

A. No, I did not speak about it any more to Reichsleiter Bormann at that time. We only had marching orders, which instructed us, if we were successful, to report at Fehrbellin to a combat group which we were to join.

Q. You are the only man who has been able to testify that Hitler is dead and the only one who has been able to testify that Bormann is dead; is that so, so far as you know?

A. I can state that Hitler is dead, and that he died on the 30th of April in the afternoon between two and three o'clock.

Q. I know, but you did not see him die either, did you?

A. No, I did not see him die.

Q. And you told the interrogators that you believe you carried his body out of the bunker and set it on fire. Are you not the man who has said that?

A. I carried Adolf Hitler's wife out and I saw Adolf Hitler himself wrapped in a blanket.

Q. Did you actually see Hitler?

A. Not himself any more. The blanket in which he was wrapped was rather short and I only saw his legs hanging out.

MR. DODD: I have no further questions, Mr. President.

DR. BERGOLD: I have no further questions either.

THE PRESIDENT: The witness can retire.

DR. BERGOLD: Gentlemen of the Tribunal, the witness Walkenhorst is also, still present here. It appears to me that there is a misunderstanding between the High Tribunal and myself. I stated on Saturday that I did not wish to call any more witnesses besides the witness Kempka and I expressly waive the witness Walkenhorst.

THE PRESIDENT: What was he - what did you ask him to prove in the first instance?

DR. BERGOLD: I had originally called him as a substitute -

THE PRESIDENT: We have got your application.

DR. BERGOLD: But after talking to witness Klopfer, whom I have also waived, I am also waiving the witness Walkenhorst because he does not appear to me to be. competent enough to testify on what I wanted him to testify about.

My entire presentation of evidence, therefore, is now completed, except for the two documents which the Tribunal have already granted me, namely, the decree about stopping the measures against the Churches and Bormann's decree of the year 1944, which forbade members of his Chancellery to be members of the SD. Those two documents I have not yet received. When I have received them I shall submit them.

[Page 78]


Dr. Servatius, you have some question of an affidavit you wanted to get from this witness Walkenhorst, have you not?

DR. SERVATIUS (counsel for the defendant Sauckel): I have an affidavit from this witness Walkenhorst which deals briefly with the question of the telephone conversation which Sauckel had at that time about the evacuation of the camp at Buchenwald. He has been accused of having ordered the evacuation of the camp when the American Army approached. Now this witness Walkenhorst has accidentally been found and it turns out that oddly enough he was the man with whom Sauckel spoke. He has confirmed to me in an affidavit that Sauckel demanded that the camp should be surrendered in an orderly way. That is all I wanted to ask this witness.

I can submit it here in the form of an affidavit.

THE PRESIDENT: Does the prosecution want the man called or will the affidavit do?

DR. SERVATIUS: I am satisfied with handing over the affidavit.

COLONEL PHILLIMORE: My Lord, as far as the prosecution is concerned, an affidavit would suffice.


DR. SERVATIUS: Then I shall submit the affidavit and I will give the exhibit number together with my list.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, there is one other matter to which I wish to draw the attention of defendants' counsel.

The Tribunal has been informed as to the length of the speeches of certain of the defendants' counsel which have been handed to the Translation Division for translation, and in the cases of the defendant Keitel and of the defendant Jodl the speeches which have been handed to the Translation Division seem to be very much longer than the Tribunal had anticipated they would be, and quite impossible to be spoken in one day.

Would counsel for the defendant Keitel explain to the Tribunal why that is and what steps he has taken to shorten his speech?

DR. NELTE: Mr. President, I have sent a letter to the Tribunal today which I believe is not yet in the Tribunal's possession. In it I requested that in the case of the defendant Keitel I should be permitted to exceed the regular length of time, which had been limited to one day for the major cases. When, at the request of the Tribunal, I stated the time which my final speech would take, I had my manuscript completed. This manuscript would have taken about seven hours. I gave that manuscript to the Translation Division in that form because it was no longer possible to alter it. I submitted the first part last Wednesday and then the second part on Saturday morning.

