The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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This amnesty was duly announced by the Austrian Government,
and thousands of Nazis were released, and the first
penetration of Deutsche-Nationals into the Austrian
Government was accomplished by the appointment of justice
Guido Schmidt as Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and
Dr. Edmund Glaise-Horstenau as Minister without portfolio.

I now offer in evidence document 2994-PS, which is an
affidavit executed by Kurt von Schuschnigg, Foreign
Chancellor of Austria, at Nuremberg, Germany on 19th
November, 1945. I offer this as exhibit USA 66. The
defendants have received German translations of that

DR. LATERNSER (Counsel for the defendant Seyss-Inquart): In
the name of the accused, Seyss-Inquart, I wish to protest
against the presentation of written evidence by the witness
von Schuschnigg, for the following reasons: To-day, when a
resolution was announced, with respect to the use to be made
of the written evidence of Mr. Messersmith, the Court was of
the opinion that in a case of very great importance it might
possibly take a different view of the matter. With respect
to the Austrian conflict, this is such a case, since
Schuschnigg is the most important witness. He was the
witness who at the time had the office of Federal Chancellor
which was affected. In the case of such an important
witness, the principle of direct evidence must be adhered to
in order that the Court be in a position to ascertain the
actual truth in this case. The accused and his defence
counsel would feel prejudiced in his defence should direct
evidence be circumvented. I must, therefore, uphold my
viewpoint since it can be assumed that the

                                                  [Page 235]

witness, von Schuschnigg, will be able to confirm certain
facts which are in favour of the accused, Seyss-Inquart.

I,  therefore, submit an application to the Court that the
written evidence of the witness, von Schuschnigg, be not

THE PRESIDENT: If you have finished the Tribunal will hear
Mr. Alderman.

MR. ALDERMAN: May it please the Tribunal, at this point I am
simply proposing to offer this affidavit for the purpose of
showing the terms of the secret understanding between the
German and Austrian Governments in connection with this
accord. It is not with any purpose of incriminating the
defendant, Seyss-Inquart, that it is being offered at this

DR. LATERNSER : May I complete my application by saying that
the witness, von Schuschnigg, on the 19th of November, 1945,
was questioned in Nuremberg, and that, if an interrogation
on the 19th of November was possible, such a short time
later it ought to be possible to call him before the Court,
especially as the interrogation before this Court is of
special importance.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will recess now to consider this

(A recess was taken.)

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal has considered the objection to
the affidavit of von Schuschnigg and upholds the objection.

If the prosecution desires to call von Schuschnigg as a
witness they can apply to do so. Equally the defence, if
they wish to call von Schuschnigg as a witness, can apply to
do so. In the event of von Schuschnigg not being able to be
produced the question of affidavit-evidence by von
Schuschnigg being given will be reconsidered.

MR. ALDERMAN: May it please the Tribunal, in view of the
strategy and tactics of the Nazis' concessions as indicated
in the portion of the Messersmith affidavit that I read,
substantial concessions were made by Austria to obtain
Germany's diplomatic formal assurance of Austrian
independence and non-intervention in Austrian internal

The release of employed Nazis presented potential police
problems, and as Mr. Messersmith pointed out in a 1934
dispatch to the United States Department quoted on pages 12
to 13 of his affidavit:-

    "Any prospect that the National Socialists might come
    to power would make it more difficult to obtain
    effective police and judicial action against the Nazis,
    for fear of reprisals by the future Nazi Government
    against those taking action against Nazis even in the
    performance of duty. The preservation of internal peace
    in Austria was less independent upon Germany's living
    up to its obligations under the accord."

Next, Germany's continuing programme of weakening the
Austrian Government. In the pact of 11th July, 1936, Germany
agreed not to influence directly or indirectly the internal
affairs of Austria, including the matter of Austrian
National Socialism.

