The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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                                                  [Page 351]

HUNDRED AND FIFTY- EIGHTH DAY

WEDNESDAY, 19th JUNE, 1946

THE MARSHAL: If it please the Tribunal, the report is made
that defendant von Neurath is absent.

CROSS-EXAMINATION OF THE DEFENDANT

FRANZ VON PAPEN - continued

BY SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE:

Q. Just before we leave Mr. Messersmith, defendant, I want
to ask you three questions about the other countries in
South-Eastern Europe that Mr. Messersmith mentioned. Did you
know that the German Foreign Office financed and directed
the Henlein movement among the Sudetendeutsche?

A. I do not believe that I learned of that at that time. In
1935 when this report was written, the Sudeten German
question was not acute.

Q. When did you learn about it?

A. Mainly here in this room.

Q. I see. Did you know that the Reich was supporting M.
Codrianu and the Iron Guard in Rumania?

A. I believe that that was also much later.

Q. You learned that some time later than 1935, did you? When
did you learn that?

A. I cannot say; but I believe that events in connection
with the Iron Guard in Rumania took place about 1937. I may
be wrong; but I do not think so.

THE PRESIDENT: Sir David, I think perhaps you have the
microphone a little too near you.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: I am sorry, your Lordship.

BY SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE:

Q. Did you know that in 1944 you were discussed in a Reich
State document edited by the defendant Kaltenbrunner as
being a possible person to do the same thing in Hungary, to
arrange for Hungary's acquisition by the Reich, doing the
internal work inside Hungary in order that Hungary should be
acquired: did you know that?

A. No. In the first place, I did not know that; and in the
second place, I may say that the idea is impossible, because
I was a close friend of the Regent of Hungary, Admiral
Horthy. In my interrogatory to Admiral Horthy I asked him a
question which he unfortunately failed to answer because he
did not remember. It says that in the autumn of 1943 the
Hungarian Minister of the Interior, Keresztes-Fischer,
handed me a document showing that German or German and
Hungarian forces wanted to bring about the incorporation of
Hungary into the Reich through a revolt. At the Regent
Horthy's desire, I at once handed this document over to Herr
von Ribbentrop and asked him to take the appropriate
measures to prevent it. That is all set down in the files,
and the Hungarian Minister of the Interior will be able to
confirm it.

Q. You see my point. I do not mind whether you would have
taken it or not. The point that I am putting is that you
were the choice. Do you not know that? You know the document
I am referring to, D-679, with many comments by

                                                  [Page 352]

Kaltenbrunner, in which you were discussed as being the
possible person to do the internal work in Hungary.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, it is Page 78 of Document
Book IIA.

BY SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE:

Q. It is Page 46 of the German Document Book IIA.

A. Sir David, I went over this note the day before yesterday
after you submitted it here.

Q. I will not trouble you with it if you only learned of it
here. The only point I want to know is this. Did you know in
1944 that you were being suggested, in a German State
document, as being the person who might do the internal work
in Hungary in order that Hungary might be acquired by the
Reich. If you say you do not know, I shall not trouble you
with it any further. You say you only knew that since the
day before yesterday?

A. Yes, and in the second place, it is a historical fact
that I repeatedly opposed these efforts in Hungary which
aimed, in one way or another, eventually by occupation, at
making Hungary a part of the German Reich. I considered that
the most mistaken and most impossible policy imaginable.

Q. I will not trouble you about the document as you did not
know about it; we will turn to another point.

You remember Gauleiter Rainer, the gentleman with whom you
had the fortuitous and, I am sure, very interesting talk on
the eve of the Anschluss - Dr. Rainer, the witness? I would
just like you to look at Dr. Rainer's view of the position
when you took over, and tell the Tribunal whether you agree
with that.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, it is Page 6 of Document
Book II; the document is 812-PS. It starts on Page 6 and the
passage which I am going to refer to is on Page 8.

BY SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE:

Q. Have you got the passage that begins:

  "Thus began the first phase of battle, which ended with
  the July rising of 1934 The decision for the July rising
  was right; but many mistakes were made in carrying it
  out. The result was the complete destruction of the
  organization, the loss of entire groups of fighters
  through imprisonment or flight into the 'Alt-Reich', and,
  with regard to the political relationship between Germany
  and Austria, a formal acknowledgement of the existence of
  the Austrian State by the German Government. With the
  telegram to Papen, instructing him to restore normal
  relations between the two States, the Fuehrer liquidated
  the first stage of the battle and began a new method of
  political penetration."

