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 4 of 9)

[Page 14]

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Do you want to say anything more, Dr. Boehm, before the Tribunal decides?

DR. BOEHM: Yes, Mr. President. Naturally, I have no intention whatever of misusing the Tribunal, as the prosecution has just suggested. But the prosecution has on more than one occasion asserted - and this is shown in the records of 18th December (afternoon session) and 19th December (morning session) - that the SA was a uniform whole, and was also united in its aims, and it is my contention that this affidavit is evidence to the contrary. It is also wrong to say that the man's testimony is not trustworthy. The representatives of the prosecution have known the contents of this affidavit ever since it was discussed before the Commission, they have all known the name of this man and of his residence in Germany, and if there had been any doubts about the credibility of this man, then they could have been brought up today, but that was not done. The simple statement that one cannot believe him is no reason for requesting that his affidavit be rejected.

Since I am still of the opinion that such a large number of people with different political views would disorganise and nullify the common, uniform aims of the SA, I must insist that this affidavit be admitted.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal thinks the decision of the learned Commissioner was correct, and the document will be rejected, for that reason, and on the grounds that it is irrelevant and the deponent has not stated any grounds for his knowledge. The document is rejected therefore.

DR. BOEHM: Mr. President, I should like to clear up one more question. I was not able to deal with all the evidence contained in my document books, in view of the short time at my disposal. I should therefore like to know whether the judgement will consider the factual and legal aspects of all the documents in my document book; for otherwise only a part of the material which I regard as important would be taken into consideration. I would like to request, therefore, that all the material which I have submitted be taken into consideration. If I had dealt with all the documents, my evidence would have taken about six hours, and since that was impossible, I should like to be sure that all my documents will be considered in the judgement of the Tribunal.

THE PRESIDENT: Perhaps we had better hear you, Dr. Boehm, about these affidavits which have been objected to by the Soviet Prosecutor - 85, 86 - beginning with 82 - 82, 85, 86, 87 and 132. I take it that the Commissioner accepted these affidavits. Have you got the numbers? ... Have you got the numbers?

DR. BOEHM: Mr. President, all the documents and affidavits which I discussed; during the session today were dealt with before the Commission.

COLONEL POKROVSKY: I beg your pardon, Mr. President. Evidently there has been a misunderstanding in the translation. I mentioned Nos. 85, 286, 287 and 132. These documents are not written statements and, accordingly, were not submitted to the Commission. The last number I gave was 82. This document was mentioned today for the first time.

THE PRESIDENT: What are they, are they affidavits or what are they?

COLONEL POKROVSKY: They are documents, my Lord; with the exception of 82. Numbers 85, 286, 287, 132 are various documents.

THE PRESIDENT: Wait a minute, Colonel Pokrovsky, the numbers are not coming through accurately in the translation. What are the numbers? Read them slowly, please.

[Page 15]


THE PRESIDENT: 85 did you say? It just now came through as 285, you mean 85?

COLONEL POKROVSKY: 85. I keep repeating - 85.

Then 286, 287, and 132 - these are documents. The last number is 82, which is an affidavit.


Now, Dr. Boehm, do you want to say anything about this?

COLONEL POKROVSKY: I beg your pardon, my Lord. On our copy I gave the number of a document incorrectly. Would you correct No. 85 to 285. So the numbers are 285, 286, and 287. We have just submitted a list of these documents to the Secretary of the Tribunal.

DR. BOEHM: Mr. President ...

THE PRESIDENT: One moment, Doctor Boehm.

The Tribunal will consider the objections on these documents.

And, Dr. Boehm, I ought to give you the opportunity of saying what you wish about these documents.

DR. BOEHM: First of all, I want to defend myself against the charge that I did not discuss these documents with the prosecution. There is not one document in my document book which I have not discussed with Mr. Griffith-Jones, and no other documents have been added to the book. The documents objected to now were included in the document book in agreement with Mr. Griffith-Jones. Documents 285, 286, and 287 are extracts from findings of the State Tribunal for the Protection of the Republic, and of the Supreme Reich Court. Their contents are known to the Tribunal, they are in evidence. We are not dealing here with the attitude taken by any particular side with regard to the activities of the Communists during the period under discussion, but with facts which have been established from a report made by the police headquarters at Stuttgart and based on a literal quotation from the verdicts delivered on the matters in question.