On 16th July, 1936, just five days later, Hitler violated
that provision. I quote from document 812-PS, which is
exhibit USA 61, the reports of Gauleiter Rainer to Commissar
Burckel, all of which were forwarded to the defendant Seyss-
Inquart, at page 6 of the English and, I believe, also page
6 of the German version:

    "At that time the Fuehrer wished to see the leaders of
    the party in Austria in order to tell them his opinion
    on what Austrian National Socialists should do.
    Meanwhile Hinterleitner was arrested, and Doctor Rainer
    became his successor and the leader of the Austrian
    party. On 16th July, 1936, Doctor Rainer and Globoznik
    visited the Fuehrer at the Obersalzberg, where they
    received a clear explanation of the situation and the
    wishes of the Fuehrer. On 17th July, 1936, all illegal
    Gauleiters met in Anif, near Salzburg, where they
    received a complete report from Ranier on the statement
    of the Fuehrer and his political instructions
                                                  [Page 236]
    for carrying out the fight. At this same conference the
    Gauleiters received organisational instructions from
    Globotschnik and Hiedler."

I am skipping a paragraph from this report in the English

    "Upon the proposal of Globotschnik, the Fuehrer named
    Lt. Gen. (Gruppenfuehrer) Keppler as chief of the mixed
    commission which was appointed, in accordance with the
    state treaty of 11th July, 1936, to supervise the
    correct execution of the agreement. At the same time
    Keppler was given full authority by the Fuehrer for the
    party in Austria. After Keppler was unsuccessful in his
    efforts to co-operate with Leopold, he worked together
    with Doctor Rainer, Globoznik, Reinthaler as leader of
    the peasants, Kaltenbrunner (that is the defendant
    Kaltenbrunner in this case) leader of the SS, and
    Doctor Jury as deputy leader of the Austrian party, as
    well as von Glaise-Horstenau and Seyss-Inquart."

A' new strategy was developed for the Austrian Nazis. Mr.
Messersmith describes briefly - and I quote from page
thirteen of his affidavit, document 1760-PS: "The sequel of
the agreement was the only one which could have been
expected in view of all the facts and previous recorded
happenings." Active Nazi operations in Austria were resumed
under the leadership of a certain Captain Leopold who, as
was known definitely, was in frequent touch with Hitler. The
Nazi programme was now to form an organisation through which
the Nazis could carry on their operations openly and with
legal sanction in Austria. There were formerly in Austria
several organisations which had a legal basis, but which
were simply a device by which the Nazis in Austria could
organise and later seek inclusion as a unit in the Patriotic
Front. The most important of these was the Ostmaerkische
Versin, the Union of the East Mark, the sponsor of which was
the Minister of the Interior, Glaise-Horstenau. Through the
influence of Glaise-Horstenau and pro-Nazi Neustadter
Sturmer, this organisation was declared legal by the court.

I make a specific mention of the foregoing because it shows
the degree to which the situation in Austria had
disintegrated as a result of the underground and open Nazi
activities directed from Germany.

At this point I offer in evidence document 2246-PS as
exhibit USA 67, a captured German document, which is a
report from von Papen to Hitler, dated 1st September, 1936.
This document is most interesting because it indicates von
Papen's strategy, after 11th July, 1936, for destroying
Austria's independence. Von Papen had taken a substantial
step forward with the agreement of 11th July. It should be
noted, incidentally, that, after that agreement, he was
promoted from Minister to Ambassador. Now his tactics were
developed in the following terms, I quote the last three
paragraphs of his letter of 1st September, 1936, to the
Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor. These three paragraphs are all
joined as one paragraph in the English text:

    "The progress of normalising relations with Germany at
    the present time is obstructed by the continued
    persistence of the Ministry of Security, occupied by
    the old anti-National Socialistic officials. Changes in
    personnel are therefore of utmost importance. But they
    are definitely not to be expected prior to the
    conference on the abolishing of the Control of Finances
    at Geneva. The Chancellor of the League has informed
    Minister von Glaise-Horstenau of his intention to offer
    him the portfolio of the Ministry of the Interior. As a
    guiding principle 'Marschroute' (a German word meaning
    the 'Route of March') I recommend on the tactical side
    continued, patient, psychological treatment with slowly
    intensified pressure, directed at changing the regime.
    The proposed conference on economic relations, taking
    place at the end of October, will be a very useful tool
    for the realisation of some of our projects. In
    discussion with Government officials as well as with
    leaders of the illegal party - Leopold and Schattenfroh
    - who conform completely with the agreement of 11th
    July - I am trying to direct the next developments in
    such a manner as to aim at corporative representation
    of the movement in the Fatherland front, but
    nevertheless refraining
                                                  [Page 237]
    from putting National Socialists in important positions
    for the time being. Such positions are to be occupied
    only by personalities having the support and the
    confidence of the movement. I have a willing
    collaborator in this respect in Minister Glaise-

