The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-03/tgmwc-03-27.05

Archive/File: imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-03/tgmwc-03-27.05
Last-Modified: 1999/09/10

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will sit to-morrow in
closed session to consider matters of procedure, and
there will therefore be no public session to-morrow.

COLONEL TAYLOR: Your Lordship, I have just one more
document dealing with this subject of this structure
of the group before passing on to the substantive
charges of criminality.

This document is C-78, which is already in evidence
as Exhibit USA 139. That will be found in Document
Book 2. This document is the official command
invitation to participate in the consultation at the
Reich Chancellery on 14th June, 1941, eight days
prior to the attack on the Soviet Union. This is one
of the meetings that was referred to in the last
paragraph of the affidavits by Halder and von
Brauchitsch, which were read into the record this
morning. It is signed by Colonel Schmundt, the Chief
Wehrmacht Adjutant to Hitler, and is dated at
Berchtesgaden, 9th June, 1941. It begins:

     "In re: Conference ' Barbarossa ' " --that
     being the code word for the attack on the
     Soviet Union --" The Fuehrer and Supreme

                                          [Page 315]

     of the Armed Forces has ordered reports on
     `Barbarossa' by the Commanders of Army Groups
     and Armies and Naval and Air Commanders of
     equal rank."

That is, as the Tribunal will see once again, the
very group specified in the bottom line of the chart
on the wall, Army Groups, Armies, Army, Naval and
Air Commanders of similar rank.

This document likewise includes a list of the
participants in this conference, and I would just
like in closing on this subject to run through that
list to show who the participants in this conference
were, and how closely they parallel the structure of
the group as we find it in the Indictment. The
Tribunal will see that the list of participants
begins at the foot of Page 1 of the translation:

General Field Marshal von Brauchitsch, who was then
Commander-in-Chief of the Army and a member of the
group; General Halder, who was Chief of the Army
Staff and a member of the group; then three
subordinates, who were not members of the group;
Paulus, Hausinger, and Guldenfeldt.

Navy: Captain Wagner, who was chief of the
Operations Staff, Operations Division of the Naval
War Staff, not a member of the group. On the air
side: Goering, a member of the group; General Milch,
State Secretary and Inspector of the Air Force,
again not a member of the group; General Jeschomiek,
Chief of the General Staff of the Air Force and a
member of the group; and two of his assistants.

Passing over the page to the O.K.W., High Command of
the Armed Forces, we find Keitel, Jodl, Warlimont,
all members of the group, were present, with an
assistant from the General Staff.

Then four officers from the office of the adjutant,
who were not members of the group.

Then we pass to the officers from the Field
Commands: General von Falkenhorst, Army High
Command, Norway, member of the group; General
Stumpff, Air Fleet 5, member of the group;
Rundstedt, Reichenau, Stillpnagel, Schobert, Kleist,
all from the Army, all members of the group.

Air Force: General Loehr, Air Fleet 4, member of the

General Fromm and General Udet were not members.
Fromm was director of the Home Forces, commander of
the Home Forces, and Udet the Director General of
Equipment and Supply.

The Navy: Raeder, a member of the group; Fricke,
chief of the Naval War Staff, and a member of the
group; and an assistant who was not a member; Karls,
Navy Group North, member of the group.

Then from the Army: Leeb, Busch, Kiffiler, all
members of the group as Oberbefehlshaber. From the
Air Force, Keller, a member of the group.

Bock, Kluge, Strauss, Guderian, Hoth, Kesselring,
all members of the group.

It will accordingly be seen that except for a few
assisting officers of relatively junior rank, almost
all the participants in these consultations were
members of 'the group as defined in the Indictment,
and that in fact the participants included almost
all the members of the group who were concerned in
the impending operations against the Soviet Union.

I have now concluded the first part of the
presentation, to wit, the description of the General
Staff and High Command Group and its composition and
structure and general manner of functioning. I turn
now to the charges levelled against this group in
the Indictment.

                                          [Page 316]

Appendix B charges that this group had a major
responsibility for the planning, preparation,
initiation and waging of the illegal wars set forth
in Counts 1 and 2 and for the War Crimes and Crimes
Against Humanity detailed in Counts 3 and 4.

In presenting the evidence in support of these
charges we must keep in mind that under the Charter
the group may be declared criminal in connection
with any acts of which an individual defendant who
was a member of the group may be convicted.

The General Staff and High Command group is well
represented among the individual defendants in this
case. Five of the individual defendants, or one-
quarter of the individuals here, are members of the

Taking them in the order in which they are listed,
the first is defendant Goering. Goering is a
defendant in this case in numerous capacities. He is
a member of the General Staff and High Command group
by reason of having been Commander-in-Chief of the
Air Force from the time when the Air Force first
came into the open and was officially established,
until about one month prior to the end of war.
During the last month of the war he was replaced in
this capacity by von Greim, who committed suicide
shortly after his capture at the end of the war.
Goering is charged with crimes under all counts of
the Indictment.