My Document 132 is a photostatic copy of the Deutsche Tageszeitung with a detailed Communist plan of operations for a proposed Putsch in Berlin. These plans are reproduced here, they are commented upon, and they show that in the Germany of that time it was necessary to create an organisation capable of giving protection against such intentions. It is for this reason only that Document 132 was included in my document book.

Affidavit 82 is, I believe, one of the last affidavits; it was also discussed with Mr. Griffith Jones ... with Mr. Marreco, and was admitted by the Commission.

I think that the objections raised today in this respect are somewhat belated.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Boehm, the Tribunal will take into consideration the matter of these documents and will let you know their decision.

DR. BOEHM: Very well, Mr. President. I have nothing further to say.


LT.-COLONEL GRIFFITH-JONES: My Lord, I have these few documents to put in in rebuttal. My Lord, first I have a document to which Sir David referred in his cross- examination of Guettner the other day, which was not formally put in. It is D-972, which becomes Exhibit GB 618.

My Lord, secondly I have a document to put in in rebuttal of a document contained in the SA Defence Book, SA No. 156, which was a decree from the Munich University Department to the SA, which, on the face of it, appears to say that membership of the SA was compulsory for all students.

My Lord, I have another document which is very similar in character, and based upon the same order of the Supreme SA Command, which was issued by

[Page 16]

the SA University Department for Cologne. It is dated two days before the Munich Decree which Dr. Boehm put in. I think you have been given copies of both ... translation of both, for your convenience. It will be dealt with later. I would only at the moment draw your attention to Paragraph 3 of each document.

My Lord, taking, if I may, the Munich Decree - that is to say, the SA document -Paragraph 3 reads:

"According to the decree of 7th February, 1934, SA Service (SS Service) is compulsory for all German students. In accordance with the decree of the Supreme SA Leadership, F 6914, of 27th March, 1934, the ban on taking on newly matriculated students is raised in the period from 25th April to 5th May. All newly matriculated students are therefore bound to join the SA. They have to report at the latest on the 5th May, 1934, to the local offices."
Now, if I might just refer the Tribunal to the similar paragraph in the order issued by the Cologne SA University Department, one sees, at least, that that was not common to all universities. The Tribunal will see that it starts in the same way -
"According to the decree of 7th February, 1934" - the same decree - "SA service is compulsory for all German students."
My submission is that that SA service referred to there and in the Munich Decree is not membership in the SA, but a course of training run by the SA. If one might draw a parallel, it is practically the same as what we know in England as the Officers' Training Corps in the public schools.

And then you see, the remainder of the paragraph is considerably different - "In accordance with the decree of the Supreme SA leadership" - and it quotes the same decree - "the ban on taking on newly matriculated students is raised." In the period - the same period - "of the 25th of April to the 5th of May - every student is thereby offered the possibility of joining the SA. The SA service is compulsory, but the joining of the SA, becoming a member of it, is left purely to the student himself. He simply is offered the possibility of joining."

My Lord, the matter will be lodged by Sir David in his final address to the Tribunal, and I can leave it for a moment by drawing your attention to these two paragraphs. That document will be Exhibit GB 619. The Munich Decree, is, of course, SA 156, and I have a number of short affidavits to put in in rebuttal of the many thousands which have been submitted by the defence.

Perhaps first, I might draw the Tribunal's attention to those two which Dr. Boehm has asked to be submitted. First of all, to the affidavit of Dr. Stapff, which is D-946, and I might mention that the only reason that these two affidavits were not going to be submitted by the prosecution is because they are not actually in the form of affidavits, but a declaration. Some error was made in obtaining them, and they do not show on the face of them that they are affidavits.

THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Griffith-Jones, have we not already admitted them? Sir David said that he did not object to their admission.

LT.-COLONEL GRIFFITH-JONES: I was only going to draw the Tribunal's attention to the one passage, if I might. I think, taking D-946, the second paragraph is the paragraph from which Dr. Boehm probably hopes to receive some assistance. I would draw the Tribunal's attention to the last paragraph which deals with the SS. The remainder of the document describes the appalling atrocities which were happening in Dachau in and around the year 1934. In fact, the last paragraph particularly, "As far as the SS proper is concerned - in contrast to the Waffen SS, the conditions of which I am not in a position to judge - the pretext of compulsory membership cannot be credited in my opinion."

And then he goes on to explain why he thinks so. My Lord, I have -

THE PRESIDENT: This is SA 91 or 92, is it not?

