The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1999/12/6

Q. Well, the Tribunal has heard about that meeting so often
that I am not going to ask about it. I am only getting from
you the people who were there.

Now, let me remind you of another meeting. On 9th June,
1941, there was a "Conference Barbarossa" for the attack on
the Soviet Union. Do you remember that? Berchtesgaden.

A. Whether it was on 9th June I do not know. But I did take
part in one conference.

Q. You were there, and again, before the Russian campaign,
the people who were there were the holders of these supreme
positions and the Oberbefehlshaber, were they not?

A. That is correct.

Q. Including those that had territorial commands, like, for
example, General von Falkenhorst, who was the Army High
Commander in Norway at that time? He was there?

A. General von Falkenhorst?

Q. Yes.

A. It is quite possible.

Q. General Stumpf of Air Fleet 5 and - as I do not know what
the ranks were I will just give the names - Rundstedt,
Reichenau, Stulpnagel, Schubert, Kleist, and of course Bock,
Kluge, Guderian, Haider, Kesselring; were they there?

A. The latter were certainly there. As for Stumpf and
Falkenhorst, I cannot say.

Q. So that before a campaign it was customary, was it not,
for the holders of these high positions to meet the Fuehrer?

A. Certainly.

Q. Now, I want you to help me on just one other small point.
Do you remember saying yesterday to Dr. Laternser that the
members of this alleged group were far too concerned with
high matters of strategy to have anything to do with Fifth
Columnists? Do you remember saying that, or words to that
effect?

A. Yes.

Q. I do not know if you are aware of this, but outside
Germany the name Quisling has become an ordinary word of use
as an alternative to Fifth Columnist. Did you know that? You
talk about a Quisling, meaning a Fifth Columnist. You have
not heard that?

A. No, I did not know that.

Q. You know who Quisling was?

A. Yes, indeed I do.

Q. Well, I should like you to listen to this, because it
concerns your Service. The defendant Rosenberg, in January,
1940, wrote to the Fuehrer as follows:

"Assuming that his" - that is, Quisling's - "statements
would be of special interest to the Marschall of the Reich,
Goering, for aero-strategical reasons, Quisling was referred
to State Secretary Korner by the Foreign Affairs Bureau."

Did he come to you at all for aero-strategical reasons?

                                                   [Page 59]

A. That is unknown to me.

Q. Now, did you know that the defendant Raeder introduced
Quisling to Hitler in December, 1939? Did you know that?

A. No, that is unknown to me.

Q. You agree that the Head of the German Air Force and the
Head of the German Navy are important members of this group
of Commanders-in-Chief, are they not.

A. Supreme Commanders, yes.

Q. If they had dealings with the typical Fifth Columnist,
perhaps members of the group had more to do with Fifth
Columnists than you knew.

A. Yesterday I merely spoke from the point of view of the
Supreme Commanders on the front and our tasks were in a
different sphere.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, I think I have finished,
but perhaps your Lordship would allow me just over the
adjournment to see if there is any small point.

My Lord, the other thing is this. I think we ought to put in
these documents to which I have referred, because the
defence may want to deal with them later on.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, if they have not already been put in.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: I think some of the orders have not
been put in. I have read part of them into the record, and I
will put them in.

THE PRESIDENT: They must be put in and marked then.

(A recess was taken until 14.00 hours.)

ALBERT KESSELRING (resumed).

BY SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE:

Q. Will you direct your attention to the text after the bomb
plot in Rome on 23rd March, 1944. Do you remember what I
have in mind - the bomb plot in Rome? At that time your
Chief of Staff was General Westphal, and he reported the
plot directly to General Buettler? Perhaps you will help me
as to the pronunciation? B - u - e -

A. Winter.

Q. General what?

A. General Winter.

Q. Did he not report to a General Buettler, spelled B - u -
e - t - t - l - e - r?

A. von Buttlar.

Q. General von Buttlar?

A. This was his predecessor.

Q. General von Buttlar informed your Chief of Staff that he
would have to report the matter to the Fuehrer, is that
right?

A. Yes.

Q. And he got in touch with the defendant Jodl, and the
defendant Jodl and the defendant Keitel reported the matter
to the Fuehrer?

A. That is probably correct.

Q. The Fuehrer gave an order that either 10 or 20 - you are
not quite sure which, but you rather think 20 - Italians
should be killed?

A. I believe that that is a report from Westphal, which I
must assume is correct.

Q. Can you remember now, Witness, whether it was 10 or 20?

A. I assume 10, I do not know the exact number.

Q. You do not know the exact number?

A. I assume 10.

Q. We will take it as 10 for the moment.

The competent authority for Rome was General von Mackensen,
was it not?

                                                   [Page 60]

A. General Mackensen was Commander-in-Chief of the 14th
Army, and the Commander of Rome was subordinate to him.

Q. And the person, to use your words, who advised him on
this matter was a man called Kapler, was it not?

A. Kapler, of the Security Service.

Q. What was he? An Obergruppenfuehrer or something like
that?

A. Obersturmbannfuehrer.

Q.  You remember that, after some comments in the
"Osservatore Romano," you had an inquiry directed into this
incident by your Intelligence officer whose name was
Zolling, do you not?

A. Yes, that is correct.

Q. And you also got a report from Kapler himself, did you
not?

A. Kapler merely had a brief report relayed to me by
telephone to the effect that he had a corresponding number
of condemned men available.

Q. Did not Kapler tell you that he had executed 382 people?

A. The execution was in the hands of the 14th Army and I
finally received only the news of its being carried out
without any further explanation, and had no direct
conversation with Kapler.