Citing Papen. To recapitulate, this report by von Papen to
Hitler discloses the following plan :
(a) Obtaining a change in personnel in the Austrian Ministry
of Security in due course.
(b) Obtaining corporative representation of the Nazi
movement in the Fatherland front.
(c) Not putting avowed National Socialists in important
positions yet, but using Nationalist personalities.
(d) Using economic pressure and patient psychological
treatment with slowly intensified pressure directed at
changing the regime.

My next subject is "Germany's Diplomatic Preparations for
the Conquest of Austria."

The programme of the Nazi conspiracy with respect to Austria
consisted of weakening that country externally and
internally by removing its support from without, as well as
by penetrating within. This programme was of the utmost
significance, especially since, as the Court will remember,
the events Of 25th July, 1934, inside Austria, were
overshadowed in the news of the day by the fact that
Mussolini had brought his troops to the Brenner Pass, and
poised there as a strong protector of his Northern
neighbour, Austria.

Accordingly, interference in the affairs of Austria, and
steady increase in the pressure needed to acquire control
over that country, required removal of the possibility that
Italy or any other country would come to her aid. But the
foreign policy programme of the conspiracy for the weakening
and isolation of Austria was integrated with their foreign
policy programme in Europe generally.

I should like, therefore, at this juncture, to digress for a
moment from the presentation of evidence bearing on Austria
alone, and to consider with the Tribunal the general foreign
policy programme of the Nazis. It is not my intention to
examine this subject in any detail. Historians and scholars
exhausting the archives will have many years of exploring
all the details and ramifications of European diplomacy
during this fateful decade.

It is, instead, my purpose to mention very briefly the
highlights of the Nazis' diplomatic preparation for war.

In this connection I should like to offer to the Tribunal
document 2385-PS, a second affidavit of George S.
Messersmith executed on 30th August, 1945, at Mexico City.
This has been made available to the defendants in German, as
well as in English.

This is a different affidavit from document I76o-PS, which
was executed on 28th August. This second affidavit, which I
offer as exhibit USA 68, consists of a presentation of the
diplomatic portion of the programme of the Nazi party. To a
considerable extent it merely states facts of common
knowledge, facts that many people who are generally well-
informed already know. It also gives us facts which are
common knowledge in the circle of diplomats or of students
of foreign affairs. It consists of some eleven mimeographed
pages, single-spaced. I read from the third paragraph in the

   "As early as 1933, while I served in Germany, the German
   and Nazi contacts, which I had in the highest and
   secondary categories, openly acknowledged Germany's
   ambitions to dominate South-eastern Europe from
   Czechoslovakia down to Turkey. As they freely stated,
   the objective was territorial expansion in the case of
   Austria and Czechoslovakia. The professed objectives in
   the earlier stages of the Nazi regime, in the remainder
   of South-eastern Europe, were political and economical
   control, and they did not at that time speak so
   definitely of actual absorption and destruction of
   sovereignty. Their ambitions, however, were not
                                                  [Page 238]
   limited to South-eastern Europe. From the very
   beginnings of 1933, and even before the Nazis came into
   power, important Nazis, speaking of the Ukraine, freely
   said that 'it must be our granary' and that 'even with
   South-eastern Europe under our control, Germany needs
   and must have the greater part of the Ukraine in order
   to be able to feed the people of greater Germany.' After
   I left Germany in the middle of 1934 for my post in
   Austria, I continued to receive information as to the
   German designs in South-eastern Europe. In a
   conversation with von Papen shortly after his
   appointment as German Minister to Austria in 1934, he
   frankly stated to me that 'South-eastern Europe to
   Turkey is "Germany's Hinterland" and I have been
   designated to carry through the task of bringing it
   within the fold. Austria is the first on the programme.'
   As I learned through my diplomatic colleagues, von Papen
   in Vienna and his colleague von Mackensen in Budapest
   were openly propagating the idea of the dismemberment
   and final absorption of Czechoslovakia as early as

