The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2000/03/09

Q. Just read the first sentence. I think it shows clearly it
was the SKL War Diary.

"9th December, 1942. The Naval Commander, West France,
reports ... " and then it sets out the incident. And then,
the third sentence, "The Naval Commander, West France, has
ordered that both soldiers be shot immediately for attempted
sabotage if their interrogation, which has been begun,
confirms what has so far been discovered; their execution
has, however, been postponed in order to obtain more

"According to a Wehrmacht report" - I think that is a mis-
translation - it should be "According to the Wehrmacht
communique both soldiers had meanwhile, been shot. The
measure would be in accordance with the Fuehrer's special
order, but is nevertheless something new in international
law, since the soldiers were in uniform."

That is from the SKL War Diary, is it not?

A. I do not think that this is the War Diary of the SKL; but
rather it would seem to be the War Diary of the Naval Group
Command, West, or of the Admiral Commanding in France.

Q. Well, I will have the original brought here and clear the
matter up later, but I suggest to you that this is the SKL
War Diary, which at the time -

A. (Interposing): I cannot recognize that assertion until it
is proved by the original.

Q. And I suggest to you that you, who were Chief of Staff
Operations at the time, must have been fully aware of that
incident. Do you deny that?

A. I deny it ... I maintain that I do not remember this

Q. Do you say that a matter of that sort would not be
reported to you?

A. I have been told here that the order to shoot these
people was obtained by Headquarters directly from the SD.

                                                    [Page 9]

Now, finally, I put to you the incident of the capture of
the seven seamen, six of the Norwegian Navy and one of the
Royal Navy, at Ulven, near Bergen in July, 1943. That is the
Document D-649 in the Prosecution's Document Book, Exhibit
GB 208.

Do you remember this incident? Do you remember the capture
of these seven men by Admiral von Schroder with his two task

A. I saw this paper while I was being interrogated, and that
is why I remember it.

Q. But do you remember the incident?

A. No, not from my personal recollection.

Q. You were still Chief of Staff Operations.

THE PRESIDENT: Which page?

COLONEL PHILLIMORE: My Lord, it is Page 67 of the English
Document Book, Page 100 in the German.


Q. Do you say that as Chief of Staff Operations you do not
remember any of these incidents?

A. Yes, I assert and maintain what I have already said about

Q. Did not your operational ... did not your commanders
report when they captured an enemy commando?

A. I must assume that these things were also reported in the
situation reports.

Q. Now you are really suggesting that you have forgotten all
about these incidents now?

A. In all my testimony I have strictly adhered to what I
personally remember.

Q. Do you know what happened to these men? You know they
were captured in uniform, do you not? There was a naval
officer with gold braid around his arm. That is a badge you
use in the German Navy, is it not?

A. I have already said that I do not recall this affair.

Q. Well, let me remind you. After interrogation by naval
officers and officers of the SD, both of whom recommended
prisoner-of-war treatment, these men were handed over by the
Navy to the SD for shooting. They were taken to a
concentration camp, and at 4 o'clock in the morning they
were led out one by one, blindfolded, fettered, not told
they were going to be shot, and shot one by one on the rifle

Do you not know that?

A. No.

Q. Did you not know that is what handing over to the SD

A. I have already said that handing over to the SD implied
several possibilities.

Q. Do you know that then their bodies were sunk in the fjord
with charges attached, and destroyed, as it says in the
Document, "in the usual way"? Paragraph 10 of the affidavit.
And their belongings in the concentration camp were burned.

A. No, I do not know that.

Q. Very well. A further point: Do you remember that in March
or April, 1945, at the very end of the war, do you remember
that this order, the Fuehrer Order, was cancelled by Keitel.

COLONEL PHILLIMORE: That is Paragraph II of the affidavit,
my Lord.

Q. Do you remember that? Just read it.

A. Yes, I have heard of that.

Q. Yes. You thought you were losing the war by then, and
that it would be best to cancel the Commando Order, is not
that the fact?

A. I do not know for what reasons the OKW rescinded orders.

Q. Is this not right: You did not worry about this order in
1942 when you thought you were winning the war, but when you
found you were losing it, you began to worry about
international law? Is not that what happened?

                                                   [Page 10]

A. No. I want to refer again to Paragraph No. I of this
order. This paragraph of the Commando Order states clearly
and distinctly, that these commandos had orders ... that
these commandos were composed partly of criminal elements of
the occupied territories, that they had orders to kill
prisoners whom they found a burden, that other commandos had
orders to kill all captives; and that orders to this effect
had fallen into our hands -

Q. Did you ever make any inquiries to see whether that was

A. It is absolutely impossible for me to investigate
official information which I receive from my superiors.

Q. You were Chief of Staff Operations; you received every
report on the commando raids, did you not?

A. I gave detailed evidence in each individual case, but I
cannot make a general statement.

Q. When you were Chief of Staff Operations, did you not
receive a full report every time there was a British
commando raid?

A. I have already said that I believe such incidents formed
part of the situation reports to the SKL.

Q. I suggest you can answer that question truthfully if you
wish to. Here you were a senior staff officer. Commando
raids, are you saying you did not personally see and read a
full report on every one?

A. I am not asserting that. I have answered each individual
question by stating exactly what I remember.

Q. Do you say that taking these men out and shooting them
without a trial, without telling them they were going to be
shot, without seeing a priest, do you say that -

A. With regard to the Navy?

Q. Do you say that was not murder?

A. I do not wish to maintain that at all. I do maintain that
I was presumably told about the cases in which men were shot
by the Navy, and I am of the opinion that these people who
were captured as saboteurs were not soldiers, but were
criminals who, in accordance with their criminal -

Q. Let us make it perfectly clear. Are you saying that the
action taken in shooting these commandos on all these
occasions, are you saying that was perfectly proper and
justified? I thought you agreed with me it was murder, just
now. Which is it?

