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 Fifth Day: Friday, 16th August, 1946
(Part 4 of 10)

[Page 224]

DR. BOEHM: Mr. President, I have but four more questions which deal with the affidavit which was submitted yesterday, deposed by Minister President Dr. Hoegner, and these are the final questions.


Q. Witness, in the affidavit deposed by Minister President Dr. Hoegner which was read yesterday, it says: Already in the year 1922" - I believe it was the so-called German Day at Coburg - "the SA with its armed bands dominated the streets, made attacks on the peaceful population and particularly on people who held different political opinions; and travelled in lorries to all demonstrations of the National Socialist movement."

Now I should like to ask you, what were the conditions in Coburg like and what were the occurrences which took place there? Who attacked whom? Please be brief.

[Max Juettner] A. I did not participate in the first appearance of the SA outside Munich, on the German Day in Coburg, but I was informed in detail by a number of colleagues who were participants. For quite some time beforehand the opposition Press tried to prevent this SA rally and they incited the people against it. As soon as the transports left Munich, conflicts occurred and the police searched the SA members who were leaving for weapons, and the same thing happened when the transports arrived at Coburg. In Coburg there was a majority of the political opponents, the SPD and similar organizations. The SA was in the minority by

[Page 225]

far and the fact that the conflicts were not more serious is due entirely to the disciplined behaviour of the SA. Coburg may be taken as a classic example of that. These attacks were not only started and carried out by the Coburg political opponents but by people who had come in from the outside and who were overwhelmingly stronger than the SA.

Q. Dr. Hoegner declares further in his affidavit:

"The appearance of the SA was all the more dangerous because it had been trained by the Reichswehr as a sort of auxiliary unit and some had their own stores of arms while others had access to the secret stores of arms of the Reichswehr."
Is that true?

A. This statement is quite incomprehensible to me. The Reichswehr at that time, with the approval of the Government, carried on a training programme for the purpose of protecting the border, especially after the incidents along the Polish border, which made it necessary to protect our home borders. The men who were brought in for this training were taken from such units as "Stahlhelm," "Jung Deutscher Orden" and Reichsbanner." Only one Organization was not admitted to this training and that was the SA, and that was mainly due to the instigation of the civil authorities, who, I remember, were very close to Dr. Hoegner's party at that time. Secondly, the Reichswehr had arms dumps for the purpose of protecting the frontiers and these arms dumps were kept very secret and rightly so, for there were uprisings and riots all over Germany - I am thinking of Braunschweig, Hamburg, etc. It was important that these weapons should not fall into the hands of unauthorised persons. On the occasion of the Polish uprising, in which I myself took part as a member of a Free Corps, one of these dumps was used with the agreement of the Inter-Allied Military Commission. A British officer who belonged to the Commission and whom I knew very well from the previous war supported us in the most chivalrous manner. It is remarkable that Dr. Hoegner should try to lay these arms dumps at the door of the SA, for he really must have known that Minister Noske, who was a close friend of his, had given the Reichswehr permission to set up these dumps. Thirdly, I should like to say that between the SA and the Reichswehr an extraordinary state of tension existed. I know that from General Heyle. He was General Seekt's successor, and I knew him well from the previous world war. The result was that von Losse in November of 1923 was responsible for the failure of the action in Munich in which the SA participated. It shows also that General von Seekt was strongly opposed to the NSDAP. Dr. Hoegner must have known that as well for in connection with this question he afterwards -

THE PRESIDENT: That is just argument.

DR. BOEHM: That will do. My question was only whether you had access to these dumps, if they really existed as secret Reichswehr dumps.

A. No. That was completely out of the question. May I continue?

Q. That is quite sufficient. Dr. Hoegner further asserts in his affidavit that on 9th November, 1923, Ludendorff was considered the man to unleash the national war. What do you know about that?

A. I beg your pardon, but only a day-dreamer could assert such a thing. General Ludendorff, after the First World War, wanted a peaceful solution

THE PRESIDENT: It is quite sufficient, if he says no to your question.

DR. BOEHM: Yes, Mr. President.


Q. Do you remember that weapons were found in 1933 in the Gewerkschaftshaus (Trade Union House) in Munich?

A. Yes.

[Page 226]

Q. And now one last question. What were relations like between the SA and Himmler?

A. The relations between Staff Chief Lutze and Himmler were the worst conceivable. The personal relations between the SA and the former Reichsfuehrer SS were definitely bad. In conclusion may I give a very brief explanation to the questions which were put, your Lordship?

DR. BOEHM: To which questions did you want to make a few remarks?