Would you agree that that is a correct description of your
work, "a new method of political penetration"?

A. No, Sir David. That is a very inaccurate description of
my activity.

Q. Well, if you do not agree with Dr. Rainer, tell me - you
know the witness, you must know him very well, the witness,
Dr. Paul Schmidt. You know him?

A. Yes.

Q. Very well. Now I think you will agree with me that he is
one of the personalities against whom nobody has said a word
during this trial. Do you agree? I have not heard a word of
criticism of Paul Schmidt. Do you not agree with me?

A. Do you mean the witness - the interpreter Schmidt or the
Foreign Minister Schmidt?

Q. Paul Schmidt, the interpreter.

A. Paul Schmidt, the interpreter. I will give you my opinion
on that.

Q. Well, do you agree that he is a trustworthy person or
not? Do you say that he is not a trustworthy person?

                                                  [Page 353]
                                                            
A. I have nothing to say against the human qualities of Herr
Schmidt, but I have a very strong objection to the fact that
Herr Schmidt takes the liberty of criticising my political
activities in Austria.

Q. Well, before you explain it, just have a look at it. You
will find Dr. Paul Schmidt's affidavit on Page 41 of
Document Book IIA; that is Page 37 of the German Document
Book, Document 3308-PS. Now just listen to Dr. Paul
Schmidt's view, paragraph 8:

  "Plans for the annexation of Austria were a part of the
  Nazi programme from the beginning. Italian opposition
  after the murder of Dollfuss necessitated a more cautious
  approach to this problem for a time; but the application
  of sanctions against Italy by the League of Nations, plus
  the rapid increase of German military strength, made the
  resumption of the Austrian programme safer. When Goering
  visited Rome early in 1937, he declared that the union of
  Austria and Germany was inevitable and must be expected
  sooner or later. Mussolini, hearing these words in
  German, remained silent and uttered only a mild protest
  when I translated them into French. The consummation of
  the Anschluss was essentially a Party matter, in which
  von Papen's role was to preserve smooth diplomatic
  relations on the surface while the Party used more
  devious ways of preparing conditions for the expected
  move."

Then, defendant, so that we are being quite clear, he makes
a mistake, and refers to a speech of Hitler on the 18th of
February to which, unfortunately, the translator had put
your name. I am not relying on that. But what I do want to
know is whether you agree with his statement that it was
your role "to preserve smooth diplomatic relations on the
surface while the Party used more devious ways ..."

Do you agree with that as a correct description of your
programme, your mission in Austria?

A. On the contrary, Sir David, the exact opposite is the
case. I explained my task in Austria very clearly and
distinctly to the Tribunal.

Q. I see.

A. It was a task of pacification and normalisation and a
continuation of the policy of the grafting together of the
two States in an evolutionary way. And now may I say a few
words more concerning this affidavit of Dr. Schmidt? At the
time when the witness sat here in this chair we established
the fact that this affidavit was placed before him when he
was still in bed in the hospital after a severe illness, and
this document was given to him for his signature -

Q. Well, with respect to that, the Tribunal will deal with
it. We have heard all about it and Dr. Schmidt has been
cross-examined and I think you may take it that the Tribunal
know everything about the circumstances of the affidavit. If
you have anything to comment on the contents of it, I am
sure the Tribunal would willingly let you, but you need not
comment on the circumstances. That is all before the
Tribunal.

A. I will comment on the contents. I will state that Dr.
Schmidt, who later played a highly influential role with
Foreign Minister von Ribbentrop, during the years which are
under discussion here, had a very subordinate position in
the Foreign Office which did not afford him an insight - any
exact insight - into conditions in Austria and into my
policy and my reports.

Q. Well, if that is so -

A. Sir David, Herr von Neurath will be able to confirm that
for you tomorrow or the day after.

Q. Well, we will not argue that any further. The Tribunal
have the whole of Dr. Schmidt's record before them and the
affidavit. Now you said you told the Tribunal about your
conception of your mission in Austria. If that was your
conception of your mission in Austria, why was it necessary
for you to get hold of the knowledge of the position of the
explosive chambers in Austrian strategic roads?

