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

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
August 22, 1946

Two Hundred and Ninth Day: Thursday, 22nd August, 1946
(Part 3 of 9)

[Page 9]

THE PRESIDENT: Very well. Now go on with your group, if you will. The last one you gave us was 84, which you said showed that the excesses were only very exceptional.

DR. BOEHM: On the same topic, I should like to submit Affidavit 87, showing the many measures taken against excesses in the West. Affidavits 84 and 57 show that the attitude of the SA toward the Jews was not hostile, as the prosecution asserts, and Affidavits Nos. 54 and 53 show the same. Affidavits 85 and 86 deal with Document 1721 which has already been discussed here, and prove a specific case, namely, that the Gruppenfuehrer of the Brigade "Kurpfalz- Mannheim" did not order the destruction of the synagogues. In the same connection, I should like to mention Affidavit 89, and finally Affidavit No. 76, which shows that after the 9th November, 1938, Lutze prohibited the use of the SA for the purposes of the political leaders, in so far as he ordered that in the future the higher authorities had to approve the use of the SA at any time.

Affidavits 71 and 72 deal with the attitude of the Chief of Staff Lutze, himself. Affidavit 70 shows how people who participated in the incidents during the night from the 9th to the 10th of November, 1938, were punished. How the SA took measures of its own accord against those who had participated in the events of

[Page 10]

that night in November, 1938, may be seen from Affidavit 4. The basic attitude of the SA towards the Church is described in Affidavits 43, 44, and 45. The activity of doctors in the SA is evident from Affidavits 62 and 63. The facts regarding the connection of the SA with concentration camps are contained in Affidavit 16, deposed by Leonhard Sondermann.

Finally, to conclude this group of affidavits, I should like to submit Affidavit 62, deposed by Friese, who is a member of the KPD and an official in the Bavarian Ministry for Political Liberation. As a political opponent who was able to obtain an overall picture, he states that the SA cannot be called a criminal organisation in the sense of Article 6 of the Charter.

THE PRESIDENT: Which number was that?

DR. BOEHM: That was No. 62, no, I beg your pardon, there seems to be a typing error - 82.

Mr. President, I come now to the collective affidavits. They are summarised in about twenty-one pages, but I need not discuss them now, if I could have this document translated. The document is of importance because it is a summary of more than 17,000 statements, which would in my opinion -

THE PRESIDENT: 17,000 what?

DR. BOEHM: 17,000 affidavits.


DR. BOEHM: I have summarised the whole contents of these affidavits in twenty-one pages and I believe that it might be of value to have the document translated. It would then not be necessary to deal with the summary now.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, Dr. Boehm, it may be translated, but it should not be translated till after your speech has been translated.

DR. BOEHM: Very well. Then I submit this summary of affidavits to the Tribunal as General SA 90.

Now, I should like to discuss the affidavits submitted for members of the Stahlhelm and the SA Reiter Corps. The forced transfer of the so-called Junior Stahlhelm into the SA is dealt with in Affidavits 1, 2, 3, 5, 9, 10, 13, 18, 37 and 42. Of all the affidavits submitted in this connection, the following have been translated: Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 9.

The forced incorporation of the Stahlhelm into the SA Reserve is the subject of Affidavits 1, 2, 3, 5, 19, 30, 33, 38, 7, 9, 10, 12, 16, 39, 40, 41, 42 and 43. The compulsory amalgamation of the SA Reserve with the SA is shown in the Affidavits 1, 2, 5, 7, 12, 40,41 and 42. Affidavits 1, 2, 4, 15, 17, 18, 9, 10, 11, 12, 34, 40, 41 and 42 show that the resistance of the Stahlhelm against incorporation was overcome by coercion or deceit.

Affidavits 1, 5, 6, 7, 9, 14, 16, 17, 37, 38, 41 and 42 show that, when the members of the Stahlhelm were taken over by the SA, they formed an independent unit within the SA in keeping with the assurances given to them. Affidavits 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 18, 37, 39, 40, 41 and 44 further prove that even when the promise of corporative independence had been broken, the members of the Stahlhelm continued to represent a separate ideological block within the SA. The fact that the members of the Stahlhelm who were taken over into the SA condemned the war may be seen from Affidavits 1, 2, 5, 9 and 40.

The political tolerance and democratic views of the members of the Stahlhelm are confirmed by Affidavits 4, 5, 9, 13, 16, 37, 39 and 44. That the Stahlhelm did not advocate religious persecution is shown in Affidavits 1, 2, 9 and 18, and Affidavits 1, 2, 4 and 38 show that the Stahlhelm members who were transferred to the SA condemned racial persecution.

