The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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                                                  [Page 299]

FORTY-SEVENTH DAY

THURSDAY, 31ST JANUARY, 1946

THE MARSHAL OF THE COURT: May it please the Court, I desire
to announce that the defendants Kaltenbrunner and Seyss-
Inquart will be absent from this morning's session on
account of illness.

M. DUBOST: Before finishing, Gentlemen, I must read a few
more documents concerning war prisoners.

First of all, it will be Document L-166, which we present as
Exhibit RF-377, Page 65 in your document book. It concerns a
note regarding pursuit planes, and summarises an interview
with the Reich Marshal on 15 and 16 May 1944. Page 8,
paragraph 20:

   "The Reich Marshal will propose to the Fuehrer that
   American and British crews who fire on towns
   indiscriminately, on civilian trains in motion, or on
   soldiers dropping by parachute, shall be immediately
   shot on the spot."

The importance of this document need not be emphasised. It
shows the guilt of the defendant Goering in reprisals
against Allied military aviators brought down in Germany.

We shall now read Document R-1 17, which we submit as
Exhibit RF 378.

THE PRESIDENT: What page?

M. DUBOST: Page 88.

Two Liberators brought down on 21 June 1944 in the district
of Mecklenburg landed with their crews intact, fifteen men
all told. All were shot on the pretext of attempting to
escape. The documents which we present to you on Page 88 and
which we submit as Exhibit RF 378 relate to this murder.
They were found in the files of the headquarters of the
Eleventh Luftgaukommando, and state that nine members of the
crew were handed over to the local police.

The penultimate paragraph, third line:

   "They were taken prisoner and handed over to the
   municipal police in Waren. Lieutenants Helton and Ludka
   were handed over on 21 June by the municipal police to
   the SS Understurmfuehrer and Commissar of the Criminal
   Police. Stamp of the Security Police in Furstenberg
   (Mecklenburg)."

Last paragraph:

   "These seven prisoners were shot en route while
   attempting to escape."

Last line of the, page:

   "Lieutenants Helton and Ludka were also shot on the same
   day while attempting to escape."

Regarding the second Liberator, Page 91:

   "Subject, Crash-landing of a Liberator on 21 June 1944,
   at 11.30 a.m." - this is the third paragraph - "six of
   crew shot while attempting to escape, one seriously
   wounded, was brought to the station
   hospital at Schuwrin."

Now, as Exhibit RF 379, we submit Document F-553, which the
Tribunal will find on Page 101 of the document book. This
document concerns the internment of war prisoners in
concentration camps and extermination camps. Among the
escaped prisoners a discrimination was made. If they were
privates, or non-commissioned officers who had agreed to
work, they were

                                                  [Page 300]


generally sent to the camp and punished in conformity with
Article 47 and the following of the Geneva Convention. If
they were officers or non-commissioned officers - this is a
comment I am making on the document which I shall read to
the Tribunal - if it was a question of officers or non-
commissioned officers who refused to work they were handed
over to the police and, in general, murdered without trial.

One understands the aim of this discrimination. Those French
commissioned officers who, in spite of the pressure of the
German authorities, refused to work in German war industry,
had a very high conception of their patriotic duty. Their
attempt to escape, therefore, created against them a kind of
presumption of inadaptability to the Nazi Order, and they
had to be eliminated. Extermination of these patriots
assumed a systematic character from the beginning of 1944;
and the responsibility of Keitel is unquestionably involved
in this extermination, as he approved it if he did not
specifically order it.

The document which the Tribunal has before it is a letter of
protest by General Berard, Head of the French Delegation, to
the German Armistice Commission, addressed to the German
General Vogl, the chief of the said commission. It deals
specifically with information reaching France concerning the
extermination of escaped prisoners.

First paragraph, fourth line: "This note takes notice of a
German organisation independent of the Wehrmacht, under
whose authority fall escaped prisoners."

This note was addressed on 29 April 1944 by the commandant
of OFLAG X-C. Page 102:

   "Captain Lussus of OFLAG X-C," declares General Berard
   to the German Armistice Commission, "and Lieutenant
   Girot, also of OFLAG X-C, who had made an attempt to
   escape on 27 April 1944, were recaptured in the
   immediate vicinity by the camp guard.

   "On 23 June 1944 the French PW liaison officer of OFLAG
   X-C received two funeral urns containing the ashes of
   these two officers. The commandant of the camp declared
   that no information could be given, and the French
   authorities remain ignorant of the date, place or
   circumstances of the deaths of Captain Lussus and
   Lieutenant Girot."

