The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1999/10/05

THE PRESIDENT: There was one bill of lading and then there
were a number of other bills of lading which were referred
to.

M. DUBOST: Yes. And the whole constituted Document 1553-PS.
This document is included in the series covered by the
affidavit of which Sir David has spoken to you.

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Dubost, if you attach importance to it,
would it not be possible for you to give us the figures from
these other bills of lading? I mean the amount of the gas.

M. DUBOST: Certainly, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Just in order that it may be upon the
shorthand note.

M. DUBOST :

14 February 1944         Gross weight:        832 kilos
                           Net weight:        555 kilos
16 February 1944         Gross weight:        832 kilos
                           Net weight:        555 kilos

The first is addressed to Auschwitz and the second to
Oranienburg.

13 March 1944            Gross weight:        896 kilos
                           Net weight:        598 kilos
                               (addressed to Auschwitz)
13 March 1944            Gross weight:        896 kilos
                           Net weight:        598 kilos
                             (addressed to Oranienburg)
30 April 1944            Gross weight:        832 kilos
                           Net weight:        555 kilos
                               (addressed to Auschwitz)
30 April 1944            Gross weight:        832 kilos
                           Net weight:        555 kilos
                             (addressed to Oranienburg)
18 May 1944              Gross weight:        832 kilos
                           Net weight:        555 kilos
                             (addressed to Oranienburg)
31 May 1944              Gross weight:        832 kilos
                           Net weight:        555 kilos
(addressed to Auschwitz)

This appears to me to be all.

To Document 1553-PS is added the statement by Gessner and
also the statement by the Chief of the American Service who
collected this document.

With the permission of the Tribunal, I shall proceed with
the presentation of the crimes of which we accuse the
defendants against allied prisoners of war who were interned
in Germany. Document 735-PS, Page 68 of the document book,
which we submitted a short time ago as Exhibit RF 371, is a
report on important meetings which brought together
Kaltenbrunner, Ribbentrop and Goering, and in the course of
which was drawn up the list of air operations which
constituted acts of terrorism.

It was decided at these meetings that lynching would be the
ideal punishment for all actions directed against civilian
populations which the German Government claimed to be
terroristic.

On Page 68 Ribbentrop is involved. We read in one of the
three copies notes of the meetings that were held that day -
in the first paragraph, 11th line

                                                  [Page 296]


   "Contrary to the proposals of the Minister of Foreign
   Affairs, who wanted to include all terroristic attacks
   against the civilian population and consequently air
   attacks against cities" -

The proposals made by Ribbentrop were far in excess of what
was accepted at the time of this meeting. The three lines
which follow deserve the attention of the Tribunal:

   "Lynch law would be the means of settlement. There was,
   on the other hand, no question of a judgement to be
   passed by a tribunal or handing over to the police."

Then, at the bottom of the page

   "One had to distinguish between enemy airmen who were
   suspected of criminal acts of this kind, and prepare for
   their admission to the airmen's camp at Oberursel, and
   if the suspicions were confirmed, they were to be turned
   over for special treatment by the SD."

The Tribunal will certainly remember the description which
was given of this "special treatment" by the American
prosecution. What is involved is purely and simply the
extermination of allied airmen who had fallen into the hands
of the German Army.

On Page 69, the Tribunal may read, under No. 3, the
description and the enumeration of the acts which are to be
considered as terroristic acts and as justifying lynching.

   "(a) Attacks with weapons against the civilian
   population, either against individuals or against
   gatherings of civilians.
   
   (b) Attacks against German airmen, who have baled out of
   their aircraft.
   
   (c) Attacks against civilian passenger trains.
   
   (d) Attacks against hospitals or hospital trains that
   are clearly marked with a red cross."

Three lines below:

   "Should such acts be committed and should it be
   established in the course of interrogation, the
   prisoners must be handed over to the SD."

This document originates from the Fuehrer's Headquarters. It
was drawn up there on 6 June 1944, and it bears the stamp of
the Assistant Chief of Staff of the Wehrmacht.

THE PRESIDENT: I think that has all been read, M. Dubost. I
think that document was all read before.

M. DUBOST: Mr. President, I had been told that it had not
been read.

THE PRESIDENT: I have not verified it.

M. DUBOST: We submit Document 729-PS, as Exhibit RF 372.
This document confirms the preceding one. It originates from
the Fuehrer's Headquarters, is dated 15 June 1944, and it
reiterates the orders I have read.

But this document is signed by Marshal Keitel, whereas the
preceding one was signed "J." We have not been able to
identify the author of this initial. Document 730-PS, which
we next submit as Exhibit RF 373, is likewise from the
Fuehrer's Headquarters, still dated 15 June 1944. It is
addressed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the
attention of Ambassador Ritter. The Tribunal will find it on
Page 71 in the document book. This document reproduces the
instructions signed "Keitel" in the preceding document, and
it is likewise signed by Keitel.

We shall submit as Exhibit RF 374, Document 733-PS, which
concerns the treatment which is to be meted out to airmen
falling into the hands of the German Army. It is a telephone
message. The call is from the Adjutant of the Marshal of the
Reich (Captain Breuer).

DR. NELTE (Counsel for Keitel): I assume, Mr. Prosecutor,
that you have

                                                  [Page 297]

finished with the question of lynching. In the presentation
of this case the words "Orders of Keitel" have been used
repeatedly. The prosecutor has not read these documents. I
would be obliged if the prosecutor would produce a document
which contains an order which raises lynch-law to the level
of an order, as it had been claimed by the prosecution. The
defendants Keitel and Jodl maintain that such an order was
never given, that these conferences concerning which
documents have been produced-that these documents never
became orders because the authorities concerned prevented
this.

