The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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A. It seems to me that this report shows, in the first
place, that I passed on to Hitler with complete frankness
all the reports which I received, even that of an adherent
of the Hapsburg restoration. Obviously to a hundred per cent -

Q. I am suggesting, defendant, that you passed them on
because they were true; you adopted them and passed them on
to Hitler because they were true reports; that that was a
true picture of the situation. That is what I am suggesting
to you. You just tell the Tribunal, were they true or were
they not? If they were not true, why did you pass them on
without saying they were not true? That is what I am asking

A. If you read this report by Baron Gudenus, you will see
that he speaks of internal conditions in Austria and of the
sinister differences existing between Schuschnigg and
Starhemberg, the rivalry between their guards, and the
constant, underground, republican sentiment.

Q. Yes, that is three lines out of twenty. There is a lot
more before you come to that part. That is what I am asking
you about; the other seventeen lines of that report.

A. Sir David, the points which I have just mentioned are
proof of the internal weaknesses of the Austrian Government,
on which I am reporting. If you mean that I should have
explained to Hitler that I was not a "brown" agent, well,
surely on 26th June we came to a very clear agreement as to
under what conditions my work in Austria was to be done.
There was no necessity for me to explain that to Hitler in a
report. I sent this report for his information only.

Q. If that is your explanation, just look at the next
paragraph of your letter. It shows in another way how you
were working. Paragraph 3:

  "The film 'The Old and the Young King' ..." The Tribunal
  may not remember, but you correct my recollection. That
  is a film, if I remember rightly, dealing with Friedrich
  - the relations of Friedrich Wilhelm I and Friedrich the
  Great. Am I right?

A. Yes.

Q. "The film 'The Old and the Young King' was shown here for
the first time a few days ago in the presence of Herr
Jannings." - That is Emil Jannings, the actor. - "It
provoked enthusiastic demonstrations. The scene where the
king stresses the fact that 'French trash and Roman books do
not mean anything to Prussia', led to particularly
vociferous applause. The police wanted to ban it. Together
with Herr Jannings, we explained to them that, should this
film be banned, we would take steps to prohibit the showing
of all Austrian films in Germany. This had the desired
effect. The film - except for the above mentioned scene,
which was expunged - is being shown

                                                  [Page 360]

  now and will be shown on the screen at Klagenfurt and
  Graz within the next few days.
  Yesterday I received Jannings, and a number of actors
  from the Burg Theatre, as my guests. He said he was very
  satisfied with his success, and we discussed in detail
  plans for a Bismarck picture, and recommended Beumelburg
  as the writer of the script for the production."

That is, you were forcing a film which contained Prussian
propaganda to be shown in Austria on the threat of excluding
Fraulein Wessely and 'Maskerade', and the other Austrian
films of that time, from the  German market; you were
forcing your propaganda by the threat of excluding Austrian
films; is that right?

A. Yes and I will also tell you the reason. I must enlarge
your historical knowledge of these things, Sir David.
Frederick the Great played a very important part in the
relations between Germany and Austria; and at that time we
were trying, in the relationship between our two countries,
to clear up the historical inaccuracies which originated in
the time of Frederick the Great. For this purpose the famous
Austrian historian, Professor Schubeck, wrote a great book.
The film which we are discussing served the purpose of
showing that a great German history is common to both
peoples alike. To help the cultural rapprochement of the two
countries I insisted that this film should be shown, and
this was done.

Q. I have not the slightest doubt about your motives in
wanting the film to be shown, defendant, but what I am
asking you is, why you pressed it against the wish of the
Austrian authorities by threat of excluding Austrian film
production from the German market. Why did you threaten the
Austrian authorities in that way?

A. It frequently happened that the Austrian police were
afraid that certain films might be made a basis for
demonstrations. But after we had talked matters over with
the police, and had agreed that certain parts of the film
should be cut, they were quite ready to allow it; and, of
course, I also told them that if we did not reach an
agreement, the consequences would be that Germany would send
no more films to Austria.

Q. Well, again I return to the point. Do you remember
telling the Tribunal that you did not keep up contacts with
the NSDAP in Austria? Is that correct?