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Boehm, you can make, of course, in your speech, what arguments you like, but unless it is in answer to some question from you, I do not think this witness ought to say anything on his own, unless there is something he wants to clear up in his evidence.

DR. BOEHM: The witness wanted to clarify some questions which I had put to him, your Honour, as far as I understood him.

THE PRESIDENT: What question do you want to clarify?

THE WITNESS: The question of whether the SA committed war crimes or crimes against humanity.

DR. BOEHM: Mr. President, I would like to ask that the explanation be permitted.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well, if he does it briefly.

THE WITNESS: I shall be very brief, your Lordship. To conclude the questions put to me I should like to assure you upon my oath that we of the SA did not do anything bad. We did not want a war and we did not prepare for a war. We of the SA, the leadership and the organization itself, did only those things which, in other countries, are expected of the men of the nation as their moral duty, which Mr. Truman or Marshal Stalin or the statesmen of England and France expect of their men, namely, to do everything to protect the home country and to maintain peace. We of the SA did not commit any crimes against humanity, either. The leadership did not decree them, nor did they tolerate them, nor allow the organization to be guilty of any of them. When individuals commit misdeeds they should be punished and this is our will, that they shall be brought to just punishment.

We, therefore, do not ask for mercy or sympathy by portraying our domestic distress. We ask only for justice, for nothing else, for our conscience is clear. We acted as patriots. If patriots are to be labelled as criminals, then we were criminals.

DR. BOEHM: Mr. President, I have no further questions.

THE PRESIDENT: The witness can retire.

DR. PANNENBECKER (counsel for defendant Frick): Mr. President, one document for Frick is still outstanding, a document which was granted to me before the end of the evidence, but which has not been handed in. I ask to be allowed to present it now. It is an answer to a questionnaire by Dr. Konrad in Berlin, which deals with the attitude of the Ministry of the Interior to the Church question. It is Frick Exhibit No. 15. I believe I may refer to this document without reading it in full.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes. Now, then, counsel for the defendant Funk wanted to recall the defendant, did he not? Yes, well, will you do that now?

DR. STAHMER (counsel for defendant Goering): Mr. President, on 14th August I submitted a written application to present evidence which has not been decided upon, and which probably cannot be decided upon yet. It is not possible for me to tell whether this application for evidence will be considered if I cannot refer to it at the present stage of the proceedings. It deals with incidents which were discussed in the session of 9th August during the cross- examination of the

[Page 227]

witness Sievers by the British prosecution. On this occasion it was said that the defendant Goring was connected with medical experiments which were made with concentration camp inmates. It was in connection with the experiments to make sea-water drinkable, to find a cure for spotted fever, and finally, with freezing experiments. These experiments allegedly were carried out on concentration camp inmates, and it was asserted that all of this took place at the direction of - or rather, with the approval of - Goering. Now I should like to prove that Goering did not decree these experiments, and therefore they were not carried out on his instructions, and that he did not even have knowledge of such practices.

In this connection I named as witnesses, first of all, Dr. Schroeder, a Staff Medical Officer of the Luftwaffe, who apparently is a prisoner in British or American hands. I also named the defendant Goering himself as a witness, for it is uncertain whether it is possible to bring the witness Schroeder here in time. Therefore I should like to ask the High Tribunal's permission to have Goering recalled to the witness stand so that I can examine him in regard to these questions which I have just mentioned and outlined.

THE PRESIDENT: Would you please give the Tribunal a reference to the transcript where the defendant Goering testified upon the question of experiments.

DR. STAHMER: Mr. President, I tried to do that. I want to prove that. I have not received the transcript as yet. These documents were submitted in the afternoon session of 9th August. I could not get the individual numbers, I will submit them later today.

THE PRESIDENT: You are misunderstanding me. What I asked you for was a reference to the transcript where the defendant Goring himself was questioned, as I imagine he was questioned, about experiments generally.

DR. STAHMER: Yes, he has been examined generally on this matter, and the witness Milch also testified in general. General Milch was heard on this matter on 8th March.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, Dr. Stahmer?

DR. STAHMER: General Milch was heard on this matter on 8th March, 1946, Page 5,577 of the German transcript.

But I should like to point out that Field-Marshal Milch testified generally to only a part of these questions. But now specific accusations have been raised, which were unknown to me at the time and in regard to which I could examine neither the defendant Goering nor the witness Milch.

THE PRESIDENT: What I wanted to know in addition was at what page in the transcript the defendant Goring himself dealt with the matter, either in the examination in chief or in cross-examination or re-examination.

DR. STAHMER: I cannot tell you yet; but I will submit it immediately.

THE PRESIDENT: We will consider the matter. Have the prosecution any observations they wish to make with reference to the application on behalf of the defendant Goering?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, this is the first time that I had heard of the application, so I am speaking from memory.

