The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2000/05/16

THE PRESIDENT: When an affidavit is used in this way and put
to a witness who is in the witness box, of course the
affidavit ought to be supplied to the prosecution in order
that it may see the contents, and so be able to
cross-examine if it wishes to do so.


THE PRESIDENT: That has not been done in this case. The best
course would be for the affidavit to be supplied to the
prosecution, and it may, if it wishes, apply to examine on
it before the Commission.

Do you think it is necessary? Perhaps you could see the
affidavit soon and decide whether it is necessary to keep
the witness here.

MR. ROBERTS: My Lord, I respectfully agree.

THE PRESIDENT: And we shall hold the witness in Nuremberg?

MR. ROBERTS: My Lord, we accept the invitation to examine
the affidavit over the week-end, and then, if necessary, we
could make an application on Monday.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, that is quite all right.

Then the witness can retire.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, Dr. Jahrreiss, will you call the next

DR. JAHRREISS (counsel for defendant Jodl): Yes, if it is
the Tribunal's wish. With the permission of the Tribunal, I
wish to call Major Buchs as my next witness. Major Buchs.

MAJOR HERBERT BUCHS, a witness, took the stand and testified
as follows:


Q. Will you state your full name, please?

A. Herbert Buchs.

Q. Will you repeat this oath after me

I swear by God, the Almighty and Omniscient, that I will
speak the pure truth and will withhold nothing and add

(The witness repeated the oath.)

THE PRESIDENT: You may sit down.



Q. Witness, what position did you have in the last years of
the war?

A. From November, 1943, I was a General Staff officer of the
Luftwaffe serving with the chief of the Wehrmacht
Operational Staff; and in that capacity, I was second
adjutant to General Jodl.

                                                   [Page 46]

Q. And were you in this position until the end of the war?

A. I remained in this position until the end, until our
arrest on 23rd May, 1945.

THE PRESIDENT: Witness, would you consider the lights? When
that yellow light goes on, it means that you are going too
fast; and would you try to make a pause after the question
comes through to you?

THE WITNESS: Very well.


Q. Witness, during this time in which you were in the
Fuehrer's headquarters, were these in different areas?

A. Yes. I was in the headquarters in East Prussia and apart
from that I was in the headquarters in Berlin, and in 1944
in Berchtesgaden.

Q. It has been said that there was a Party clique at the
Fuehrer's headquarters. Do you know anything about that?

A. If I am to understand by that a certain circle of people,
I would name Fegelein, Bormann and Burgdorf.

Q. You would say that that was a clique?

A. These were three gentlemen who were in very close
personal and official contact and who made that impression
on outsiders.

Q. Was this very close official and personal relationship
between themselves or with others?

A. They not only had very close relations among themselves,
but I also observed that these three gentlemen had very
strong influence on Hitler.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Jahrreiss, would you ascertain the names
of the three again? They did not come to us quite clearly.



Q. Major, will you please say slowly the names of these
three gentlemen you just mentioned?

A. Fegelein: Himmler's liaison officer with Adolf Hitler.
Then Bormann, the head of the Party Chancellery and the
representative of the Party; and General Burgdorf, who had a
dual position as chief of the Army Personnel Office and
chief adjutant of the Wehrmacht with the Fuehrer.

Q. Did General Jodl have official relations with each of
these three gentlemen?

A. If I may start with Fegelein: Fegelein as liaison officer
to Himmler was, as far as the Fuehrer was concerned, the man
to whom he turned in all questions of material and personal
equipment of the Waffen SS divisions when these questions
arose in connection with the putting of these divisions into
operation during situation discussions. In this connection,
points which came within Fegelein's sphere of work were
frequently raised during situation reports. But the official
connection between Jodl and Fegelein was otherwise very

Q. And how about Bormann?

A. In dealing with Bormann as Deputy of the Party, General
Jodl always clearly defined his own military sphere. He
always rejected complaints or unjustifiable accusations
against the Wehrmacht. I witnessed this especially while the
war was being carried on on German soil and these was often
friction with the Gauleiter who had been appointed Reich
Defence Commissars.

Q. A little more slowly, please.

A. For instance, I saw how General Jodl, when he received
complaints or letters from Bormann, simply returned the
originals, with extremely blunt and rather abrupt marginal
notes, to show his views. If that had no effect, he did not
hesitate to express his views to the Fuehrer in every
possible way and obtained his decision on the dispute in

                                                   [Page 47]

Q. And the third of the gentlemen, Burgdorf?

A. To my recollection, Colonel-General Jodl had very little
official contact with General Burgdorf, although it was
Burgdorf who discussed the important questions of the
appointment of the Commanders-in-Chief and higher officers
with the Fuehrer. In this case, General Burgdorf first of
all discussed these matters with the Fuehrer. alone, so that
General Jodl had comparatively little influence in that

Q. Now I should like to hear from you, witness, what
personal relations existed between Colonel General Jodl and
each of these three gentlemen?

A. Jodl disliked Fegelein, because - I believe - he fully
realised his defects of character even at that early stage.
I heard him on several occasions call Fegelein to account
and reprimand him.

As for Bormann, I should say General Jodl had no connection
with him at all. I never noticed any personal or
out-of-office association between them. What I have said
about Fegelein also applies to General Jodl's relations with
General Burgdorf, whom General Jodl probably also disliked

Q. Now I turn to a different point. Witness, do you know
anything about the fact that in the last phase of the war
the possibility of turning captured enemy airmen over to the
enraged populace was under consideration? Did you hear about

A. Yes. I recall in the spring of '44, at Berchtesgaden, the
Fuehrer heatedly demanded that enemy airmen who made
emergency landings in Germany should no longer be protected
by the Wehrmacht against the enraged populace. This demand
was based on reports alleging that a Kreisleiter of the
Party and an officer of the Luftwaffe had protected an
Allied airman. The Fuehrer made this demand in a very sharp
and heated manner. He demanded that the Wehrmacht issue the
appropriate orders to put a stop to this once and for all.