The next listed defendant who is a member of the
group is Keitel. He and the remaining three
defendants are, all four of them, in this case
primarily or solely in their military capacities,
and all four of them are professional soldiers or

Keitel was made Chief of the High Command of the
German Armed Forces, or O.K.W., when the O.K.W. was
first set up in 1938 and remained in that capacity
throughout the period in question. He held the rank
of field marshal throughout most of this period, and
in addition to being the Chief

of the O.K.W., he was a member of the Secret Cabinet
Council and of the Council of Ministers for the
Defence of the Reich. Keitel is charged with crimes
under all four counts.

The defendant Jodl was a career soldier. He was an
Oberstleutnant, or Lieutenant Colonel, when the
Nazis came to power and ultimately attained the rank
of Generaloberst or Colonel General. He became the
Chief of the Operations Staff of the Welirmacht and
continued in that capacity throughout the war. He
also is charged with crimes under all four counts.

The other two defendants who are members of this
group are on the nautical side. The defendant Raeder
is in a sense the senior member of the entire group,
having been commander-in-chief of the German Navy as
early as 1928. He attained the highest rank in the
German Navy, Grossadmiral. He retired from the
Supreme Command of the Navy in 1943, in January, and
was replaced by Doernitz. Raeder is charged under
Counts i, 2 and 3 of the Indictment.
The last of the five defendants, D5nitz, was a
relatively junior officer when the Nazis came to
power. During the early years of the Nazi regime, he
specialised in submarine activities and was in
command of the U-boat arm when the war broke out. He
rose steadily in the Navy and was chosen to succeed
Raeder when the latter retired in 1943, became
commander-inchief of the Navy and attained the rank
of Grossadmiral. When the German Armed Forces
collapsed near the end of the war, Doernitz
succeeded Hitler

                                          [Page 317]

as head of the German Government. He is charged
under Counts 1, 2 and 3 of the Indictment.

Four of these five defendants are reasonably typical
of the group as a whole. We must except the
defendant Goering, who is primarily a Nazi party
politician nourishing a hobby for aviation as a
result of his career in 1914-18. But the others made
soldiering or sailoring their life-work. They
collaborated with and joined in the most important
adventures of the Nazis, but they were not among the
early party members. They differ in no essential
respects from the other 125 members of the group.
They are, no doubt, abler men in certain respects.
They rose to the highest positions in the German
Armed Forces, and all but Jodl attained the highest

But they will serve as excellent case studies and as
representatives of the group, and we can examine
their ideas as they have expressed them in these
documents, and their actions, with fair assurance
that these ideas and actions are characteristic of
the other group members.

I turn first to the criminal activities of the
General Staff and High Command group under Counts i
and 2 of the Indictment, their activities in
planning and conspiring to wage illegal wars. Here
my task is largely one of recapitulation. The
general body of proof relating to aggressive war has
already been laid before the Tribunal by my
colleague, Mr. Alderman, and the distinguished
members of the British delegation.

Many of the documents to which they drew the
Tribunal's attention showed that the defendants here
who were members of the General Staff and High
Command group participated knowingly and wilfully in
crimes under Counts 1 and 2. I propose to avoid
referring again to that evidence so far as I
possibly can, but I must refer to one or two of them
again to focus the Tribunal's attention on the part
which the General Staff and High Command group
played in aggressive War Crimes.

Now it is, of course, the normal function of a
military staff to prepare military plans. In
peacetime military staffs customarily concern
themselves with the preparation of plans for attack
or defence based on hypothetical contingencies.
There is nothing criminal about carrying on these
exercises or preparing these plans. That is not what
the defendants and this group are charged with.

We will show that the group agreed with the Nazi
objective of aggrandising Germany by threat of force
or force itself, and they joined knowingly and
enthusiastically in developing German armed might
for this pu~pose. They were advised in advance of
the Nazi plans to launch aggressive wars. They laid
the military plans and directed the initiation and
carrying on of the wars. These things we believe to
be criminal under Article 6 of the Charter.

Aggressive war cannot be prepared or waged without
intense activity on the part of all branches of the
Armed Forces, and particularly by the high-ranking
officers who control these forces. To the extent,
therefore' that German preparation for and the
waging of aggressive war are historicai facts of
common knowledge, or are already proved, it
necessarily follows that the General Staff and High
Command group, and the German Armed Forces,
participated therein.