That was rather going back to the development of the "top
hat" idea to which you objected so strongly, was it not?
Well, if you do not remember, let me remind you by referring
to Document 689-D, Page 101.

                                                  [Page 354]
                                                            
SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: The Tribunal will find the passage
actually on page 102, Pages 90 and 91 in the German version
of Document Book IIA, becoming Exhibit GB 504.

BY SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE:

Q. This is an account of the opening of Grossglockner Road,
which, as you know, is a road of some strategic importance
going from Salzburg to Carinthia. Do you remember that,
after your description about the people being in Salzburg
and singing everything except the Horst-Wessel song, and
then the German drivers competing, in the third and next
paragraph you say:

  "The building of this road is undoubtedly a first class
  work of culture, in which Reich German constructional
  firms took the main and decisive part. The chief engineer
  of the Reich German firm which built the tunnel at the
  highest point offered to inform me of the position of the
  explosive chambers in this tunnel. I sent him to the
  military attache."

That was your combining culture and showing the excellence
of German road construction with obtaining the position of
the explosives of the tunnel at an important strategic
portion of the road. Why did you consider that of sufficient
importance to report to Hitler and send three copies of the
report to the Foreign Office?

A. Sir David, I am giving an exact account of what happened
at the inauguration of this road.

Q. I do not really want that. The Tribunal can get that.
What I am asking you is why you were sending to Hitler the
fact that the Reich German engineer was disclosing to you
the explosive chambers on the important part of this road
where this road could be blocked? Why were you sending that
to Hitler? That is what I want you to tell the Tribunal.

A. Because it seemed interesting to me that this man
approached me voluntarily and told me, "At this and this
point, the tunnel can be blown up." You know that at that
time our relations with Italy were very strained and that
Italy had mobilised on the Brenner border. For that reason
it seemed of interest tome that this new connection between
Italy and Germany could be broken again at any suitable
time. Moreover, I referred the matter to my military attach‚
because it did not interest me personally.

Q. No, you had then moved out of the class of doing that
sort of thing yourself. You were the head of the mission and
it was a matter for the military attache.

But was that your plan, defendant, that you introduced
German Kultur, as showing the road making, to get at the
same time strategic information which you could pass on to
your government, undermining the Austrian Government's
strategic plans to use the road?

THE PRESIDENT: The defendant said, did he not, that it was a
road which joined Germany to Italy?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: Yes, my Lord. The road actually goes
from Salzburg, which is practically on the German frontier,
to Carinthia in South Austria, so it was a new highway,
taking traffic north and south in Austria.

THE PRESIDENT: Did it actually connect Germany with Italy,
or did it connect Austria with Italy?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: Austria.

BY SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE:

Q. Well, let us take something else in which you were
interested. You were also reporting as to where, the
Austrian supply of munitions and manufacture of munitions
were going to be situated, were you not?

A. I do not remember.

Q. All right, if you do not recall it, let us look at
Document 694-D. You will find it a few pages on.

                                                  [Page 355]

It is Page 110, my Lord, in the English book, Page 108 of
the German book. It will become Exhibit GB 505. Its date is
26th November, 1935. It is Page 110 and the passage that I
am going to read is Page 111.

Defendant, you ought to find it just at the top of Page 112
of the German version. You are dealing with the influence of
Herr Mandel, whose Jewish extraction you referred to, and
then you go on to Prince Starhemberg. It reads:

  "After the manufacture of munitions for Italy in
  Hirtenberg had to be stopped because of Italian protests,
  he, Mandel, transported the entire factory by train, in
  order to continue work in Italy."

Then, note the next words in brackets:

  "Incidentally, an interesting situation for Austria's
  supply of munitions."

Was that one of your conceptions of restoring normal
relations, that you should report on the removal of the
Austrian munition factory?

A. No, that was not my task proper, but this report shows,
Sir David, that I was repeating a talk with the Polish
Minister Gavronski, who told me that this munition factory,
the only one which existed in Austria, was being moved to
Italy. I wrote, with regard to this, that it is a remarkable
circumstance if a country has to get its munitions supplies
from a foreign country.

You must surely admit that that is a peculiar situation and
one that deserves inclusion in a report.


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