Q. Did Hitler also make this demand of General Jodl?

A. This demand was made at a situation conference attended
by these gentlemen and Jodl himself, but I do not think that
General Jodl had any direct connection with the handling of
the whole question, as it was not directly connected with
military matters.

Q. Did the General make no comment at all on the matter?

A. General Jodl, like all the others, rejected this demand
and, on his part, did everything he could to try to dissuade
the Fuehrer from making it. He began immediately by adopting
a critical attitude which expressed itself in the first
place by the definition of four cases of violations of
international law on the part of Allied airmen.

Q. I really do not need to ask you about this, for we have
documentary proof of it. If Hitler was as enraged as you
have described, and demanded a decree so stormily, was it
possible to pursue a delaying action?

A. In a case of this find, in which the Fuehrer in the first
heat of his rage, made such demands, it was impossible for
those to whom the demand was put to oppose him at the
moment, let alone refuse to carry out the order. There was
nothing else for them to do - General Jodl used these
tactics frequently - but to try, by obtaining data
arguments, and counter arguments, and asking for comments
and opinions from all the agencies concerned, to collect
such material and, at a quiet and favourable moment,
approach the Fuehrer on the matter again and try to dissuade
him from his extreme demand. Outwardly, this resulted in a
lengthy correspondence, in which the files of the various
departments involved were sent back and forth, all with the
intention of delaying the matter to the greatest extent and,
if possible, shelving it completely. My impression, as far
as the treatment of the terror flyers was concerned, was
that in this case we succeeded absolutely, even though the
Fuehrer's attention was called repeatedly to this question
through new reports and statements, and he demanded that it
be put into execution.

Q. Then was no such order issued?

A. I know of no such order.

                                                   [Page 48]

Q. Can you cite an incident which shows clearly that no such
decree was issued?

A. On one occasion I personally was very sharply called to
account by the Fuehrer in August, 1944, when, after an air
raid on Munich, Fegelein rather crudely described low level
attacks to him and reported that when a plane was shot down,
two Allied airmen had made an emergency parachute landing
and had been captured and taken away by an SA sergeant. He
himself said that he had called this sergeant to account and
asked him why he had not shot the two flyers; and the man
replied, "Because I had no orders to do so." At that moment
I interpolated on my own account that no such order existed;
and then the Fuehrer accused me in the most violent manner
because the head of the Wehrmacht had not issued a decree
like that. Then he again demanded that the order be carried

Q. Did it actually take place then?

A. No, for that was the period after 20th July, the time of
the campaign in the West, when there were much more
important questions in the foreground, and the whole
question of the treatment of terror flyers was shelved

Q. Witness, do you know about an incident in Berlin, I
believe in March, 1940, which is supposed to have taken
place in the Reich Chancellery, when the Fuehrer again
complained that in spite of his demand this decree had not
been issued?

A. I recall that in March 1945 the Fuehrer again expressed
himself very heatedly on this problem to General Koller, who
was then Chief of the General Staff of the Luftwaffe. I
myself was not present at the beginning of this
conversation. I was called in, however, and heard the
Fuehrer say something like this: that on the basis of the
attitude taken by the Wehrmacht and especially by the
Luftwaffe, it had been impossible for him to counteract the
terror of the Allied flyers over Germany by means of a
corresponding counter terror.

Q. Just a moment, witness. You said that you had not been
present at the entire discussion.

DR. JAHRREISS: Mr. President, we have an interrogatory which
we want to submit to the Tribunal. It is in our Document
Book 2, Page 178, and is the testimony of General of the
Luftwaffe Koller. This testimony, under No. 5, which is on
Page 180 of the Document Book, contains all the details
worth preserving of this extremely important conference in
Berlin. Only part of this conversation took place in the
Fuehrer's room; another part took place in the ante-rooms
as, for instance, that with Kaltenbrunner; while the
conversation with Goering was carried on by telephone. In
order to save time, and to avoid splitting up the matter, I
should like to have the Tribunal's permission to present it
as a whole even though the witness heard only a part. The
last sentence, as a whole, shows that Jodl was deeply
concerned in the whole document, and I believe, Mr.
President, we can save time if I may present it now in toto.

First of all, I must read the first question to General
Koller, which is to be found on Page 179. Here the witness
was asked:

  "How long have you been Chief of the General Staff of the

The answer is on the next page and is:

  "From 1st September, 1943, to 3rd September, 1944, I was
  Chief of the Air Force Operations Staff; from 23rd
  November, 1944, Chief of the General Staff of the Air

Question 5 - and that is the question which concerns us - is
on Page 179:

  "Do you recall that about March, 1945, in the bunker of
  the Reich Chancellery the Fuehrer censured you and the
  Luftwaffe because such an order was not given?"

Answer, Page 180:

  "Yes, I remember exactly. About the beginning or the
  middle of March 1945 a notice taken from the Allied Press
  Report Survey was laid before the Fuehrer by Bormann
  during the situation discussion. It read somewhat to this

                                                   [Page 49]

     'An American combat air crew shot down over Germany a
     short time previously was overtaken by advancing
     American troops. They had declared that they were
     ill-treated by enraged members of the population,
     threatened with death and probably would have been
     killed if German soldiers had not released them and
     taken them under their protection.'

  Bormann further pointed out to the Fuehrer in a few words
  that this confirmed that soldiers in such cases intervene
  against the population.

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