My Lord, my recollection is that the prosecution put in certain correspondence about the experiments. That was put in cross-examination by Mr. Justice Jackson to Marshal Milch so that when the defendant Goering went into the witness box the question of his connection with the experiments was a matter that was known to him and with which he could deal.

My Lord, I would like to do the same as I understand the Tribunal wants to check as to how far he did deal with it, and if there is any further point arising on that, perhaps I could mention it to the Tribunal later on.

[Page 228]

THE PRESIDENT: Could you do that when we rise, or just before we rise today?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: Certainly, my Lord. I will have it looked into at once.

THE PRESIDENT: And perhaps Dr. Stahmer could let us have a reference to the passages in the transcript at one o'clock, or even two o'clock. One o'clock would be preferable.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: That would help a lot.

DR. SAUTER (counsel for defendant Funk): With the permission of the Tribunal, I will call the defendant Funk to the witness box.

WALTER FUNK took the stand and testified as follows:


Defendant, you understand you are still under oath?


THE PRESIDENT: You may sit down.



Q. Dr. Funk, can you understand me?

A. Yes.

Q. Dr. Funk, today I must examine you about this affidavit submitted by the prosecution last week, deposed by the former SS Obergruppenfuehrer Pohl, dealing with concentration camps. You yourself have been heard on this group of questions on 7th May here in this courtroom. In this examination of 7th May, in response to a question, you stated that at that time you had seen this Obergruppenfuehrer Pohl once, and I quote from the transcript of 7th May, "I saw him once at the bank, when he was having lunch with Herr Puhl, the Vice-President of the Bank, and some of the other gentlemen of the Directorate. I passed through the room and I saw him sitting there. I myself," you said, "never discussed these matters with Herr Pohl (Gruppenfuehrer of the SS). It is completely new to me that these things took place." That is a literal quotation from your testimony of 7th May. Now Obergruppenfuehrer Pohl, in his affidavit No. 4045-PS, which was submitted to the Tribunal on 5th May, stated that he had talked to you twice. Do you remember the other conversation you had with him, a conversation which you did not mention at that time? Yes or no?

A. No.

Q. What can you say about this other conversation, regarding the statement of Obergruppenfuehrer Pohl? I mean the conversation in regard to which Obergruppenfuehrer Pohl stated that he had talked with you on Himmler's instructions so that you, as Reich Minister of Economics, would give preferential treatment to the SS when textiles were being allotted, apparently for uniforms? What can you say on this subject?

A. It is my conviction that this conversation did not take place. At any rate, try as I may, I cannot remember such a conversation with Pohl, and many things show that it could not have taken place. First of all, I did not concern myself with such specific things as the allocation of textiles to a branch of the services. Secondly, I always held conversations like that in the presence of my State Secretary or in the presence of the competent Chief of the Department and specialist, and particularly if the conversation was with a person whom I did not know. I never concerned myself with the supplying of textiles from concentration camps. These things came within the province of the Reich Commissar for the utilization of old materials. That was an office outside the Ministry. It is my conviction that it was done in this way: the old material, that is, the old used textiles, from the collecting depots went directly to the factories which processed

[Page 229]

material of this sort. Therefore, it is my conviction that the officials of the Ministry of Economics knew nothing about the deliveries of this material from concentration camps, because it had been collected previously by the Economic Department of the SS under the leadership of Pohl. Before this trial, I did not even know that the concentration camps were under Pohl's jurisdiction. I had no idea of the connection between the Economic Department of the SS and the concentration camps. Also the size of these deliveries of old materials was not so big in proportion to the entire production that I would have to be bothered with them. But let us suppose that Herr Pohl did visit me. My memory is not quite what it used to be, especially after the many years of illness that I have gone through, so that a visit of that kind, which Pohl stated lasted only a few minutes, might have slipped my memory. If Pohl had expressed to me such a wish on the part of Himmler, then I most certainly would have turned this matter over to my State Secretary for him to handle. But Pohl's assertion that he said something to me about dead Jews from whom these deliveries were supposed to have come, these goods delivered by the SS as old material, is monstrous. That was supposed to have been in 1941, perhaps 1942. That Pohl should tell me, whom he was seeing for the first time, a secret which was closely guarded up to the end, is in itself incredible. But he had no reason to mention dead Jews to me when he told me that big deliveries would be arriving from the SS. It seemed to be perfectly plausible to me, for in the large domain of the SS, where hundreds of thousands of men were housed in barracks, and were clothed by the State, there must constantly have been much old material such as textiles, blankets, uniforms, underlinen, etc.

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