The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Archive/File: imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-09/tgmwc-09-79.06
Last-Modified: 1999/12/6

Q. You stated, in the beginning of your interrogation, that
you would not give any testimony against your former
superior, Reichsmarschall Goering, and that you regarded
Goering as the last big man of the Renaissance; the last

                                                   [Page 20]

great example of a man from the Renaissance period; that he
had given you the biggest job of your life and it would be
unfaithful and unloyal to give any testimony against him; is
that what you said?

A. Yes, that is more or less what I said.

Q. And that is still your answer?
A. Yes.


MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: No further questions.

THE PRESIDENT: Do any other members of the prosecution wish
to examine this witness?

BY GENERAL RUDENKO:

Q. Perhaps you can remember, Witness, the conference of the
political leaders in the occupied territories which took
place on 6th August, 1942, under the chairmanship of
defendant Goering.

A. I cannot remember what conference that could have been.

Q. Perhaps you can recall that, after this conference of 6th
August, you circulated the minutes to all the Ministers. The
appendix to these minutes showed how much foodstuff and
other raw materials should be supplied to Germany by the
occupied territories?

A. I cannot remember offhand.

Q. I shall put before you a document signed by you yourself
which gives proof of this meeting.

A. Yes, I have read it.

Q. You remember that you circulated this document, do you
not?

A. Yes.

Q. The document shows that certain figures were fixed as to
how much food-stuff should be sent to Germany: 1,200,000
tons from France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Norway. From
Russia, 3,000,000 tons of grain were to be sent to Germany,
etc. Do you not consider such deliveries to be a spoliation
of the occupied territories?

A. It was a matter of course that the occupied territories
had to make every effort in contributing to the food supply.
Quotas were imposed on the occupied territories which they
could meet or, if they were not in a position to do so, they
could subsequently ask for modifications.

Q. You said something about "squeezing out," I think?

A. No, I never talked of "squeezing out." I said it was a
matter of course that the occupied territories had to
contribute to the food supply with all means at their
disposal.

Q. That the occupied territories had to contribute?

A. Yes.

Q. Had these occupied territories asked Germany to come and
rule over them?

A. I did not quite get that question.

Q. I do not suppose you did. I now want to ask you another
question in connection with this. You did not see that this
was plunder, but do you not recall that Goering himself -

A. No, this could not have been plunder.

Q. Goering himself, at the same meeting, said in his address
that he intended systematically to plunder the occupied
territories; you do not remember his expression
"systematically plunder"?

A. No, I do not know this expression.

Q. No, you do not remember. Perhaps you can recall that at
the same meeting, when addressing the leaders of the
occupied territories, he said to them, "You are sent there
not to work for the welfare of the people you are in charge
of, but you are sent there in order to squeeze out of that
country everything possible." Do you remember these words of
the defendant Goering?

                                                   [Page 21]

A. No, I cannot remember these words.

Q. You cannot remember?

A. No.

Q. And you do not recall a lengthy correspondence between
Goering and Rosenberg in which Rosenberg insisted that all
functions, relative to the economic exploitation of the
occupied territories of the Soviet Union, should be taken
away from the military economic offices and transferred to
the Ministry headed by Rosenberg?

A. No, I do not recall such a letter.

Q. You do not know. In connection with this you do not
remember that this correspondence did not lead to a final
settlement of the question?

A. I do not know about this correspondence.

Q. You do not know anything, do you? In 1944 do you not
recall that -

DR. STAHMER: I should like to point out the interpretation
is rather incomplete and hard to understand; we ourselves do
not fully understand the questions either.

GENERAL RUDENKO: I suggest that it is not my fault if the
witness does not get all my questions.

BY GENERAL RUDENKO:

Q. Do you not recall that in 1944, after the Red Army had
driven the German troops from the Ukraine, Goering, wishing
to shelve the question of the economic exploitation of the
Ukraine, wrote to Rosenberg that it should be postponed
until a more opportune time, and mentioned a second seizure
of the Ukraine and other Soviet territories. Is that what he
had in mind?

A. This is supposed to have happened in 1944?

Q. In 1944.

A. No, I cannot remember it.

Q. I shall not argue about it.

GENERAL RUDENKO: Evidently, Mr. President, you wish to
adjourn now. I have a few more questions, but I assume it
will be convenient to resume after the adjournment.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes.

(A recess was taken until 14.00 hours.)

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn at 4.30 to-day.

BY GENERAL RUDENKO:

Q. Witness, I intend to hand you a document which is a
letter addressed to you by the Permanent Secretary of State
for Foreign Affairs, dealing with problems in the Eastern
occupied countries. This is Exhibit USSR 174. I want you to
take notice of it and to recollect whether you have ever
seen this letter before. You will see that this document
begins with the words:

  "Honourable Secretary of State and Dear Party Comrade
  Koerner!"

This letter deals with the unification of economic
leadership.

A. I have taken note of this document. I definitely received
it.

Q. You had received it, that is quite obvious. As is quite
clear from this communication, the question is that of
holding a special meeting under your leadership.

A. Yes.

Q. Therefore my conclusion is correct, that you were a very
close assistant of the defendant Goering in the matter of
the so-called unification of economic leadership?

A. Yes, at the conference mentioned.

Q. One last question. Do you confirm that the defendant
Goering, as Plenipotentiary of the Four-Year Plan, was at
the head of both the civilian and the

                                                   [Page 22]

military German organisations dealing with the economic
exploitation of all the occupied territories, and that you
were his closest assistant where these economic measures
were concerned?