Then, skipping a short paragraph, I resume:-

   "Immediately after the Nazis came into power, they
   started a vast rearmament programme. This was one of the
   primary immediate objectives of the Nazi regime. As a
   matter of fact, the two immediate objectives of the Nazi
   regime, when it came into power, had to be, and were,
   according to their own statements frequently made to me:
   first, to bring about the complete and absolute
   establishment of their power over Germany and the German
   people, so that they would become in every respect
   willing and capable instruments of the regime to carry
   through its ends; and second, the establishment of a
   tremendous armed power within Germany in order that the
   political and economic programme in South-eastern Europe
   and in Europe could be carried through by force if
   necessary, but probably by a threat of force. It was
   characteristic that, in carrying through this second
   aim, they emphasised from the very outset the, building
   of an over-powering Air Force. Goering and Milch often
   said to me or in my presence that the Nazis had decided
   to concentrate on air power as the weapon of terror most
   likely to give Germany a dominant position, and the
   weapon which could be developed the most rapidly and in
   the shortest time."

Skipping to the end of that paragraph, and resuming at the

   "At the same time that this rearmament was in progress,
   the Nazi regime took all possible measures to prepare
   the German people for war in the psychological sense.
   Throughout Germany, for example, one saw everywhere
   German youth of all ages engaged in military exercises,
   drilling, field manoeuvres, practising the throwing of
   hand grenades, etc.-. In this connection 1 wrote in an
   official communication in November, 1933, from Berlin as
   follows. '. Everything that is being done in the country
   to-day is with the object of making the people believe
   that Germany is threatened vitally in every aspect of
   its life by outside influences and by other countries.
   Everything is being done to use this feeling to
   stimulate military training and exercises, and
   innumerable measures arc being taken to develop the
   German people into a hardy, sturdy race which will be
   able to meet all comers. The military spirit is
   constantly growing.  It cannot be otherwise. The leaders
   of Germany to-day have no desire for peace, unless it is
   a peace which the world would make at the expense of
   complete compliance with German desires and ambitions.
   Hitler and his associates really and sincerely want
   peace for the moment, but only to have a chance to get
   ready to use force if it is found finally essential.
   They are preparing their way so carefully that there is
   not, in my mind, any question but that the German people
   will be with them when they want to use force, and when
   they feel that they have the necessary means to carry
   through their objects."

I quote one further sentence:

   "Military preparation and psychological preparation were
   coupled with diplomatic preparation, designed to so
   disunite and isolate their intended victims amongst the
   members of the Little Entente as to render them
   defenceless against German aggression."

                                                  [Page 239]

In 1933 the difficulties facing Germany in the political and
diplomatic field loomed large. France was the dominant
military power on the continent. She had a system of mutual
assistance in the West and the East.

The Locarno Pact of 1928, supplemented by the Franco-Belgian
alliance, guaranteed the territorial status quo in the West.
Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia and Roumania were allied in the
Little Entente and each, in turn, was united with France by
Mutual Assistance Pacts. Since 1922, France and Poland
likewise had been allied against external aggression. Italy
had made plain her special interest in Austrian

Nazi Germany launched a vigorous diplomatic campaign to
break up the existing alliances and understandings, to
create divisions among the members of the Little Entente and
the other Eastern European powers.

Specifically, Nazi Germany countered these alliances with
promises of economic gain for co-operating with Germany. To
some of these countries she offered extravagant promises of
territorial and economic rewards. She offered Corinthia and
Austria to Yugoslavia. She offered part of Czechoslovakia to
Hungary and part to Poland. She offered Yugoslav territory
to Hungary, at the same time that she was offering land in
Hungary to Yugoslavia.

