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

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
9th August to 21st August 1946

Two Hundred and Fourth Day: Thursday, 15th August, 1946
(Part 4 of 5)

[Page 201]

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, that is the document that is in the original document book, dealing with the events of November, 1938. Your Lordship will remember that the witness suggested yesterday that the document was not authentic.

Q. Now, witness, I am not going to argue with you; but I want to point out certain things in the document and then pass it to the Tribunal. You are not disputing that you wrote the document dated 29th November, 1938, of which a copy is the first one in the bundle. That is the document dealing with the handing over of Jews' property, taken by the SA, to the Gestapo. Now, as I understood you yesterday, you are not disputing that you did write that document, of which that is a copy? Is that so?

[Max Juettner] A. I said yesterday that I recognized this document.

[Page 202]

Q. Would you look at the bottom corner of that document, and you will find on it the stamp of the SA Group Kurpfalz. Do you see that?

A. Yes.

Q, And do you see in the stamp the letters "H," "W" and "G"?

A. It looks something like that, yes? Q. Now, at the bottom, beside the stamp, you will see "ZDA," which is - do not let us waste time over it - "Zu den Akten" - "Put it in the file." Do you see the contraction, "ZDA"?

A. Yes, I see it.

Q. Now, would you look at the document which you are saying is not authentic and you will find on that the same stamp of the SA Group Kurpfalz, and the same letters, "H," "W" and "G." Do you see that?

A. Yes.

Q. And do you see - I think it is on the top of the second document - that is the document of the 11th - the contraction "ZDA" in the same handwriting as on the first document? Do you see that, at the top of the document, "ZDA"?

A. Yes, I see it.

Q. Now, just two other points I want you to see. On that document, which is the report to the SA Group of the Electoral Palatinate, Kurpfalz, dealing with a number of Standarten. Would you look under "Standarte 145"? Now, do you see that it says "Synagogue at Bensheim, synagogue at Lorsch, synagogue at Heppenheim, Synagogue at Birkenau." Look at the next. Do you see that the next is the "Prayer House at Alsbach" - "Gebetshaus in Alsbach," is it not?

A. Which page, if I may ask?

Q. It is in the list. It is the document of 11th November, and it is a list. It gives a series of Standarten, and the first is I 15, and the next is 145; do you see that?

A. Yes.

Q. Do you see that after four synagogues, the next one - I think it is Gebetshaus in Alsbach. Do you see that?

A. Yes.

Q. Now, I want you to turn over the page to the note for the files of the telephone call by the Fuehrer of Brigade 50, Darmstadt, Brigadefuehrer Lucke. Do you see that?

A. Yes.

Q. Now, if you will look down to the same group, you will see that it says, "The synagogue in Bensheim destroyed by fire. The synagogue in Lorsch near Bensheim destroyed by fire. The synagogue in Heppenheim blown up. The synagogues in Rimbach and Birkenau destroyed." Now, does it say the "Prayer Hall" - the words are "Die Bethalle in Alsbach" - destroyed?

A. Yes, "Bethalle in Alsbach."

Q. The same distinction is drawn between the synagogue and a prayer hall, which is either called a "Gebetshaus" or a "Bethalle." Now the other pages contain reports of different Standarten.

My Lord, I am not going to argue the point, but I wanted to bring out these points from the witness, as he had challenged the document.

Now, witness, I want you just to help me on another point. You know that after these incidents of 9th and 10th November, 1938, fourteen SA men were found guilty of killing Jews? Did you know that? Men of various ranks in the SA were found guilty of killing Jews? Do you accept that? The document is before the Tribunal of the Party Court, containing the decision. I do not want to waste time if you will admit one thing I put to you. Do you admit that fourteen SA men were found guilty by the Party Court, after 9th and 10th November, of killing Jews?

A. I learned here while a prisoner about this document in which the fourteen SA men are mentioned who are supposed to have shot Jews or slain Jews.

[Page 203]

Q. Now, you have said not once but many times that whenever SA men were guilty of excesses they were punished. Do you know that all the SA men who had killed Jews were let off, that the only SA men who were sent for punishment were those who had committed rape or theft, three of them who had committed rape and theft? Do you know that all these fourteen SA officers were let off for this murder?

A. I am convinced that they were punished by the SA. The punishment for such acts of murder as mentioned here was a matter for the regular courts. I do not know whether they were sentenced there.