A. I would like to. answer that in each individual case.

Q. It is a very simple question to answer generally and it
takes less time. Do you say that men captured in uniform
should be taken out and shot without trial?

A. I cannot consider men, whom I know have orders to commit
crimes, as soldiers within international law.

Q. Are you saying that this action was perfectly proper -
are you?

A. Yes, entirely and perfectly.

Q. Shoot helpless prisoners without trial, bully little
neutrals who cannot complain? That is your policy, is it?

A. Not at all.

Q. What crime did Robert Paul Evans commit, by attacking the
Tirpitz in a two-man torpedo?

A. I am convinced it was proved that he belonged to a
sabotage unit, and that besides the purely naval character
of the attack on the ship, there were other aspects which
marked him as a saboteur.

Q. And you said just now that you did not remember the

A. Yes.

Q. Will you agree on this, will you agree with me, that if
this shooting by the, SD was murder, you and Admiral Donitz
and Admiral Raeder, who signed the orders under which this
was done, are just as guilty as the men who shot them?

A. The person who issued the order is responsible for it.

                                                   [Page 11]

Q. And that person who passed it and approved it; is that
not right?

A. I assume full responsibility for the transmission of this

COLONEL PHILLIMORE: Your Lordship, I have no further

THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Phillimore, D-658 was an old exhibit,
was it not?


THE PRESIDENT: Have you given new exhibit numbers to all the
new documents?

COLONEL PHILLIMORE: I am very much obliged, your Lordship. I
did omit to give a new exhibit number to the affidavit by


COLONEL PHILLIMORE: D-864. My Lord, it should be Exhibit GB
457. My Lord, I am very sorry. I was not advised, but I
received it.

THE PRESIDENT: And all the others, you have given numbers to


THE PRESIDENT: Very well. Is there any other cross-
examination? Then, does Dr. Kranzbuhler wish to re-examine?
Dr. Kranzbuhler, I see it is nearly half-past eleven, so
perhaps we had better adjourn for ten minutes.

(A recess was taken.)

THE PRESIDENT: Before Dr. Kranzbuhler goes on with his re-
examination, I shall announce the Tribunal's decisions with
reference to the applications which were made recently in

The first application on behalf of the defendant von
Schirach was for a witness Hans Marsaleck to be produced for
cross-examination, and that application is granted.

The second application was for interrogatories to a witness
Kaufmann and that is granted.

The next matter was an application on behalf of the
defendant Hess for five documents; and as to that, the
Tribunal orders that two of the documents applied for under
heads B and D in Dr. Seidl's application have already been
published in the Reichsgesetzblatt, and one of them is
already in evidence, and they will, therefore, be admitted.

The Tribunal considers that the documents applied for under
heads C and E of Dr. Seidl's application are unsatisfactory
and have no evidential value; and since it does not appear
from Dr. Seidl's application and the matters referred to
therein that the alleged copies are copies of any original
documents, the application is denied in respect thereof. But
leave is granted to Dr. Seidl to file a further affidavit by
Gaus covering his recollection of what was in the alleged

The application on behalf of the defendant Funk for an
affidavit by a witness called Kallus is granted.

The application on behalf of the defendant Streicher is

The applications on behalf of the defendant Sauckel, firstly
for a witness named Biedermann is granted, and secondly for
four documents; that application is also granted.

The application on behalf of the defendant Seyss-Inquart for
an interrogatory to Dr. Stuepart is granted.

The application on behalf of the defendant Frick is granted
for an interrogatory to a witness, Dr. Conrad.

The application on behalf of the defendant Goering, with
reference to two witnesses is granted in the sense that the
witnesses are to be alerted.

The application on behalf of the defendants Hess and Frank
for official information from the Ministry of War of the
United States of America is denied.

That is all.

                                                   [Page 12]

DR, KRANZBUHLER: Admiral Wagner, I would like to put another
question to you on the subject of the Commando Order. Did
the Naval Operations Command have any part in introducing
this order

A. No, no part at all.

Q. Did you, did the Naval Operations Command have a
possibility either before, or during the drafting of the
order, of investigating the correctness of the particulars
mentioned in Paragraph 1 of the order?

A. No, such a possibility did not exist.

Q. The treatment of a man who had attacked the Tirpitz with
a two-man torpedo in October, 1942, has just been discussed
here. Did you know that a year later, in the autumn of 1943,
there was a renewed attack on the Tirpitz with two-man
torpedoes, and that the British sailors who were captured at
that time were treated in accordance with the Geneva
Convention by the Navy which had captured them?

A. The second attack on the Tirpitz is known to me. I do not
remember the treatment of the prisoners.

Q. You mentioned that the Naval Operations Command possibly
received reports on the statements made by men of commando
units. From what aspect did those reports interest the Naval
Operations Command? Did operational questions interest you,
or the personal fate of these people?

A. Naturally we were interested in the tactical and
operational problems so that we could gather experiences and
draw our conclusions from them.

Q. Can you actually remember seeing such a report?

A. No.

Q. Just now a document was shown to you dealing with the
treatment of a commando unit captured in a Norwegian fjord.
It is No. 526-PS. Have you still got that document?

A. Possibly, some documents are still lying here.

Q. Will you look at that document?

A. May I ask you for the number again?

Q. The number is 526-PS, on the fourth page of the bundle
which I received from the prosecution. Can you find the
passage? Have you got the document?

A. No, not yet. Did you say 526?

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