LT.-COLONEL GRIFFITH-JONES: 91. I had forgotten that they had been given. And the second one is the affidavit of Dr. Schuhmacher, D-947, which

[Page 17]

will be handed up to the Tribunal, SA 92. I think the second half of Paragraph No. 1 is probably the paragraph to which Dr. Boehm referred. "That voluntary membership remained customary extensively after 1934," - he is dealing now with the SA and the SS. "In a great number of cases membership resulted also from direct or indirect pressure or was the result of personal wrong speculations." And then he says that that is so particularly in the case of the Stahlhelm, and that the Stahlhelm consisted of a number of persons who were not National Socialists.

My Lord, I would draw the Tribunal's attention particularly to the last paragraph, No. 4, of that affidavit which deals with Blockleiter and Zellenleiter. They "were the foundation for the whole system of terrorism, including the activity of the Gestapo."

DR. SERVATIUS: Mr. President, this document which is being introduced is directed against the Political Leaders, and I object to its use, but for a reason different from the one which has so far been mentioned. I have received a number of copies of these affidavits, and they are the outcome of a general inquiry which has been made. Only some of the answers to this inquiry are contained in the document, and it is my contention that if the result of such an inquiry is utilised at all, then all answers available should be submitted. I think that if, say, one hundred questionnaires were issued, then there must be material for the defence of the Political Leaders in those answers which the prosecution has not submitted. I request, therefore, that if the document is admitted, all the results of the inquiry be submitted. We can then obtain a true picture, which might be more useful to me than the testimony of the members of my organisation, because the people who have deposed those important affidavits are opponents of National Socialism, and because I must assume that favourable arguments, which might be very valuable as part of a general picture, are contained in those affidavits which have not been submitted.

THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Griffith-Jones, the Tribunal does not think it is right at this stage of the trial to allow this document to be put in against the Political Leaders, and therefore the document will have to be excluded altogether.

LT.-COLONEL GRIFFITH-JONES: My Lord, if that is so, then that, of course, will apply to the other eight or nine affidavits that the prosecution has got. These affidavits were obtained to rebut the vast mass of material which has been put in in the form of affidavits by all those organisations. In actual fact, I can state that there were no affidavits other than the ones that I am proposing to put before the Tribunal, and these two which we were not intending to put, because, as I say, they were not in the form of an affidavit; but there are no other affidavits that we have obtained and they - all of them, or most of them, - deal with one or more or all the organisations. They are put in simply in rebuttal of the mass of material which has been presented to the Tribunal on behalf of the defence of those organisations. And, if I might say so -

THE PRESIDENT: I think you had better offer those so that we may see them. We have seen this one, and we know, of course, from what you have told us that it is one which the prosecution had before and did not propose to offer, but the others may be different.

LT.-COLONEL GRIFFITH-JONES: My Lord, they are all in very much the same form, and of course, defence counsel have had copies of them now for nearly a fortnight.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, you had better offer them to us and we can look at them.

LT-COLONEL GRIFFITH-JONES: And without referring the Tribunal to any particular passage?

[Page 18]

THE PRESIDENT: No, I think you had better offer them and refer to the passages, and we will see whether we will admit them.

LT.-COLONEL GRIFFITH-JONES: If your Lordship pleases.

DR. SERVATIUS: Mr. President, may I add one remark? These affidavits all originate from persons who are today holding high government offices. They are probably the most important of all the affidavits which have so far been submitted, and I shall now have no opportunity to investigate how they may be refuted in detail. I should like to be in a position to do so, but that, of course, is no longer possible at this stage. Moreover, I did not even know whether these affidavits would be introduced or not, and I have now completed my evidence and am ready with my final speech.

LT.-COLONEL GRIFFITH-JONES: My Lord, might I say this? Sir David, of course, asked the Tribunal's permission to put these in some days ago, the Tribunal will remember. Ever since then defence counsel have had an opportunity of investigating and seeing these documents and Dr. Servatius says that he has no - he had no opportunity to investigate, whatever he means by that, these documents. The prosecution has had no kind of opportunity to investigate the three hundred thousand affidavits that have been put in on behalf of the defence.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal considers that they had better look at them and see.

DR. SERVATIUS: Mr. President, may I draw your attention to a point of formality? I have not got the documents at hand at the moment, but as far as I was able to see, they were deposed after the 7th of May, that was the key date and they do not comply with the formalities. They should have been certified before an officer, but some of them were only certified before a notary; so that according to the rules of the Tribunal which have been in force up to now, the would have to be rejected. I myself have not been able to introduce any statements which were not certified or sworn before an officer.

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