Q. Are you sure of that?

A. At the end - I expressly emphasise this once more - I
conversed with him briefly by telephone after I had arrived
at my command post and this report had been given me, as I
said earlier. Otherwise I can recall no further direct
communication. I do remember that perhaps eight or ten days
later I met him and I told him that I was, to a certain
extent, grateful to him that this very distasteful matter
had been settled in a way which was, legally and morally,
above reproach.

Q. Let us see what you had to be grateful about. You were
interrogated about this on 8th January. Do you remember
being asked this question? "Then Zolling did not tell you
that all this number that was executed had previously been
convicted of some crime punishable by death?" And you
answered, "Yes, I have already said that. Yes, he did that.
Even Kapler had told me that."

A. Yes, that is correct.

Q. So the explanation which you say was given to you was
that they took a number of people, 382 I suggest, who had
been guilty of other crimes and executed them as a reprisal
for the bomb plot, is not that correct?

A. That is correct, adding the assumption that these people
had been sentenced to death.

Q. This has already been put to you. This is Kapler's
account, that, of the 382, 176 had committed acts punishable
by death; 22 were people whose cases were marked "closed";
17 had been sentenced to terms of labour; 4 had actually
been condemned to death; 4 had been arrested near the scene
of the crime. That made 223.

Did not Kapler say to you, "Later the number of victims rose
to 325 and I decided to add 57 Jews"? Did not Kapler give
you these figures?

A. No.

Q. But you agree with this, that a large number of persons
were executed in consequence of the order to kill 10
Italians, or maybe 20 Italians, for one German who had been
killed?

A. I admit that, with the assumption, as I have already
stated, that these were people who had already been
sentenced to death.

Q. But it made no difference to you whether they had been
convicted for the bomb outrage or for any other offence?

A. The situation was as follows: The Garigliano battle had
begun to rage on the Southern front. At that time there was
a bomb attack against a police company by people in Rome,
who had been treated with unparalleled

                                                   [Page 61]

mildness until then. The excitement on the German side was
such that I, as well as the officers under my command,
including Embassy Councillor Mollhausen, had to take all
measures to keep the situation under control. One had,
therefore, to devise the best methods of satisfying public
opinion on both sides and of preventing a repetition of such
incidents, and it seemed to me that the most expedient step
to take would be to make it quite clear that no violence of
this sort could be used against the German Army or police
without severe consequences. For me that was the essential
point; whether X or Y was involved in this outrage was for
me a question of subordinate importance. Of primary
importance was only that public opinion be quieted within
the shortest time, on the Roman as well as on the German
side.

Q. Your first object was to take a third attitude, what some
people might describe as terrorising the population, so that
they would not repeat or do anything against the German Army
or police.

A. I do not know - this expression comes from the Rotterdam
examination. As far as I know and believe, I never used that
expression. I have to repeat that I stood, if I may say
this, on ideally friendly terms with the Italians - that was
why I was called to Italy -  and that I had the most
compelling reason to win friendship and not to seek enmity,
and I intervened only when it was a matter of cutting off
the root of this evil growth decisively and quickly.

Q. I asked you various questions about your acts of
friendship to the Italians this morning and I am not going
back to them. I want to ask you just one other point about
which perhaps you will be able to tell me. On the 2nd
November, 1943, were you the Commanding General in Italy,
that is, after you became ...

A. May I add something to the first point?

Q. You must come on to this point, and I want you to say
whether you were the Commanding General in Italy on 2nd
November, 1943? Were you?

A. Since November; since 2nd November, 1943.

Q. Do you remember sending a telegram to the O.K.W. that
three British Commandos taken prisoners near Pescara were to
be given special treatment?

A. That is correct.

Q. That means murder; it means that they were to be killed
by the S.S.

A. No. I beg your pardon ...

Q. What, then, do you mean by special treatment?

A. These people at Pescara, as I have already mentioned once
to-day, were not shot, but if they were wounded, were taken
to a hospital and, as far as I recall, into a prisoner-of-
war camp if they were not wounded.

Q. There were nine others who were taken to a hospital and
three, according to your telegram, got special treatment. I
am going to ask you about these taken to hospitals. What did
you do with people who came under the Commando order who
were taken to hospitals?

A. As I have already stated before, they were treated
according to the principles of The Hague Convention as
generally practised.

Q. Well, I am not going to argue with you whether the
Commando order was in accordance with The Hague Convention.
We know what the Commando order was, that people taken in
Commandos were to be shot. What I am asking you is,
supposing some Commandos had the misfortune to be wounded,
what happened to them?

A. According to the text of this order they had to be shot.
I have already said that in this case - I assume with the
collaboration of General Jodl - the order was carried out in
the normal fashion.

Q. Evidence has been heard in this Court that in Wilna it
was the practice of the S.S. to kill out of hand new-born
Jewish babies in hospitals. Can you give me your assurance
that Commando troops who were wounded and taken to hospitals
were not killed out of hand too?

                                                   [Page 62]

A. I assure you that I was not informed of any execution of
this sort and would also not have tolerated it.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: That is all.

THE PRESIDENT: Does the prosecution wish for any further
cross-examination?

Then, Dr. Stahmer, do you wish to re-examine?

DR. STAHMER (counsel for defendant Goering): The British
prosecution has just submitted new facts which had not
become known up to this time, especially about the shooting
of hostages, which was carried out in Italy by the Hermann
Goering Division in connection with the combating of
Partisans, and for which the defendant Goering apparently is
to be made responsible. In this connection new documents
were submitted. At this time I am not in the position to
answer these facts and these serious charges, and to put
pertinent questions to the witness.

After a careful examination of the material, I shall submit
the appropriate motions and I ask for the opportunity to
make a statement as to whether I need further witnesses and
have to recall the witness Kesselring.

Of course I shall limit myself to submitting only absolutely
necessary requests for evidence within the framework of the
accusations just made, in order to prevent an unnecessary
prolongation of the trial.


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