The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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DR. STAHMER: I beg your pardon. It is Exhibit 6. I quote -
and it is the last sentence of the first paragraph:

  "To-day we want to secure this peace, and we want the
  world to understand this always: that only a Germany of
  honour is a guarantor of world peace. Only a free German
  nation will keep this peace and will know how to preserve
  it.
  
  Therefore, we demand for ourselves the same rights as the
  others possess."

And on the following page I quote the last paragraph:

  "We do not want any war, but we want our honour. We do
  not discuss this honour with anybody in this world, that
  is a fact, for it is the foundation for the
  reconstruction of the entire nation. Only he who has a
  sharp sword at his side is unmolested and has peace."

Sir Neville Henderson emphasises, in various passages of his
book "Failure of a Mission," Goering's love of peace. The
passages are quoted again in Document

                                                  [Page 351]

Book 1, Page 63, and I offer it as Document 23 (Exhibit
Goering 2). I am quoting from Page 78 of the book:

  "I (i.e., Henderson) was inclined to believe in the
  sincerity of his (i.e, Goering's) personal desire for
  peace and good relations with England."

On Page 83 of the book it says:

  "I would like to express here my belief that the Field-
  Marshal, if it had depended on him, would not have
  gambled on war, as Hitler did in 1939. As will be related
  in due course, he took a decisive stand for peace in
  September, 1938."

On Page 273, which is the next page, there is the following
sentence which I quote:

  "I saw the Polish Ambassador at 2 a.m. on 31st, August,
  1939, gave him an objective and studiously moderate
  account of my conversation with Ribbentrop, mentioned the
  cession of Danzig and the plebiscite in the Corridor as
  the two main points in the German proposals, stated that,
  so far as I could gather, they were not, on the whole,
  too unreasonable, and suggested to him that we recommend
  to his Government that they should propose at once a
  meeting between Field-Marshal Smigly-Rydz and Goering."

On Page 276 of the book you will find the following
sentences which I quote from the last paragraph:

  "Nevertheless, the Field-Marshal seemed in earnest when,
  after having been called to the telephone, he returned to
  tell us that M. Lipski was on his way to see Ribbentrop.
  He seemed relieved and to hope that, provided contact
  could only be established, war might, after all, be
  avoided."

In February, 1937, the defendant Goering, on the occasion of
an international meeting of war veterans in Berlin, made the
following speech, which is contained in the book, "Hermann
Goering, the Man and his Work," on Page 265, and which is
contained in Document Book 2, Page 42, which is Document 39,
and from which I quote the following sentences:

  "There are no better defenders of peace than the old war
  veterans. I am convinced that they, above all others,
  have a right to ask for peace and to shape it. I
  recognise that those men who, weapon in hand, have gone
  through four hard years of the hell of the World War have
  the primary right to shape the life of the nations, and I
  know that the war veterans more than anybody else will
  take care to preserve the blessings of peace for their
  countries."

I omit two sentences and then quote further:

  "But we know that it is a terrible thing, this final
  contest between nations. It is my fervent and heartfelt
  wish that this Congress may contribute toward the basis
  for a true peace with honour and equality of rights for
  all sides. You, my comrades, will have to pave the way
  for that."

The same desire is evident in the answers given by Lord
Halifax to the questions put him. I now read the following
passages from this interrogatory and I offer the original as
Document 22 (Exhibit Goering 3). It is contained in Document
Book 2, Page 59.

I think I can omit the first two questions. The third
question is:

  "Did Goering say to you during this discussion:
  
  'Every German Government would consider the following
  matters as the most constituent part of its policy:
  
  (a) The incorporation of Austria and the Sudetenland into
  Germany;
  
                                                  [Page 352]
  
  (b) The return of Danzig to Germany with a reasonable
  solution of the Corridor question'?
  
  A. Yes.
  
  Question 4. Did you answer thereupon: 'But, I hope
  without war'?
  
  A. I said that His Majesty's Government wanted all
  questions affecting Germany and her neighbours settled by
  peaceful methods. I did not otherwise discuss those
  questions.
  
  Question 5. Did Goering answer thereupon:
  
  'That depends very much upon England. England would be
  able to contribute much to the peaceful solution of this
  question. I do not want war either for these reasons, but
  these questions have to be settled under all
  circumstances.'
  
  A. Yes."

The next questions concern the conversation with Dahlerus
...