A. No, it is not correct.

Q. You did keep up contacts?

A. Yes.

Q. Close contacts?

A. I did not understand.

Q. Intimate contacts? Were your contacts close?

A. No.

Q. Well, if they were not, will you just turn back a page.
It is probably Page 72 of your report. It is the same

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, it is Page 93 of your
Lordship's book.


Q. You began that report by saying:

   "I have first to report on the development of the local
   On 23rd March complete agreement was reached in Krems
   between Captain Leopold (Retd.) and General direktor
   Neubacher. In accordance therewith, Neubacher
   subordinated himself to Leopold in every way and
   recognized him as Fuehrer for Austria. As soon as
   Schattenfreh is released from the concentration camp, he
   will become deputy Fuehrer while Neubacher, as the
   closest confidant of Leopold, will be consulted on every
   important question."

Furthermore, Leopold has nominated somebody else and asked
him to be deputy, while:

  "Lieutenant-General Klupp (Retd.) will be taken into
  consultation in strict confidence," and I want to read
  the last lines: "Furthermore, Leopold expressed the
  desire that the continual intrigues against him of
  emigres living in the Reich - of the type of Frauenfeld
  and his friends - be stopped."

                                                  [Page 361]

That was a pretty complete picture of the organization of
the Party in Austria, was it not?

A. Well, Sir David, may I call to your attention the fact
that this report is dated 4th April, 1935, a date previous
to the July agreement, when my interest in these Party
affairs at that time can be readily understood.

Q. Well, if you attach importance to the date, just look at
the report of 1st September, 1936, which is on Page 33 of
Document Book II, Page 26 of the German book. You remember
this is the report which you referred to, and you said:

  "For the method to be employed (Marschroute) I recommend
  on the tactical side continued and patient psychological
  treatment, with slowly intensified pressure directed at
  changing the regime'.'

You told the Tribunal that that meant you wanted a change in
the officials of the Ministry of the Interior. I am not
going to trouble about a statement like that, but just go on
for a moment:

  The conference on economic relations, proposed for the
  end of October, will be a very useful tool for the
  realization of some of our projects.
  "Through discussion both with government officials and
  with leaders of the illegal party (Leopold and
  Schattenfreh), who take their stand entirely on the
  agreement of 11th July, I am trying to direct the next
  developments so as to aim at corporative representation
  of the movement in the Fatherland Front."

Now, it is quite clear, is it not, that you were on 1st
September, 1936, after the agreement, having discussions
with the leaders of the illegal party, Leopold and
Schattenfreh, so may we take it that, throughout your time
in Austria, you were in close and constant touch with the
leaders of the Austrian National Socialist Party?

A. No, Sir David, the conference which you just mentioned
refers to and is justified by the July agreement; I have
already explained that to the Tribunal yesterday. In the
July agreement Chancellor Schuschnigg promised that members
of the national opposition would be called upon for
co-operation. Consequently it was, of course, my duty to be
interested in whether and to what extent the co-operation of
such forces was actually sought after by Schuschnigg. That
was the subject of this talk with the Fuehrer, and I can
state expressly that my contact with the Austrian Party,
after the July agreement, was only in this connection.

Q. I see. Well, I am not going to go into that further. I
have referred the Tribunal to two documents, and there are
other references which I need not worry about.

I want you to come now to November 1937. Can you remember
the date of your meeting with the defendant Seyss-Inquart at

A. Yes, I met the defendant Seyss-Inquart by accident - that
is, not by appointment - at the Olympic Winter Games at
Garmisch-Partenkirchen in January 1938.

Q. January 1938. I just want to collate these dates. You had
become very friendly with the Foreign Minister Guido
Schmidt, who gave evidence here, had you not?

A. I was on very friendly terms with the Foreign Minister,

Q. Yes, you gave him the "du", although you were twenty
years his senior; you had given him the "du" for some time?
You were very intimate? Is that right?

A. I do not think that a friendship can be measured by
twenty years-twenty years' difference in age. I regarded
Herr Schmidt, as I have said, as an upright man.