THE PRESIDENT: The documents speak for themselves.

M. DUBOST: Does the Tribunal wish to listen to the complete
reading of these documents which are signed by Keitel? They
are not orders, they are projects. Moreover, I emphasised
that when I announced them to the Tribunal.

On Page 80 of our document book, you will find dated 30 June
1944, with Keitel's initials, a Note of a Meeting.

   "Subject: the treatment of enemy terror flyers
   
   (1) Enclosed the draft of a reply by the Reich Minister
   of Foreign Affairs to the Chief of the OKW forwarded by
   Ambassador Ritter to the Operational Staff of the
   Wehrmacht."

I am omitting a paragraph:

(2) The Marshal of the Reich approves the definition of
terror flyers communicated by the OKW, as well as the
procedure which is proposed.

This document is submitted as Exhibit RF 375. I did not
submit to the Tribunal a regular formal order, but I brought
three documents which, in my opinion, are equivalent to a
formal order because, with the initials of Keitel, we have
this note signed by Warlimont which states: "The Marshal of
the Reich approves the definition of terror flyers
communicated by the OKW, as well as the procedure which is
proposed." This document bears the initials of Keitel.

We shall now submit Document L-154, which has already been
submitted by our American colleagues as Exhibit USA 335. My
colleague has read this text in extenso. I will refer to
only three lines, in order not to delay the proceedings: "As
a matter of principle, no fighter-bomber pilots brought down
are to be saved from the anger of the people," This comes
from the office of the Gauleiter and Commissar for the
Defence of the Reich, Gau South Westphalia.

As Exhibit RF 376 we shall submit Document F-686, on Page 82
of our document book. This is the minutes of an
interrogation of Hugo Gruener on 29 December 1945; he was
subordinate to Robert Wagner, Gauleiter of Baden and Alsace.
In the last lines of this document, Page 82, Gruener states:
"Wagner gave the formal order to beat up and kill all airmen
we could capture. In this connection Gauleiter Wagner
explained to us that Allied airmen caused great havoc on
German territory; that they considered it was an inhuman
war, and that therefore, under the circumstances, any airmen
captured should not be considered as prisoners of war, and
deserved no mercy."

Page 83, at the top of the page: "He stated that
Kreisleiter, if the occasion offered, should not fail to
capture and shoot the Allied airmen themselves. As I have
told you, Roehn was assistant to Wagner, but Wagner himself
did not speak. I can affirm that SS-General Hoffmann, who
was the SS leader of the police for the Southwest Region,
was present when the order was given to us by Wagner to
assassinate allied airmen."

This witness, Hugo Gruener, confesses that he participated
in the execution of Allied airmen.

"Going through Rheinweiler, - this took place in October or
November 1944 - he (Gruener) noticed that some English or
American airmen had been

                                                  [Page 298]

pulled out of the Rhine by soldiers. The four airmen were
wearing khaki uniforms, were bareheaded and were of average
height. He could not speak to them because he did not know
the English language. The Wehrmacht refused to take charge
of them.

That is the third paragraph at the bottom of the page and
the witness declares: "I told the gendarmes that I had
received from Wagner the order to execute any Allied airmen
taken prisoner. The gendarmes replied that it was the only
thing to be done. I then decided to execute the four Allied
prisoners and one of the gendarmes present advised me to do
this on the banks of the Rhine."

On Page 84, paragraph 1, Gruener describes how he proceeded
to assassinate these airmen. In the second paragraph he
confesses that he killed them with machine gun shots in the
back. In the third paragraph he gives the name of one of his
accomplices, Erich Meissner, who was a Gestapo agent from
Lorrach, and in the fifth paragraph he denounces Meissner
for having himself assassinated an airman as he was getting
out of a car and was on his way toward the Rhine. I read:

   "I murdered them by firing a machine gun salvo at each
   of them in the back, after which each airman was dragged
   by the feet and thrown into the Rhine."

This affidavit was received by the Police Magistrate of
Strasbourg. The document which we shall submit was signed by
his clerk as a certified copy.

This is how the orders given by the leaders of the German
Government were carried out by the German people.

THE PRESIDENT: M. Dubost, I see that it is five o'clock now,
and perhaps you would be able to tell us what your programme
would be for tomorrow.

M. DUBOST: Tomorrow we shall complete the presentation of
the question of prisoners-of-war. We shall present to you in
an abridged form, documents which seem to us to be
indispensable, in spite of the hearing of witnesses, in
regard to the camps. There are only a few documents, but
they all directly inculpate one or another of the
defendants. Then we shall show how the orders given by the
leaders of the German Army led the subordinates to commit
acts of terrorism and banditry in France against the
innocent population, and against patriots who were not
treated as franc-tireurs but as common law bandits.

We expect to finish tomorrow morning. In the afternoon, my
colleague, M. Faure, could begin the presentation of this
last part of the French charges concerning Crimes against
Humanity.

THE PRESIDENT: Are you not able to give us any estimate of
the length of the whole of the French prosecution?

M. DUBOST: I believe that three days will be sufficient for
M. Faure. The individual charges will be summarised in one
half day by our colleague M. Mounier, and that will be the
end.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn now.

(The Tribunal adjourned until 31st January at 1000 hours)


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