THE PRESIDENT (Interposing): Does that purport to be a
verbatim account of what the defendant Goering said? Did he
refer to himself in the third person, "Goering does not want
a war," meaning "I do not want a war"?

DR. STAHMER: He did not want a war either. England would be
able to contribute much to the peaceful solution of this
question. He does not want war either for these reasons. He,
i.e., Goering, does not want war either, but these questions
have to be settled under all circumstances.

This is, of course, indirect speech. In direct speech it
would be "I, Goering, do not want war, but the questions
have to be settled under all circumstances."

The next questions refer to Dahlerus. Question 15, which is
the question put to Halifax, is also of importance in my
opinion:

  "Did you have the impression that Goering's endeavours to
  avoid war were sincere?"

The answer of Halifax is:

  "I have no doubt that Goering would have preferred to
  enforce the German demands on Poland without war, if he
  could have."

At the end of June or the beginning of July, 1938, Goering
made a speech to the Gauleiters at Karinhall which was
distinctly a speech for peace. I am referring to a statement
from Dr. Uiberreither of 27th February, 1946, the original
of which is being presented as Document 38 (Exhibit Goering
4), and is again given in Document Book 2 on Page 37.

THE PRESIDENT: You are putting in these originals, are you?

DR. STAHMER: Yes, indeed.

In that statement from Dr. Uiberreither, dated 27th
February, 1946, at Page 36 in Document Book 2, your Honour,
it says:

  "On 25th May, 1938" - says Dr. Uiberreither - that is,
  after the plebiscite concerning the reunion of Austria
  with Germany which bad taken place on 10th April, 1938,
  "I was appointed Gauleiter of Gau Steiermark.
  
  A few weeks later - it may have been towards the end of
  June or the beginning of July, 1938 - the former Field-
  Marshal Hermann Goering summoned all Gauleiters of the
  German Reich to Karinhall.
  
  He there delivered quite a long address to the
  Gauleiters, describing the political situation as it was
  at the time, and discussing in detail the purpose and
  significance of the Four-Year Plan.
  
  Field-Marshal Goering first pointed out that other
  countries had little understanding of the political
  developments in Germany, and that consequently there
  existed the danger of Germany being encircled. Directing
  German foreign policy was in consequence a difficult
  task. Therefore, we should endeavour to strengthen
  Germany from the economic
  
                                                  [Page 353]
  
  and military point of view, in order to reduce the danger
  that Germany might be attacked by a foreign Power. At the
  same time, this would result in Germany again exercising
  an increasingly important influence in European politics,
  after she had become strong.
  
  After that, Field-Marshal Goering discussed the Four-Year
  Plan: in this connection he remarked:
  
  By and large, Germany was cut off from the world's
  sources of raw materials and she therefore had to open up
  sources in her own territory by dint of increased
  efficiency. This would be done merely in order to make
  Germany independent of foreign countries and was not by
  any means to serve the purpose of preparing for an
  aggressive war.
  
  He then stressed, with great emphasis, that Germany's
  foreign policy would have to be conducted in such a way
  that war should not ensue under any circumstances. The
  present generation was still feeling the effects of a
  lost World War; the outbreak of another war would be a
  shock to the German people. Furthermore, it was his
  opinion that a new war might assume great proportions and
  even the outcome of a war against France alone would be
  questionable.
  
  In conclusion, he summarised his address by saying that
  we had to do, everything in our power to make the Four-
  Year Plan a success, and that all hardships caused
  thereby must be borne by the people and were justified,
  because its success could prevent war.
  
  I point out that I remember all details of this speech so
  accurately because this was the first time that I was
  informed by a leading personality of these conditions,
  which were so important for Germany and because, as a
  result, until the war actually started I did not believe
  that it would come to a war."

In the solution of the Austrian problem no aggressive action
on the part of Germany is to be seen. It took place in
response to the desires of the majority of the Austrian
population for reunion with the Reich. The defendant's view
of this problem can be seen from the telephone conversation
he had with the Foreign Minister von Ribbentrop on 13th
March, 1938. The record of this conversation has already
been produced under Document 2949-PS (Exhibit USA 75). I
shall quote from this conversation some passages which have
not yet been read. The conversation is contained in Document
Book 1, Pages 55-56. I am going to quote only the following
passages:

  "I want to say one thing: If it is said" - this is
  Goering's conversation - "that we have used pressure on
  the Austrian people and done outrage to her independence,
  it can only be said that one thing was put under
  pressure, but not by us, and that was the tiny little
  Government. The Austrian people is free only now. I would
  simply suggest to Halifax or to a few really important
  people whom he trusts that he just send them over here so
  that they can look at the picture. They should travel
  through the country, they can see everything."

