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 6 of 9)

[Page 23]

DR. PELCKMANN: But I should like to clarify matters absolutely by stating that the assertion made by Erhardt does not refer to the 136,000 affidavits but rather to the answers to a questionnaire. I should expressly like to withdraw as evidence the statistics which I announced yesterday in just three words and which the General Secretary now has. I do not attach any value to these statistics.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Pelckmann, you are going to make a speech, are you not, in a few days' time. Is not this a matter with which you will deal then? You will have the opportunity of criticising Erhardt's affidavit. This is not the time to do it.

DR. PELCKMANN: Mr. President, I believe it is my duty to state my views concerning an affidavit which has been submitted by the prosecution even though the presentation of evidence has been concluded. I will do more -

THE PRESIDENT: Well, Dr. Pelckmann, I just told you that it is not your duty and you will be able to deal with it when you make your speech and therefore the Tribunal does not desire to hear any more about it.

DR. PELCKMANN: In order to reply to this affidavit by Erhardt, although I attach no value to the statistics, I request you to summon two witnesses from this camp, for naturally I cannot -

THE PRESIDENT: If you want to make an application, you must make it in writing. Now, Dr. Servatius.

COLONEL SMIRNOV: Mr. President, I ask to make two short applications on behalf of the Soviet prosecution. The first one is concerned with the excluding from the record of the morning and the afternoon sessions of 23rd April, 1946, of the discussion which -

THE PRESIDENT: Do not go too fast, April what?

COLONEL SMIRNOV: 23rd April, Mr. President; the morning and the afternoon sessions of 23rd April. The discussion which arose about the official appendix to the report of the Government of the Polish Republic. I mean the directive from the Department of Propaganda in Poland. The witness Buehler declared here that he doubted the authenticity of this document and based his doubts on certain expressions which seemed to him not quite German. By investigating this episode, it appears that the witness had not the German original but the appendix which has been translated from German into Polish and then from Polish into English and then from English back into German which, of course, caused a certain confusion in terminology. As far as I was informed, Dr. Seidl, defence counsel for the defendant Frank, became familiar with this document and has not objected to excluding this part from the minutes in as much as it was caused by the defects of translation. All these documents have, therefore, been submitted to the secretariat of the Tribunal. That is the first application which I would like to submit to the Tribunal. The second one is -

THE PRESIDENT: I am not certain, but I thought we had already dealt with that point, in view of Dr. Seidl's withdrawing his objection to that document, and perhaps you can find out afterwards whether we have already dealt with it. There was certainly a document presented to us from Dr. Seidl in which he said that having checked up on the particular document with which he was dealing, he was now convinced that it was all right.

COLONEL SMIRNOV: Yes, Mr. President. As far as I know, Dr. Seidl does not object to excluding this part from the record because the confusion was caused by a faulty translation.

THE PRESIDENT: You mean that your application is to strike out Buehler's evidence?

COLONEL SMIRNOV: On the part concerning this document.

[Page 24]

THE PRESIDENT: We will consider your application, Colonel Smirnov.

COLONEL SMIRNOV: The second application consists of the following: In the report of the Polish Government submitted to the Tribunal, in many cases only incomplete figures are stated for the losses suffered by Poland as a result of the war. This was caused by the fact that, at the time when the report was made, these losses had not been calculated, and I would like to ask the Tribunal to admit an official memorandum of the Presidium of Polish Ministers, War Reparations Branch, which contains all the complete figures of the losses suffered by Poland during the Second World War. The text of this document has been translated into all four languages; that is to say, into English, Russian, French and German. That is my second application to the Tribunal. I have no more applications to make, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Are you suggesting that this is evidence in rebuttal?

COLONEL SMIRNOV: No, Mr. President; it was caused by the inexact translation. This is a document supplementing the governmental report of the Polish Republic with the exact figures of the losses suffered by Poland during the war. It contains data on the military losses of Poland during the Second World War, on the losses in manpower and in property. It is a supplementary document and not one in rebuttal.

THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Smirnov, the document is dated the 29th January, 1946, and now you wish to offer this document in evidence at the end of August, 1946, at the very end of this trial.

COLONEL SMIRNOV: Mr. President, this document was given to the Soviet Delegation only recently, very recently. Obviously some time was needed for the translation of this document into four languages. Anyhow we received it only very recently.