In view of the arrest and persecution of the members of the Stahlhelm who had not gone into the SA or who had left the SA again, those of the Stahlhelm

[Page 11]

members who had been taken over felt themselves compelled to remain in the SA, and that is to be proved by Affidavits 1, 2, 3, 4, 37 and 39. That members of the Stahlhelm who had been taken over into the SA had reason to believe that upon leaving the SA they would encounter difficulties in earning a living can be seen from Affidavits 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 16, 18, 34, 37, 38, 39 and 40. Affidavits 1 and 41 show that the Stahlhelm members who were transferred to the SA were kept in the SA by legal decrees and orders. That the members of the Stahlhelm who were taken into the SA Reserve remained reservists in practice, even if they were later formally assigned to active SA formations, may be seen from Affidavits 1, 7, 12, 19, 33, 40, 41, 42, 6, 12, and 30. Affidavits 5 and 42 show that the ranks of the Stahlhelm members in the SA were given out automatically and were, in many cases, only titles without corresponding duties.

I do not think, Mr. President, it will be possible for me to be equally brief in grouping the affidavits for the Reiter SA, because my data on this subject make it difficult -

THE PRESIDENT: Before we hear ... Have you not already given us in your documents adequate evidence about the Riders' Corps? Surely, you have given us four documents generally which allege that the Riders' Corps was purely a sporting organisation, and that being, I suppose, the topic of the affidavits, why not give us the numbers of the affidavits.

DR. BOEHM: Yes, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: I am going to adjourn now. I am only indicating to you what you might do. We will adjourn.

(A recess was taken.)

DR. BOEHM: Mr. President, in connection with the Reiter Corps, I should like to refer to Affidavits 1 to 5, which deal with the purpose, development and organisation of the Reiter Corps.

6 and 7 confirm that the Reiter Corps was concerned with horse breeding, care of horses and training in riding. Affidavits 9, 11, 12, 13, 86, 71, 72, 73, 74, 19 to 24, 87 and 88 are to establish the fact that the Reiter Corps did not commit criminal acts and had no criminal character.

That the Reiter Corps was in no way connected with the Wehrmacht and did not furnish replacements in horses for the Wehrmacht is confirmed in Affidavits 11, 13, 86. That the Reiter Corps did not participate in the seizure of power is established in Affidavits 71 to 74 inclusive, and Affidavits 19 to 24, 87 and 88 prove that the Reiter Corps did not commit Crimes against Humanity.

The attitude of members of the Reiter Corps to the Jewish problem is proved in Affidavits 19, 20, 21 and 88; and their attitude to the Church question in Affidavits 22 and 23. That there were differences of opinion on political matters between the Reiter Corps and the NSDAP is explained in Affidavits 25 and 29; that the Party Leaders were even distrustful of the Reiter Corps is proved in Affidavits 31 and 85, and that those who belonged to the Reiter Corps would hardly have conceived the idea that their membership of the Reiter Corps made them members of a criminal organisation is stated in Affidavits 76, 34, 77, 33 and 35.

Finally I should like to give a brief list of affidavits dealing with the Reiter Corps in the various zones and areas of Germany. First the British Zone: Affidavits NSRK 37, 38, 39, 40, 78 refer to the Rhineland; 41, 42, 79 to Westphalia; 43, 44, 45 to Hanover; 46 to Oldenburg; 47 to East Frisia; 48 to Bremen, Hamburg and Holstein.

In the American Zone: For Bavaria, Affidavits 49, 50 51; Wurttemberg, 52, 53, 54; Hessen, 55, 56, 57, 80; Baden, 58, 59, 60; Upper Swabia, 61, 62; Pfalz, 63.

[Page 12]

For the French Zone, Affidavit 81; and for the Russian Zone: Saxony, 64; Thuringia, 65; East Prussia, 66 and 67; Berlin and Brandenburg, 82; Pomerania, Mecklenburg, 83; Silesia, 84. Mr. President, I should now like to make two applications. The first application is that I may be allowed to introduce as evidence the affidavits deposed by Dr. Kurt Schuhmacher, and the Judge Advocate General, Dr. Stapff of Brunswick, which the prosecution has obtained. I should like to ask that the affidavit of Dr. Kurt Schuhmacher become SA No. 91, and that the affidavit of Judge Advocate General Dr. Stapff of Brunswick become SA No. 92.

THE PRESIDENT: But are they already offered in evidence by the prosecution?

DR. BOEHM: They have not yet been submitted in evidence, but I should like to introduce them. I do not know whether they will be submitted by the prosecution. At any rate, I think that valuable material for the defence of my organisation is contained in these affidavits, which were obtained not by me, but by the prosecution.

THE PRESIDENT: Why do you refer to the prosecution then?

DR. BOEHM: The prosecution has the original of those affidavits, Mr. President. I merely received a copy which was placed in my pigeonhole in the Counsel Room. That is how I learned of them, and I must mention that, because I now have to ask the prosecution to give me the originals so that I may submit them.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes. Well, is there any objection, Sir David, to the ...?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, these were the affidavits to which we referred at the close of the evidence of the witness Guettner. My Lord, we proposed, as I told the Tribunal, to put in certain affidavits in rebuttal. These two were affidavits which we did not propose to use, but we gave copies to the defence, and I said that I had no objection to the defence using them if they so desired. If they think they can get any benefit from them, they can use them as far as the prosecution are concerned. My Lord, that is the position.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes. Very well, then, Dr. Boehm, you can offer those in evidence. SA 91 and 92, did you say?