And a few sentences later:

  "Which State in the whole world is being harmed by our
  union? Are we taking anything from any State?"

Then it goes on - I omit two sentences:

  "All the people are German, all the people speak German.
  Thus there is not a single other State involved."

The defendant Goering - I am referring to Page 11 of the
book, next to the last paragraph - did not only wish to
maintain peace abroad; he also supported the preservation of
peace at home. In this report he declared in a speech he

                                                  [Page 354]
made on 9th April, 1933, at the Berlin Sports Palace - it
appears in the book "Hermann Goering's Speeches and Essays,"
and is reproduced in Document Book 1, Page 35, and I am
offering it as Document 13. I quote the first sentence:

  "On the other hand, however, my compatriots, we also
  ought to be generous. We do not wish to practise petty
  revenge. After all, we are the victors.... Therefore, let
  us be generous, let us realise that we also thought
  differently at one time."

And then a little further down:

  "... the stronger and freer we feel ourselves, so much
  the more generously, the more freely are we able to
  disregard what happened in the past and to extend our
  hand with complete sincerity in reconciliation."

I further quote from a speech of the defendant on 26th
March, 1938, Document Book 1, Page 37, likewise a quotation
from "Hermann Goering's Speeches and Essays," Document 14. I
quote only one sentence from it:

  "... You were great in suffering and enduring, you were
  great in standing firm, great in fighting. Now you must
  show that you are also great in kindness, and especially
  so towards the many who were misled."

His attitude toward the Church the defendant has ...

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Stahmer, can you not give the exhibit
number?

DR. STAHMER: Yes, I think it was 13. I shall have a look
once more. No, it was 14.

His attitude toward the Church was expressed by the
defendant Goering in several speeches. In this respect, on
26th, October, 1935, he made the following statement - I am
quoting from "Hermann Goering's Speeches and Essays":

  "It is up to the Church alone whether it wishes to have
  peace. We, the Movement, and in particular the Government
  and the State, have never attacked the Church, we have
  assured protection to the Church and the Church knows
  that it enjoys this protection to-day to the fullest
  extent.
  
  Therefore, there is nothing that warrants our being
  blamed in any way in this respect."

From another speech of 26th March, 1938, which is also
quoted from "Hermann Goering's Speeches and Essays,"
Document Book 1, Page 41, Document 16, I quote the first and
second sentences:

  "We do not wish to annihilate any Church nor to destroy
  any belief or religion. All we want is to bring about a
  clear separation. The Church has its definite, very
  important and very necessary tasks and the State and the
  Movement have other tasks just as important and just as
  decisive."

I refer further to "a document submitted by a clergyman,
Werner Jentsch, dated 30th October, 1945, addressed to this
Tribunal, Document Book 1, Pages 44 to 46,Exhibit 7.

I quote only one sentence, No. 8:

  "Hermann Goering himself instructed his chief adjutant to
  give the following answer to a petition on behalf of the
  introduction of a special chaplain's office within
  Headquarters of the Air Force; that be could not at the
  moment do anything because Adolf Hitler had not yet made
  a final decision concerning the question of religion, but
  that he wished full freedom of religion in the Air Force,
  including the Christian denominations, and every member
  of the Air Force could choose for himself whichever
  chaplain or civilian pastor he desired."

The affidavit from Gauleiter Dr. Uiberreither, dated 27th
February, 1946, deals with the question which I mentioned
earlier and which is contained in

                                                  [Page 355]

Document Book 1, Page 31. Under figure 2 it deals with the
events of the night of 9th to 10th November, 1938, and the
knowledge thereof, as follows:

  "A few weeks after the action against the Jews, on the
  night of 9th to 10th November, 1938 - towards the end of
  November or the beginning of December, 1938 - Field-
  Marshal Goering again called all the Gauleiters to
  Berlin. During this meeting he criticised the action in
  harsh words and stated that it had not been in keeping
  with the dignity of the nation. Moreover, it had also
  seriously lowered our prestige abroad. If the murder of
  Legation Secretary von Rath was regarded as an attack of
  Jewry against the Reich, then the German Reich had other
  means of countering such an attack than appealing to the
  baser instincts. In an orderly State no irregular mob
  action ought to take place under any circumstances."