THE PRESIDENT: I was not suggesting that you were in any way to blame, Colonel Smirnov. The Tribunal thinks that this document cannot be put in a this late stage; the document appears to have been made a long time ago and though it may have been received by you recently, it is not proper that it should admitted at this stage.

COLONEL SMIRNOV: I submitted this document, Mr. President, exclusively for one reason. I considered that the data contained in this document adds substantial significance to the picture of the general losses suffered by the Polish Republic. I think that the data could only be completed by submitting this document and that was the reason why I submitted this application to the Tribunal.

THE PRESIDENT: That may very well be, Colonel Smirnov, but the reason why the Tribunal rejects it is because it is submitted at such a late stage that it is impossible for the Tribunal to go into the facts which are alleged in it or to give the defendants the opportunity of contradicting it. We will consider the other matters you have drawn our attention to.

DR. NELTE (defence counsel for the defendant Keitel): Mr. President, since Dr. Servatius, my colleague, has just been called upon to deliver his final plea, I believe I may assume that the presentation of evidence against the organisations is now to be considered as concluded. Now, I should like to ask the High Tribunal when the right time would be to settle the applications for evidence which are still outstanding. This concerns the individual defendants who have made applications for evidence or have submitted affidavits in the course of the proceedings against the organisations. Can that be done now, or when should it be done?

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Nelte, the Tribunal understands that you have got some evidence which you have already applied for, which you want to offer. You have it all ready, is that right?

[Page 25]

DR. NELTE: Yes, indeed, I have already handed it in and submitted it to the prosecution and I informed the High Tribunal about this in writing on 9th August. It is a question of just when I should ... it is a question of how I can introduce the three affidavits here.

THE PRESIDENT: Have you got the evidence now?


THE PRESIDENT: Well, Dr. Nelte, we think that you might offer these affidavits now unless they are objected to by the prosecution.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: There is no objection as far as I know. There is certainly none from Mr. Dodd and myself. I have not heard from any of my colleagues, but I do not know of any objection.

THE PRESIDENT: You may offer them now. With reference to the other defendants, they will -

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: I beg your pardon, my Lord, there is no objection from either.

THE PRESIDENT: With reference to the other defendants, counsel will understand that if they have any fresh evidence arising out of the evidence offered by the counsel for the organisation, they must offer that evidence during the course of the speeches for the organisations or immediately at the end of the speeches for the organisations; and that after that has been done, no further evidence can be offered.

We will take the offering of your evidence now.

DR. NELTE: These affidavits, however, have not yet been translated since I could not apply for the translation until I had the approval of the prosecution. May I submit -

THE PRESIDENT: You are suggesting that we postpone hearing the affidavits until we get the translations?



DR. SAUTER (defence counsel for the defendant von Schirach): Mr. President, I still have two interrogatories to put in. Two interrogatories which were duly approved by the High Tribunal, and which in the meantime have been returned, and which I have already submitted in the prescribed way. One is Interrogatory 137, Baldur von Schirach, Document Book von Schirach 137, an interrogatory by a certain Guenther Kauffmann who used to work on the staff of the defendant, von Schirach, in the Hitler Youth Leadership. This interrogatory deals chiefly with Schirach's attitude on the question of war, his attitude to foreign policy, his attitude on the treatment of Eastern peoples, and his attitude on the Jewish question, and finally, on propaganda abroad. This interrogatory is being given No. 137 in the Document Book von Schirach.

The next interrogatory will be von Schirach No. 138. It is a Russian interrogatory deposed by a witness, Ida Vasseaux, I repeat, Ida Vasseaux, who, in the meantime, has been interrogated once more. In this interrogatory I consider only two sentences on Pages 4 and 5 of any value, and I have marked these in red in the margin. This interrogatory, as I said, is being given the number von Schirach 138.

And finally, may I give you the number for another piece of evidence. On the 11th July, 1946, I submitted to the High Tribunal the original copy of a newspaper, the Rhein Neckar Zeitung, of the 6th July, 1946, together with a supplementary document, for the purpose of proving that the witness Lauterbacher, who was heard before the Tribunal in the case of Schirach, has in the meantime been acquitted by an English Superior Court, in the well-known matter where a

[Page 26]

certain Kremer had accused Gauleiter Lauterbacher of ordering the murder of the inmates of the Hameln penitentiary. An original copy of this newspaper article has already been submitted to you on the 11th July, 1946. It is being given the number won Schirach Exhibit 137.