Q. Let me tell you, because the document has been put before the Tribunal. The regular court let them off because they fell "within the line of Party comrades who, motivated by the decent National Socialist attitude and initiative, had overshot the mark." That is why the Party Court let them off, according to their own document. Now, are you saying that the Party or the SA punished people for ill-treating Jews when these fourteen murderers of Jewish women and children and men were let off because they were "motivated by the decent National Socialist spirit"? Are you saying that they were punished?

A. Please show me the document. I consider it impossible that the supreme SA leadership took that attitude.

Q. It is the Supreme Court of the Party, the Supreme Court of the Party, composed of Gauleiter.

A. The Supreme Party Court is not the SA Court

Q. No, but it is the Supreme Court of National Socialism, and that is what they did - they recommended that these fourteen SA murderers should be let off. How does that square with your suggestion that murder was frowned on?

A. Please understand that the Supreme Party Court was a Reich institution of the Party while the SA had its own SA Court. The SA leadership and the Chief of Staff - above all as the Supreme SA Judge - had influence only on the SA Court, not on the Supreme Party Court.

Q. Did you know, witness, that the Supreme Party Court had let off these fourteen murderers in the SA after 1938?

A. I only learned of that here from this document, while a prisoner.

Q. So the Deputy Chief of Staff did not know that fourteen officers of his own organization had committed cruel and bloody murders? That is what you tell this Tribunal?

I will ask you on another point.

A. The Deputy Chief of Staff was convinced and is still convinced today that all excesses of the 9th and 10th of November, so far as they were committed by SA members and had become known, were punished, not only by the SA but by the regular courts. I know from the words of Chief of Staff Lutze that he insisted on that. I will not deny that one or other offence did not become known to him.

Now, there is one other point I want to put to you. You have represented Chief of Staff Roehm as being a peace-loving, church-going man. Is that the impression you want this Tribunal to have of the character of Chief of Staff Roehm - that he was a peace-loving, church-going man?

A. That is a question the inner meaning of which is hard to understand. I have said that Chief of Staff Roehm belonged to the Church. He was therefore not opposed to the Church. He was also peacefully disposed, for it has been shown, and I myself am a witness, that he repeatedly emphasized-not only to the SA Fuehrer but also to representatives of foreign Powers - that he was constantly endeavouring to bring about good-neighbourly relations.

Q. I just want you to look at an extract of Hitler's speech on 13th July, 1934, a fortnight after the putsch.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, I passed to the witness Schultheiss's Geschichtskalender for 1934. I put in an extract at the time.

[Page 204]


Q. At Page 182 this is what Hitler stated to the Reichstag:

"But at this point I must establish the fact for the present and for posterity that these men no longer possess any right to invoke National Socialism as an ideology."

That is Roehm and his friends. "Their lives have become as bad as those of the people we overcame and repressed in 1933. The behaviour of these men made it impossible for me to invite them to my house or to enter the Chief of Staff's house in Berlin even once. What would have become of Germany had these people been victorious it is difficult to imagine."

Now, witness, you know perfectly well, and I ask you to tell the Tribunal, why was it that Hitler would not enter Roehm's house even once?

A. That was a matter for Hitler's judgement, not for mine; I cannot give you any information about it.

Q. You know perfectly well that he was the most notorious homosexualist in Germany, is that not right?

A. It is not unknown to me that he was morbidly inclined that way, but whether that was Hitler's reason, I do not know.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, I am sorry, there is one duty that I had forgotten. Your Lordship asked me to put the affidavit of Dr. Hoegner to this witness. He was the Prime Minister of Bavaria. If your Lordship remembers, Dr. Boehm referred to it and your Lordship suggested that I should put it in cross-examination. I think the Tribunal have copies, my Lord. That is Document D-930, GB 617.

THE PRESIDENT: Sir David, I do not remember saying you should put it to him. I think what I said was that, if you did put it to him, Dr. Boehm would then have an opportunity of re-examining him upon it, and if you did not put it in evidence, it not being already in evidence, it would not be in evidence.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, I have no desire to put it. I thought your Lordship wanted me to do it. This is one of the group of affidavits which I mentioned to the Tribunal that I would give to the defence counsel at once, as they are general affidavits from Ministers and other prominent people in Germany which are in general rebuttal of the affidavits put in by the defence, and, my Lord, I was quite content - in fact I suggested and the Tribunal approved - that they should be read when we are dealing with the documents after the defence documents, but that I should give it to the defence so that they would have an opportunity in advance. My Lord, that is my position, and I am very content to adhere to it.