If the Tribunal in accordance with its decision fixes one day, that is, five and a half actual hours of speech, as the maximum and is unwilling to depart from that ruling in any case, not even in the case of the defendant Keitel who has been particularly seriously implicated, then I shall be forced to eliminate certain passages from the manuscript and to submit them only in writing. I hope the Tribunal will also decide whether that is possible.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Nelte, the Tribunal takes note of the fact that when you were asked how long your speech would take, you said, I think, seven hours.


THE PRESIDENT: Seven hours. Well, according to the estimate which has been given to the Tribunal, the speech which you have submitted for translation would take about thirteen hours. That is nearly double as long as you yourself said; and it is almost exactly double the length of the speech which has been submitted for the defendant Ribbentrop, whose case is almost as extensive, if not quite

[Page 79]

as extensive, and it appears to the Tribunal to be out of all reason to put in a speech which will probably take nearly double the time that you yourself stated. The speech you put in is more than double the length of the speech which has been put in on behalf of the defendant Goering.

DR. NELTE: Naturally, I am unable to know by what points of view the counsel for Reichsmarschall Goering or Foreign Minister von Ribbentrop are guided and governed. I can only be guided by my own views and sense of duty.

THE PRESIDENT: Perhaps that is a matter of comparison, it is true, but you said seven hours yourself, and you now put in a speech which will probably take thirteen.

DR. NELTE: I believe, Mr. President, that I shall make that speech in seven hours, if I have seven hours' speaking time.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, the Tribunal has given this matter a very full consideration, as you are aware, and they have said that every speech must be made in one day, and that will take up some considerable time for the whole of the defendants to make their speeches.

DR. NELTE: Mr. President, I shall wait for your decision. If I am confined to one day, then I shall have to leave out certain parts from my manuscript. But in that case I should have to ask that the remainder be taken cognizance of by the Tribunal, because everything that I have included in my manuscript is the minimum of what should be delivered on such a comprehensive case.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Nelte, we will consider that application for you to be allowed to put in the other passages in your speech, and we will let defendants' counsel know what our decision is upon that.

Dr. Siemers, the Tribunal has now received a full report showing the immense trouble taken by the Secretariat to find or to try to find the witness Schulze, Otto Schulze, for you since you first asked for him in February of this year, and the Tribunal would like to know what steps you have taken in the meantime to try to find him.

DR. SIEMERS: I believe, Mr. President, that there was no need to find the witness because, actually, it was known that he was living in Hamburg-Blankenese, and because, in my opinion, he is still in Hamburg-Blankenese, and I have given this address to the General Secretariat many times.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, you knew what the General Secretary's office were doing about the matter. You knew that they were unable to find him at the address. You knew that they had sent the interrogatories to Washington because they were told he had been taken over there, and we are told that you have been in Hamburg yourself.

DR. SIEMERS: That the interrogatory was sent to Washington is something which I have known only since last Friday after my return from Hamburg. I personally did not anticipate that such a mistake or such a misunderstanding could arise. Unfortunately, I also do not know how it did arise. Far be it from me to make any kind of accusation. I have merely requested that if the document was received, then the Tribunal should agree to receive it in evidence later. Unfortunately, I cannot submit it today. I immediately informed the General Secretariat of the address once more. In my opinion, Admiral Schulze is not in captivity. It is possible that during my absence some misunderstanding occurred, but I myself only heard that last Friday.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I cannot understand why, during all these months that you have been here and have had full opportunity of seeing the General Secretary and have received all the assistance which you and all the other defendants' counsel have received from the General Secretariat, you should not have helped the General Secretary better to find this witness. That is all.

We will adjourn now.

(A recess was taken until 4th July 1946, at 1000 hours.)

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