DR. BOEHM: Yes, Mr. President; and then I should like to make a second application with regard to the admission of an affidavit by Arnolf Rechberg. I wanted to submit that affidavit to disprove the allegation of the prosecution that the SA was a uniform whole and that the conspiracy on the part of the SA must be regarded as a uniform action. This affidavit mentions that there was quite certainly a lack of unity in the SA because elements faithful to Moscow ha deliberately infiltrated into the National Socialist organisations of the SA and the SS; this process began before July, 1930, and by July, 1932, 24,000 Communists, some of them upon instructions from Moscow, had changed over to the SA. It is also mentioned that this infiltration continued after the seizure of power.

THE PRESIDENT: Has this affidavit been submitted to the Commissioners and has it been submitted to the prosecution?

DR. BOEHM: Yes, certainly, Mr. President, this affidavit was discussed before the Commission but was not admitted by the Commission. However, I had the alternative of discussing the document before the Tribunal and of asking the Tribunal to admit it, and I have made use of that alternative. I should like to explain my view by saying that this document is of the greatest probative value, namely in the following connection: Fundamentally, the SA was built on national ideas, but these people, whose ideas certainly did not run on national, but on entirely different lines, brought into the SA a spirit which no doubt destroyed the uniformity alleged by the prosecution and which made the alleged uniformity of the aims of the SA quite impossible, for the aims of National Socialism were, surely, quite different from the aims of the people mentioned in this affidavit.

[Page 13]

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, Sir David?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, I object to this affidavit as being completely irrelevant and based on sources which have no probative value whatsoever. My Lord, if your Lordship has in front of you the proceedings before the Commission, at Page 3221, my Lord, there is a summary of the affidavit there. My Lord, Paragraph 1 of this summary is, "Elements loyal to Moscow infiltrated into the National Socialist combat organisations, SA and SS, consciously, by order of Moscow."

My Lord, that shows the sort of allegation that is made. It is made by Herr Rechberg, who, of course, is a person who shows from the affidavit no possible grounds for any confidence being put in his statements.

My Lord, the same applies to the allegation in Paragraph 2 about the 24,000.

My Lord, in Paragraph 4, there is some reference to correspondence which took place between Herr Rechberg and Sir Wyndham Charles and Sir William Turral, as he then was. But again I have seen the letters. They are clearly cases of somebody pestering these people with letters and getting a reply.

THE PRESIDENT: Sir David, what - in what way does this deponent describe himself? Is he a member of the SA?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, I do not - I just saw the affidavit in German this morning. My Lord, he does not say he is a member of the SA. He is merely a business man who had certain interests in these matters. My Lord, he quotes two pages which were papers ... one a secondary sheet and one a practically unknown German paper, which contained declarations by a Soviet official. My Lord, it would be in my submission an abuse of the purpose of the Tribunal if evidence of an unknown German paper, purporting to quote a Soviet official, were to be taken as a basis in this matter. And, my Lord, as I said ... the whole ... if it were all based on proper evidence, and if the affidavit were the affidavit of a person who showed any grounds of his affidavits being useful, it would still be completely irrelevant to the question of criminality which is before the Tribunal. My Lord, I respectfully request your Lordship to uphold the learned Commissioner who excluded it when it came before the Commission.

THE PRESIDENT: Is there anything you have to add, Dr. Boehm?

DR. BOEHM: Mr. President, my view in this matter is quite different from that of the prosecution -

COLONEL POKROVSKY: My Lord, the Soviet prosecution fully agrees with the point of view submitted by Sir David. I would like to add a few words to the objection which he made. Apart from the fact that the Commission has already rejected this document as being irrelevant and without any probative value, I would like the Tribunal to take into consideration the fact that the author of this document is well known as the source of a number of provocative anti- Soviet unfounded statements. This document contains nothing but slanderous, provocative, dirty attacks in a style typical of the author; such attacks have, I repeat, nothing to do with the present case. At the same time I would like to bring to the Tribunal's attention our objection to Documents 85, 286, 287 and 132. Unfortunately, Sir David did not have the copies of these documents and therefore did not take them into consideration. All four of the documents I have mentioned refer to the year 1925 and to problems connected with the inter-party strife in Germany. They, therefore, have nothing at all to do with the present case. The last document to which we object is Document 82 of which we have only just heard for the first time. It mentions some person whose name I have forgotten for the moment. The defence counsel said that he is a former Communist who comes to the conclusion that the SA is not a criminal organisation under Article 6 of the Charter.

[Page 14]

We are of the opinion that this man is in no way competent to draw expert conclusions on questions which only the Tribunal can decide. That is all I wanted to say, my Lord.

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