THE PRESIDENT: If you want to make use of it, I think perhaps it should be offered in evidence so as to make it strictly in evidence.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: Well, my Lord, I am quite content to do that. They were going to be offered in evidence as affidavits. My Lord, it is only a matter of procedure; I do not mind which - of course the Tribunal will decide that. The defence are putting in about 300,000 affidavits which are being summarised in a number of general affidavits. My Lord, I suggested the other day that we should put in-at the same time we should put in rebuttal these few affidavits that we have.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, do it then. Offer it in evidence now.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: Very well, my Lord, I will do that.

THE PRESIDENT: Is there any other rebuttal besides these affidavits?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, it is this group - I think there is one addition to it, my Lord, but that is all the rebuttal as far as I know.

[Page 205]

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, you are not going to apply to call any additional witnesses?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: No, my Lord, I will not try to speak for my colleagues, but as far as I know I have not. I will verify that at once, my Lord.

My Lord, none of the prosecution is going to submit any oral evidence in rebuttal.


SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, this is the affidavit of Dr. Wilhelm Hoegner, the Bavarian Prime Minister, and it gives his address. In the second paragraph he says

"The two pamphlets, part I and II, submitted to me - 'Hitler and Kahr, the Bavarian would-be Napoleons of 1923, a scandal of justice, exposed in the committee of inquiry of the Bavarian Provincial Diet,' were written by me. At that time I was assistant reporter of the committee of inquiry of the Bavarian Provincial Diet on the Hitler Putsch of 1923. All the facts mentioned in these pamphlets originate from court documents through which I worked personally and from which I made extracts. That also applies especially to the military orders and instructions, partly quoted literally in the pamphlets."
And then, my Lord, he gives an account of the illegal and violent activities of the SA from 1921 to 1933, and, my Lord, that is the long paragraph. Then he goes on to say, dealing with 1933 and 1934:
"The SA did not change their behaviour later on either. Especially after 1930 it distinguished itself in the conflicts with its political opponents by its violence and ruthlessness. After the coming into power of the National Socialists, the SA broke into the houses of political opponents as a heavily armed horde, ill-treated and arrested them. It is known to me that the SA also played an evil part in the persecutions of the Jews in April, 1933. The same was the case in the occupation of the trade union buildings on 2nd May, 1933. Already before that, the chairman of the Munich trade unions, Gustav Schiefer, had actually been attacked by members of the SA in the trade union building, and so seriously ill- treated that he had to spend a long time in the hospital."
Then, my Lord, that is continued with some additional information about the SS in the next paragraph. And then in the ante-penultimate paragraph, it says:
"Before my departure from Germany the former Communist Diet deputies Dressel and Schlaffer were murdered in the concentration camp of Dachau, probably in May, 1933. Whether by the SS or the SA I do not remember for certain. I knew the incident very well because I complained about it to the Reich Minister of Justice, Dr. Guertner, in Berlin."
And then he recounts an incident of the SS murdering somebody else. Then he says:
"The gross excesses of the SA and SS in the service of the NSDAP were accomplished so publicly that the whole population knew about them. Everyone who entered these organizations as a member knew of such excesses."
THE PRESIDENT: Does he say when he left Germany?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, I do not think he does.

THE PRESIDENT: It is rather material, is it not?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, I will get that point discovered. Your Lordship is of course right, we ought to have had that stated as to when he did leave Germany.

THE PRESIDENT: Perhaps one ought to conclude from the document that it only relates to 1933.

[Page 206]

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: Well, my Lord, he does say: "After the coming into power of the National Socialists, the SA ..." did so and so. That is after the beginning and he goes up to May, 1933, to the trade unions. But your Lordship is quite right. There is no specific date given after 1933. I will verify that point, my Lord. Much obliged, my Lord.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Boehm, had you better not wait for your re-examination until after Dr. Seidl has asked questions, if he wants to ask them?

DR. BOEHM: Certainly, but I should like to make one suggestion. The declaration of Dr. Hoegner was submitted at my instigation, as I learnt a short time ago. Now I should like to ask that the statement of the Public Prosecutor at the Court of Appeal in Braunschweig and the declaration of Dr. Schumacher and the declaration of the Mayor of the provincial capital of Braunschweig should also be submitted. These are affidavits which were placed in my pigeonhole with the affidavit of Dr. Hoegner.

THE PRESIDENT: You ask that we should consider the other seven affidavits which were given to you at the same time, is that right?

[ Previous | Index | Next ]

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.