Q. I think you will agree with me that it is unusual for an
ambassador to be on such terms with a Foreign Minister,
especially one twenty years his junior - not his
contemporary - on such terms that he used the familiar "du"
to him. Will you not agree with me that it is quite an
unusual form of intimacy between an ambassador and a Foreign

A. Sir David, if you had ever been in Austria in your life,
you would know that in Austria almost everyone says "du" to
everyone else, and to clear up this in-

                                                  [Page 362]

cident, may I add the following: On the day of our
separation, when I left Austria, I said to Foreign Minister
Schmidt, of whom I am very fond: "Dear friend, we have
worked together so much, now we can say 'du' to each other."

Q. Now, what I am interested in is this: It was in November
1937 that you and Dr. Guido Schmidt first began to discuss
the question of Herr von Schuschnigg meeting Hitler, was it

A. I believe that I discussed this matter not only with
Foreign Minister Schmidt but also with Schuschnigg himself
at that time. After a discussion between them -

Q. Just a moment; will you answer my question? You discussed
with Schmidt - you heard Dr. Schmidt state in his evidence
that the defendant Goering had told him with great
frankness, as the defendant Goering said he told everyone
else and has told this Tribunal, that he was out for the
union of Germany and Austria by any means and at all costs.
You heard Dr. Schmidt say that Goering had told him that
that was his view, and I say, in all fairness, it is
perfectly consistent. It is the view he has expressed here
and apparently to a lot of other people. Do you remember Dr.
Schmidt saying that?

A. Yes.

Q. We have heard that the defendant Goering said that, not
only to Dr. Schmidt, but to Mussolini and to the High
Tribunal, and I think to several other people. Had he never
said it to you?

A. No, Sir David. With regard to the Austrian -

Q. Did you know that it was his view?

A. No.

Q. You did not know that was Goering's view?

A. Please let me say something. Of course, I knew that
Goering's wish was to bring about a union of these two
States, and I myself was present at the talk with Mussolini.

Please consider, however, that at that time Herr Goering was
not competent to decide foreign policy. The question of what
our policy in Austria should be had been agreed upon between
Hitler and myself exclusively and I do not remember
discussing it with Marshal Goering in the years between 1936
and 1938.

Q. At the moment I am dealing with November 1937, and three
months later the defendant Goering was very competent in
foreign politics related to the Austrian question, as you,
who listened to the accounts of his telephone conversations,
must know.

I just want you to take the dates as we have got them now.
Goering had told Schmidt his views; you and Schmidt were
discussing this meeting between Schuschnigg and Hitler. In
January you had a political discussion with Dr.
Seyss-Inquart at Garmisch.

I am one date out of order. On the 11th of November, as Mr.
Dodd pointed out to Dr. Seyss-Inquart, the latter had
written a letter to Dr. Jury saying, "I do not think
anything will happen this year, but the developments will
take place in the spring." Then, after that letter, he sees
you at Garmisch in January, and in February you finally
arrange this meeting between Schuschnigg and Hitler.

A. Yes.

Q. Did you not know very well that the whole object of the
meeting was to get Herr von Schuschnigg to agree to the
Reich's wishes, namely the appointment of Seyss-Inquart, a
general political amnesty which would release all the
members of the Nazi Party in Austria and put them at the
disposal of their leaders, and a declaration of equal rights
for the Party? Did you not know that the whole object of the
meeting was to get Herr von Schuschnigg to agree to these
terms so that you would have the Austrian National Socialist
Party unfettered and free to work for Germany's interests in

A. In my talks with Dr. Seyss-Inquart in
Garmisch-Partenkirchen we discussed the necessity of making
the Austrian Nazi Party independent, that is, under all
circumstances removing it from the influence of the Reich,
in the form agreed

                                                  [Page 363]

upon in the July agreement, and with the aim that the way
should be paved for a union of our two countries, that aim
to be pursued from the Austrian side, in terms of foreign
policy, and not by the Reich.

When I met Seyss-Inquart in Garmisch no mention was ever
made of this meeting between Hitler and Schuschnigg. I was
at this time not in a position to know whether such a talk
would ever take place. That was not decided until 5th
February, as you will recall.

In other words, we discussed only the perfectly general
question of how we could get nearer to our goal.

May I further recall to your memory that Dr. Seyss-Inquart
had received an official commission from the Chancellor to
investigate all existing possibilities of incorporating the
national opposition - that is, the Austrian National
Socialist Party - into Schuschnigg's political programme.
That was his official mission, so that, after all, I had a
right to discuss these things with him.

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