General Berard pointed out at the same time to the German
Armistice Commission that the note - which the Tribunal will
find on Page 104 - had been communicated by the commandant
of OFLAG X-C to the French PW liaison officer responsible
for his comrades at that camp.

   "You will bring to the attention of your comrades the
   fact that there exists, for the control of people moving
   about illicitly, a German organisation which extends its
   activity over all zones of war from Poland to the
   Spanish frontier. Every escaped prisoner who is
   recaptured and found to be in possession of civilian
   goods, false papers, and identity cards and photographs,
   falls under the authority of this organisation. What
   becomes of him, I cannot tell you. Warn your comrades
   that this matter is particularly serious."

The significance of the last two lines becomes only too
clear in the case of the two urns of the escaped officers,
handed to the French liaison officer of the camp.

Our colleagues of the Soviet prosecution will present the
methods by which the escapes of the officers from the Sagan
camp were dealt with.

THE PRESIDENT: Was there any answer to this complaint? What
have you just been reading, as I understand it, is a
complaint made by the French General, Berard, to the German
head of the Armistice Commission, is that right?

M. DUBOST: Mr. President, I do not know if there was an
answer. What I know is that the archives in Vichy at the
time of the Liberation were in part looted and in part
destroyed through military action. If we had an answer

                                                  [Page 301]

it would have been found in the Vichy archives, for the
documents we present now are the documents of the German
archives of the German Armistice Commission. As to the
French archives, I don't. know what has become of them. In
any case it is possible they may have disappeared as a
result of military action.

Will the Tribunal pardon me? I was about to inform it that
my Soviet colleagues would present the repressive measures
employed at Sagan camp against attempts to escape.

We submit as Exhibit RF 320, Document F-672, which the
Tribunal will find on Page 115 of the document book. This is
a report from the Service for War Prisoners and Deportees,
dated 9 January 1946, which relates to the deportation to
Buchenwald of twenty French war prisoners. This report must
be considered as an authentic document, as well as the
reports of war prisoners which are annexed thereto. On Page
116, the Tribunal may read the report of Claude Petit,
former chief spokesman in Stalag 6-G.

   "In September 1943" - and I am quoting the first
   paragraph -"as French civilian workers in Germany and
   France, transformed war prisoners" - transformed into
   workers is to be understood - "were deprived of all
   spiritual help, having not one priest among them,
   Lieutenant Piard, head chaplain of Stalag 6-G, after
   having spoken with the chaplain of the war prisoners,
   Abbe Rodhain, decided to transform into workers six war-
   prisoner priests, so that they could carry out their
   religious duties, among the French civilians."

I quote only three lines of the following paragraph; the
first:

   "This transformation of priests, which was difficult to
   accomplish, since the Gestapo did not authorise the
   presence of chaplains among civilian workers ... these
   priests and a few scouts organised a group of Catholic
   Action and a Scout group."

On Page 157, paragraph 3:

   "From the beginning of 1944 the priests felt they were
   being watched by the Gestapo in their various
   activities."

The following paragraph:

   "At the end of July 1944, the six priests were arrested
   almost simultaneously and taken to the prison of
   Brauweiler, near Cologne."

Page 116, first and second paragraphs :

   "The same happened to the scouts."

I quote:

   "Against this flagrant violation of the Geneva
   Convention I took numerous steps and made numerous
   protests, in order that the prisoners of war arrested by
   the Gestapo might be handed over to the military
   authorities. I likewise asked to be told the reason for
   their arrest."

Fifth paragraph:

   "By reason of the rapid advance of the Allies who were
   approaching Aachen, all prisoners of Brauweiler were
   taken to Cologne ... "

(Dr. Stahmer, Counsel for defendant Goering, approached the
lectern.)

M. DUBOST: Mr. President, before allowing the defence
counsel to interrupt me, allow me to finish reading this
document.

THE PRESIDENT: Continue.

M. DUBOST: Thank you, Mr. President. From the last sentences
of this, paragraph the Tribunal will learn that the German
military authorities themselves took steps in order to learn
the fate of these prisoners.

   "The military authorities having no knowledge thereof,
   immediately wrote to Buchenwald, but received no answer.
   At the beginning of March, Major Bramkamp, Chief of the
   Abwehr was to go personally to Buchenwald."

                                                  [Page 302]

On Pages 120-121 the Tribunal will find the list of the
prisoners who thus disappeared.