In the last paragraph, under No. 2, it says:

  "In conclusion, he asked the Gauleiters to use their
  entire influence to see to it that such incidents, which
  were detrimental to Germany, would not recur in the
  future."

I can omit Page 16, paragraph 5, as an explanation on that
has already been given.

That the defendant Goering took his duty as Supreme Judge
very seriously becomes apparent from an affidavit of Judge
General Dr. Lehmann of 21st February, 1946. I shall read
from this affidavit in Document Book 1, Page 106, Document
27 (Exhibit Goering 6). 1 quote from No. 11:

"The opinion I have of him is the following:

  "The Reich Marshal originally took a negative attitude
  toward lawyers. He was evidently influenced by the
  Fuehrer. This attitude underwent a change to the extent
  that he occupied himself with legal matters of the Air
  Force. At the end of the war the Reich Marshal was one of
  the high commanders who liked to consult lawyers. He took
  special interest in the legal department of the Air Force
  and attached great importance to it. He assigned to this
  department difficult cases for investigation concerning
  which he was sceptical of the reports of other offices."

From the following paragraph:

  "The Reich Marshal had himself thoroughly informed
  concerning matters which I had to discuss with him. He
  devoted an unusual amount of time to these matters. The
  conferences, even when there were considerable
  differences of opinion, took a quiet and objective
  course."

Then from paragraph III:

  "Concerning the legal department of the Air Force the
  Reich Marshal reserved for himself the confirmation of
  sentences in many cases, including all death sentences.
  
  In passing judgement on individual cases be was inclined
  to show occasional leniency in spite of the harshness
  demanded of all judges by the Fuehrer. In cases of
  treason, and especially in moral crimes, he showed
  merciless severity. I know from the records that in
  severe cases of rape he would often reverse a judgement
  because he considered the death sentence was necessary.
  It did not matter whether the woman involved was from
  Germany or from the occupied territories. I believe that
  I remember at least one case from the records where he
  even changed the regular manner of execution and ordered
  that the soldier be hanged in the Russian village in
  which he had committed the rape.
  
  When presiding at a trial the Reich Marshal was very
  lively, but benevolent also in his recommendations for
  mercy to the Fuehrer.
  
                                                  [Page 356]
  
  In his own decisions the Reich Marshal doubtless
  knowingly acted often contrary to the ideas and demands
  of the Fuehrer, especially in political matters, which he
  judged much more mildly, and in cases of excesses against
  inhabitants of the occupied countries which he judged
  much more harshly than the Fuehrer.
  
  I have often discussed the personality of the Reich
  Marshal with his legal adviser, a very experienced, quiet
  and conscientious lawyer as well as with the Judge
  Advocate General (Oberreichskriegsanwalt) who was
  distinguished by the same qualities, and was often with
  him. We were of one opinion about the Reich Marshal."

In the course of this trial the prosecution has repeatedly
referred to the so-called "Green Folder," which was
submitted under number 1743-PS. This is not, as the
prosecution maintains, a regulation for the spoliation and
annihilation of the population. Its object was, rather, the
economic mobilisation and the uninterrupted operation of
industry, of procurement and regular utilisation of
supplies, of the transport facilities, in the territories to
be occupied by military operations, with special
consideration of the fact that Russia had no private
enterprise but only a strict centrally regulated State
economy. In addition to that, vast destruction had to be
anticipated in view of the Russian attitude. Nowhere does it
contain an order or directive to exploit certain groups of
the population beyond the necessities caused by the war.

From that "Green Folder" I have cited a whole series of
passages which are to prove my statements. I cannot refer to
them in detail; I should like to draw your attention only to
one very characteristic passage which is on Page 94 of this
"Green Folder," second paragraph:

  "Among the native population, in this case, meaning
  workers and clerical employees, the best possible
  relationship is to be established."

Somewhat below, on the same page:

  "Good relations with the population must be striven for
  in particular also with the workers in the oil industry."

I am now coming to the next paragraph:

  "The German Armed Forces entered the war fully respecting
  the international conventions....


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