A. The conference mentioned in this document never took
place. The problem of unification which arose from economic
activities in the occupied countries was solved and we never
held the conference.

Q. The problem was not solved by circumstances over which
you had any control. It depended on the advance of the Red
and Allied Armies. Am I right?

A. I have not understood the question clearly enough to
answer it.

Q. You say that the question had been solved. I am asking
you: Is it not a fact that the problem was not solved
because of any circumstances dependent on yourselves? You
were prevented by the Red and Allied Armies?

A. I believe that at the time this letter was sent there was
no such influence felt. The question which has been raised,
of the comprehensive organisation of economic matters in
occupied territories, did not, as a fact, materialise
because it was opposed by other influences and
circumstances.

Q. I do not mean to discuss these causes with you at the
present moment, but you have not yet answered my last
question. I asked: Do you confirm that Goering, as
Plenipotentiary for the Four-Year Plan, was at the head of
both the civilian and the military German organisations
dealing with the economic exploitations of all the occupied
territories, and that you were his closest assistant?

A. As far as the exploitation of occupied countries is
concerned, we cannot deal with it in this manner. The Four-
Year Plan had the possibility of being applied to the
occupied countries, but it was only done if it was
absolutely necessary. In general it was concerned with
internal problems, and those offices which, in the occupied
countries, took care of economic matters were the military
or civil agencies. In the East, Rosenberg was concerned with
this only if there was a dispute between the military and
civil authorities, or between departments at home. If there
was a dispute or a disagreement the Four-Year Plan could be
applied. The Reichsmarschall in those cases could make
special decisions, but that was in very, very few cases, as,
for instance, in the case of this conference that was
mentioned to-day about occupied countries having to help
supply foodstuffs for Europe. We had the right, as in the
occupied territories, not only the East but also in the
West, we introduced many new developments in the field of
agriculture. In the West I can point out -

Q. What right are you discussing?

A. I speak of the right which Germany had to share in the
economic production, because we introduced many new
developments in these countries. I would like to point out
that in the East, the regions which had been completely
devastated, which had no seed, no machines, and with
greatest difficulty ...

Q. Who gave that right to the Germans?

A. We speak of the right, once we have occupied a country
and built it up, to share in the surplus, for all Europe
knew what countries we had occupied, and we know the cares
and problems that we encountered in the occupied countries.

Q. I asked you, where did the Germans get the right?

A. I am no jurist. Therefore I cannot answer the question.

Q. But you were talking about German rights.

A. I am only speaking of the natural right that, if we made
any development, we could share in the profits of this
development.

Q. After you had devastated these areas?

A. Germany did not devastate these areas, certainly not in
any agricultural countries. We, in fact, instituted great
developments. I remember, in the West, that some parts of
France were completely devastated

                                                   [Page 23]

THE PRESIDENT: Witness, you are going too fast. Can you not
see the light?

A. I beg your pardon.

In the West we made great developments; through such German
organisations as the Reichsland we rebuilt these areas and
repatriated French people to this territory, and gave them
the possibility to function again as peasants and to share
in the agricultural production of the country. In the East
we found territories which, through the effects of the war,
had been damaged greatly. There were no more machines
existing. Everything had been taken away by the Russians,
and all agricultural implements had been taken away. or had
been destroyed. There we had to start in the most elementary
and primitive ways to commence agriculture again.

But it was possible in the years of our occupation in the
East to restore agriculture. German initiative and German
machinery is to be thanked for this achievement.

BY GENERAL RUDENKO:

Q. Did the German initiative also include, together with the
restoration of agricultural measures and developments, a
vast net of concentration camps which you established in the
occupied countries? Was that also included in the extent of
the German initiative?

A. I had nothing to do with that problem.

Q. But I am asking you this question.

A. And therefore I do not understand what you mean.

Q. You are not sufficiently informed on the question of
concentration camps, but it would appear that you are quite
well informed, or appear to be informed, on economic
measures for the restoration of works in the occupied
territories?

A. Naturally, I know quite a deal about the rehabilitation
of agricultural areas.

Q. But you knew nothing about concentration camps?

A. That is correct. I was not concerned with these matters.

Q. You knew nothing about the fact that millions were being
annihilated by the German occupational authorities?

A. No, I knew nothing about it.

Q. You really knew nothing about it?

A. I have only just found out about it.

Q. Only now?

GENERAL RUDENKO: I have no further question to ask.

BY DR. BOEHM (counsel for the S.A.):

Q. Witness, do you know that Heines was Chief of Police at
Breslau?

THE PRESIDENT: I asked defendants' counsel at the end of the
examination by Dr. Stahmer whether they wished to ask any
questions, and they said they did not. Therefore, it is not
your turn now to ask any questions.

DR. BOEHM: Mr. President In the interrogation by Mr. Justice
Jackson a point arose which I did not know of before and
which calls for comment. It concerns the Chief of Police,
Heines. May I be allowed to put two or three questions to
the witness so that the point in question may be clarified?

THE PRESIDENT: Very well. We hope you will not take too
long.

DR. BOEHM: I will try to be brief, Mr. President. Thank you.

BY DR. BOEHM:

Q. Witness, do you know that Heines was Chief of Police at
Breslau?

A. Yes.

Q. Further, do you know that in that capacity he was in
charge of the prisons in Breslau?

A. Of course the Police Chief is in charge of prisons.

Q. Do you know whether at the time in question, when this
camp was set up, the police prisons of Breslau were
overcrowded?

                                                   [Page 24]

A. That I do not know. I mentioned the case of Heines only
in connection with one of the camps which was set up without
the permission of the Prime Minister or the Minister of the
Interior.


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