Finally - Page 122 - a confirmation of this testimony by M.
Souche, confidential agent of Kommando 624, who in paragraph
3 writes:

   "Certain war prisoners transformed into workers, and
   French civilian workers, had organised in Cologne a
   group of 'Catholic Action' under the direction of the
   transformed war-prisoner priests, Pannier and Cleton."

Finally, Page 123-and this is the end of my quotation:

"The arrests began with members of the 'Catholic Action'"
and the accusations were " anti-German manoeuvres."

THE PRESIDENT: I do not know what Dr. Stahmer's objection
is.

DR. STAHMER (Counsel for Goering): We are not in a position
to follow the expose of the French prosecutor. First of all,
the translation is not very good. Some sentences are left
out. Especially, wrong numbers are mentioned. For instance,
612 has been mentioned. I have it here. It is quite a
different document. We have not the document books and
therefore we cannot follow the page citations. My colleagues
also complain that they are not in a position to follow the
proceedings with this manner of presentation.

THE PRESIDENT: May I see your document?

(It is handed up to the Bench.)

DR. STAHMER: This number was just mentioned and is confirmed
by the other gentlemen.

THE PRESIDENT: The document which M. Dubost was reading was
672. The document you have got there is a different number.

DR. STAHMER: But this number was given us over the
microphone, and not only I but the other counsel heard the
same number. And not only this number, but all the numbers
have been mentioned incorrectly.

Another difficulty is that we have not the document book.
Page 118 has been referred to, but the number of the page
does not mean anything to us. We cannot follow at this rate.

THE PRESIDENT: M. Dubost, I think the trouble really arises
from the fact that you give the numbers too fast and the
numbers are very often wrongly translated, not only into
German but sometimes into English. It is very difficult for
the interpreters to pick up all these numbers. First of all,
you give the number of the document, then the number of the
exhibit, then the page of the document book - and that means
that the interpreters have got to translate many numbers
spoken very quickly.

It is essential that the defendants should be able to follow
the document, and as I understand it, they have not got the
document books in the same shape we have. It is only the way
we can follow But we have them now in this particular
document book by page, and therefore it is absolutely
essential to go slowly.

M. DUBOST: Mr. President, the document books have all been
handed to the defence. All the documents have been presented
to the defence.

THE PRESIDENT: Are you telling us that document books have
been handed to the defence in the same shape they are handed
to us, let us say, with page numbers on them? Speaking for
myself, that is the only way I am able to follow the
document. You mentioned Page 115 and that does show me where
the document is. If I had not that page, I shouldn't be able
to find the document.

M. DUBOST: Mr. President, I announced at the same time RF-
380, which is the number of the exhibit; F-672 is the
classification number. All our documents bear a
classification number. On the other hand, it was not
possible to hand to the defence a document book with the
pages numbered, like the one the Tribunal has, for it is not
submitted in the same language. It is submitted

                                                  [Page 303]

in German and the pages are not in the same place. There is
not an absolute identity of page numbering between the
German document book and yours.

THE PRESIDENT: I am telling you the difficulties under which
the defendants' counsel are working, and if we had simply a
number of documents without the page numbering, we should be
under a similar difficulty. And it is a very great
difficulty. Therefore you must go very slowly in giving the
identification of the document.

M. DUBOST: I will conform to the wishes of the Tribunal, Mr.
President.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Stahmer, the document being read was
Document 672.

DR. STAHMER: We cannot find Document 672. We have 673. We
have nothing but loose sheets, and we have to hunt through
them first to find the number. We have number 673 but we
have not yet found number 672 among our documents. It is
very difficult for us to follow a citation, because it takes
us so much time to find the numbers even if they have been
mentioned correctly.

THE PRESIDENT: I can understand the difficulty. Will you
continue, M. Dubost, and do as I say, going very slowly so
as to give the defendants' counsel as far as possible, the
opportunity to find the document. And I think that you ought
to do something satisfactory, if you can, to make it
possible for them to find that document. An index, for
instance, giving the order in which the documents are set
out.

M. DUBOST. Three days ago, two document books in French,
with pages numbered like the books which the Tribunal has
before it, were handed to the defence. We were only able to
hand two to them, for reasons of a technical nature. But at
the same time we handed to the defence a sufficient number
of documents in German to enable each defence counsel to
have his file in German. Does the Tribunal ask me to collate
the pages of the French document which we submit to the
defence with the pages of a document book which we set up,
seeing that the defence can do it and has the time to do it?
Three days ago the two French document books were handed to
the defence. They had the possibility of comparing the
French texts with the German texts to make sure that our
translations were correct and to prepare themselves for the
sessions.


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