MR. DODD: Mr. President, that matter has been raised so many times by Dr. Sauter that I think we should make the record clear. At the time that I used that paper which was in our hands for the purpose of cross-examining the witness Lauterbacher, the Tribunal ruled that the matter should not be submitted, or would not be accepted in evidence, and so it never has become evidence before this Tribunal. I pressed for it at the time, I frankly confess, but the Tribunal very briefly, as the later events revealed, refused to have it submitted in evidence. If Dr. Sauter takes pleasure in talking about it once in a while, I have no objection to it, but it does not help this Tribunal very much, and it does not seem to do very much good to constantly bring it up.

DR. SAUTER: Mr. President, the newspaper article which I submitted on 11th July bears the date of 6th July, 1946, the 6th day of the seventh month of the year, and therefore after the witness Lauterbacher was interrogated. Therefore, it obviously could not have been taken into consideration during Lauterbacher's interrogation; it might however be of importance for judging the character of the witness Lauterbacher. For the High Tribunal will perhaps remember that it was precisely Mr. Dodd who at that time confronted Lauterbacher with this business of the Hameln [sic] penitentiary. Lauterbacher contested this under oath, but a witness named Kremer asserted it in an affidavit. In the meantime this witness Kremer has been convicted, but the witness Lauterbacher has been acquitted, and I believe that this fact would appear to be of importance to the High Tribunal in judging the credibility, the reliability of the witness Lauterbacher.

MR. DODD: I will withdraw my objection. If Dr. Sauter wants to prove that he was not a hangman, I have no objection to it. I do not suppose it is very important. I will not object to it if he wants to put it in that he was not a poisoner or a hangman. Von Schirach rejected the document, but, in any case, Dr. Sauter wants to prove that he was not. I do not suppose we should object to it.

THE PRESIDENT: He just wants to show that Lauterbacher was freed by some -

MR. DODD: He was freed of the charge I raised against him here. Dr. Sauter is not content with that, he wants to prove it over again. He wants to prove that he was not a hangman and not a poisoner. We do not object to that.

DR. SAUTER: Mr. President, of course, I do not wish to prove that Lauterbacher is not a hangman, for up to now even the prosecution has not been seriously able to maintain that. I merely want to prove that the witness whom the prosecution brought forward with an affidavit - namely, this Dr. Kraemer - is not a trustworthy witness and that he did not tell the truth. And that in the meantime this has been legally established by the judgement of an English court. That might be of importance in the question of the credibility of the witness, Dr. Kraemer, in his affidavit, on the one hand, and that of the witness Lauterbacher, who appeared here, on the other.

THE PRESIDENT: What is the document you are wanting to put in? A newspaper article?

DR. SAUTER: The name of the newspaper - I have submitted it to you - is Rhein Neckar Zeitung, R-h-e-i-n N-e-c-k-a-r Z-e- i-t-u-n-g, of the 6th July, 1946, and I submitted it to the Tribunal with the proper form on the 11th July, 1946.

Mr. President, I think that will be all I should like to say regarding requests for evidence. Thank you very much.

[Page 27]

THE PRESIDENT: We will consider it. Now, Dr. Servatius.

DR. SERVATIUS: Mr. President, the English translations were to have been completed this morning, and it is quite possible that they are ready now. But I am not certain on that point. Therefore only the German text is available. I gave a copy to the interpreters.

Mr. President, may it please the Tribunal, the prosecution has moved to have the Corps of Political Leaders declared as criminal. What is the charge against the persons grouped together under this name?

Points of investigations were the persecution of the Jews; the conflict with the Church, as well as the dissolution of the trade unions; the incitement to lynch airmen who made emergency landings; the maltreatment of foreigners; the arrest of political opponents, and methods of surveillance and police spying.

In relation to this, the fundamental legal point involved in the accusation raised by the prosecution has to be expounded. The accusation is to the effect that the Corps of Political Leaders collectively committed the deeds mentioned for the purpose of unleashing a war of aggression, or that they had banded together in order to commit the above- mentioned War Crimes.

It must be made clear in the beginning that deeds which do not result from these motives, or which as individual actions do not belong to the Common Plan or Conspiracy are not included in this accusation.

The major crimes, such as the extermination of the Jews and the killing of political opponents in concentration camps are not Crimes Against Humanity within the meaning of the Charter, and the minor measures of police spying or election frauds are in themselves insignificant in this trial, provided that they were not carried out with the aim of being Crimes Against Humanity, Crimes against Peace, and War Crimes as set down in Article 6 of the Charter.

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