This is so notwithstanding the effort on the part of
certain German military leaders to insist that until
the troops marched they lived in an ivory tower
unwilling to see the direction to which their work

                                          [Page 318]

The documents to which I shall refer fully refute
this, and moreover some of these men now fully admit
they participated gladly with the Nazis because the
Nazi aims coincided closely with their own.

I think that the documents which Mr. Alderman read
into the transcript already adequately reflect the
purposes and objectives of the German General Staff
and High Command Group during the period prior to
the absorption of Austria. During this period
occurred, as is charged in the Indictment, firstly,
secret rearmament, including the training of
military personnel, the production of war munitions
and building of an Air Force; secondly, the Goering
announcement on ioth March, 1933, that Germany was
building a military Air Force; thirdly, the law for
compulsory military service of 16th March, 1935,
fixing the peace-time strength of the German Army at
500,000; and finally, and fourthly, the reoccupation
of the Rhineland on 7th March, 1936, and the
refortification of that area.

Those particular facts do not require judicial
proof. They are historical facts, and likewise the
fact that it would have been impossible for the
Nazis to achieve these things without co-operation
by the Armed Forces is indisputable from the very
nature of things.

Mr. Alderman described to the Tribunal and read from
numerous documents which illustrate these events. He
included numerous documents concerning the secret
expansion of the German Navy in violation of treaty
limitations, under the guidance of the defendant

He also read the secret Reich Defence Law, Document
2261-PS, already in the record as Exhibit USA 24,
which was adopted on the same day that Germany
unilaterally renounced the armament provisions of
the Versailles Treaty. He read von Blomberg's plan,
dated 2nd May, 1935, for the reoccupation of the
Rhineland -- that is Document C-159, Exhibit USA 54
and Blomberg's orders under which the reoccupation
was actually carried out.

All these events, by obvious inference, required the
closest collaboration between the military leaders
and the Nazis. I need not labour that point further.

But it is worth while, I think, to re-examine one or
two of the documents which show the state of mind
and the objectives of the German military leaders
during this early period. One document, read from by
Mr. Alderman, which reflects the viewpoint of the
German Navy on the opportunities which Nazism
accorded for rearmament so that Germany could
achieve its objectives by force or threat of force,
is a memorandum published by the High Command of the
German Navy in 1937, entitled "The Fight of the Navy
Against Versailles." That is Document C-156, Exhibit
USA 41. The Tribunal will recall that this
memorandum, this official publication of the German
Navy, stated that only with the assistance of Hitler
had it been possible to create the conditions for
rearmament. The defendant Jodl has stated this
better than I could possibly put it, in his speech
to the Gauleiters on 7th November, 1943. That is in
Document L-172, Exhibit USA 34, from which Mr.
Alderman read at length.

Nor were the high-ranking German officers unaware
that the policies and objectives of the Nazis were
leading Germany in the direction of war. I invite
the Court's attention to Document C-23, which is
already in the record as Exhibit USA 49. This
consists of some notes made by Admiral Carls of the
Germany Navy in September, 1938, These notes were
written by

                                          [Page 319]

Admiral Carls by way of comment on a "Draft Study of
Naval Warfare Against England," and they read in
part as follows. That will be found your Lordship,
on Page 3 of the translation of Document C-23:

     "There is full agreement with the main theme of
     the study.
     1. If, according to the Fuehrer's decision,
     Germany is to acquire a position as a world
     power, she needs not only sufficient colonial
     possessions but also secure naval
     communications and secure access to the sea.
     2. Both requirements can only be fulfilled in
     opposition to Anglo-French interests and would
     limit their position as world powers. It is
     unlikely that they can be achieved by peaceful
     means. The decision to make Germany a world
     power therefore forces upon us the necessity of
     making the corresponding preparations for war.
     3. War against England means at the same time
     war against the Empire, against France,
     probably against Russia as well and a large
     number of countries overseas; in fact, against
     one half to one third of the whole world.
     It can only be justified and have a chance of
     success if it is prepared economically as well
     as politically and militarily and waged with
     the aim of conquering for Germany an outlet to
     the ocean."
Let us turn to the Air Force, having seen what the
viewpoint of the Navy was. Parts of the German Air
Force during this pre-war period were developing
even more radically aggressive plans for the
aggrandisement of the Reich. Document L-43, GB-29,
is a study prepared by the Chief of a branch of the
General Staff of the Air Force called the
"Organisation Staff." The study in question is a
recommendation for the organisation of the German
Air Force in future years up to 1950. The
recommendation is based on certain assumptions, and
one assumption was that by 1950 the frontiers of
Germany would be as shown on the map which was
attached as an enclosure to this study. There is
only one copy of the map available, your Honour.

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.