As Mr. Messersmith states in his affidavit, that's, document
238S-PS, page 5:-

   "Austria and Czechoslovakia were the first on the German
   programme of aggression. As early as 1934, Germany began
   to woo neighbours of these countries with the promises
   of a share in the loot. To Yugoslavia in particular they
   offered Carinthia. Concerning the Yugoslav reaction, I
   reported at the time:
      'The major factor in the internal situation in the
      last week has been the increase in tension with
      respect to the Austrian Nazi refugees in Yugoslavia..
      There is very little doubt but that Goering, when he
      made his trip to various capitals in South-eastern
      Europe about six months ago, told the Yugoslavs that
      they would get a part of Carinthia, when a National
      Socialist Government came into power in Austria.. The
      Nazi seed sown in Yugoslavia had been sufficient to
      cause trouble, and there are undoubtedly a good many
      people there who look with a great deal of
      benevolence on those Nazi refugees who went to
      Yugoslavia in the days following July 25.'
   Germany made like promises of territorial gains to
   Hungary and to Poland in order to gain their co-
   operation or at least their acquiescence in the proposed
   dismemberment of Czechoslovakia. As I learned from my
   diplomatic colleagues in Vienna, von Papen and von
   Mackensen in Vienna and in Budapest in 1935 were
   spreading the idea of division of Czechoslovakia, in
   which division Germany was to get Bohemia, Hungary to
   get Slovakia, and Poland the rest. This did not deceive
   any of these countries, for they knew that the intention
   of Nazi Germany was to take all.
   The Nazi German Government did not hesitate to make
   inconsistent promises when it suited its immediate
   objective. I recall the Yugoslav Minister in Vienna
   saying to me, in 1934 or 1935, that Germany had made
   promises to Hungary of Yugoslav territory, while at the
   same time promising to Yugoslav portions of Hungarian
   territory. The Hungarian Minister in Vienna later gave
   me the same information.
   I should emphasise here in this statement that the men
   who made these promises were not only the dyed-in-the-
   wool Nazis, but more conservative Germans who already
   had begun to lend themselves willingly to the Nazi
   programme. In an official dispatch to the Department of
   State from Vienna, dated 10th October, 1935, I wrote as
      '. Europe will not get away from the    myth that
      Neurath, Papen and Mackensen are not dangerous people
      and that they are "diplomats of the old school." They
      are, in fact, servile instruments of the regime, and
      just because the outside world looks upon them as
      harmless, they are able to
                                                  [Page 240]
      work more effectively. They are able to sow discord
      just because they propagate the myth that they are
      not in sympathy with the regime.'"

I find that last paragraph very important and worthy of
emphasis. In other words, Nazi Germany was able to promote
these divisions and increase its own aggressive strength by
using as its agents in making these promises, men who, on
outward appearances, were merely conservative diplomats. It
is true that Nazis openly scoffed at any notion of
international obligations, as I shall show in a moment. It
is true that the real trump in Germany's hand was its
rearmament and more than that, its willingness to go to war.
And yet the attitude of the various countries was not
influenced by these considerations alone.

The fact is that with all these countries, and I suppose it
is the same with all persons, we are not always completely
rational, we tend to believe what we want to believe, so
that if an apparently substantial and conservative person,
like defendant von Neurath, for example, is saying these
things, one might be apt to believe them, or at least, to
act upon that hypothesis. And it would be the more
convincing if one were also under the impression that the
person involved was not a Nazi and would not stoop to go
along with the designs of the Nazis.

Germany's approach toward Great Britain and France was in
terms of limited expansion as the price of peace. They
signed a naval limitations treaty with England and discussed
a Locarno Air Pact. In the case of both France and England,
they limited their statement of intentions and harped on
fears of Communism and war.

In making these various promises, Germany was untroubled by
notions of the sanctity of international obligations. High
ranking Nazis, including Goering, Frick and Frank, openly
stated to Mr. Messersmith that Germany would observe her
international undertakings only so long as it suited her
interest to do so.

I quote from the affidavit, document 2385-PS, beginning on
the tenth line, page 4 of the English version:-

"High ranking Nazis with whom I had to maintain official
contact, particularly men such as Goering, Goebbels, Ley,
Frick, Frank, Darre and others, repeatedly scoffed at my
attitude towards the binding character of treaties, and
openly stated to me that Germany would observe her
international undertakings only so long as it suited
Germany's interest to do so. Although these statements were
openly made to me, as they were, I am sure, made to others,
these Nazi leaders were not really disclosing any secret,
for on many occasions they expressed the same idea

France and Italy worked actively in South-eastern Europe to
counter Germany's moves.

THE PRESIDENT: Would that be a convenient time to break off?

MR. ALDERMAN: Yes, sir.

THE PRESIDENT: Until 10 o'clock to-morrow morning.

(The Tribunal adjourned until 29th November, 1945, at 10.00

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