The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Q. Was not Dr. Rainer - the witness that the Tribunal has
seen - was not he present at the Garmisch meeting too?

A. I beg your pardon?

Q. Dr. Rainer?

A. That seems to have been the case; Sir David; I do not
remember it any more. Seyss-Inquart has told me that it is
possible that Dr. Rainer joined us on a walk. I personally
do not remember. I did not carry on any political discussion
with Rainer.

Q. Well, you have given your explanation. I just want to
remind you of one other point. You were very well aware of
the von Blomberg and von Fritsch crisis in the Army, were
you not? I do not want to go into disagreeable details
again, because it is not at present before the Tribunal, but
you knew that that crisis had arisen?

A. Yes.

Q. I am sure you will see the importance of this. General
von Fritsch had been at the War Academy with you, had he

A. Yes, quite right.

Q. He was an old friend, and you knew - as I think everyone
who has mentioned his name in this court has said - that
General von Fritsch was a man of the highest character and
that the sort of charge that was brought against him was one
which anyone who knew him would regard with ridicule if it
was not so tragic, and they would regard it with contempt?
That was your view?

A. Absolutely.

Q. And you had a pretty good idea, had you not, apart from
the treatment of Field Marshal von Blomberg, that von
Fritsch had been the subject of a trumped-up charge in order
to prevent him becoming head of the Wehrmacht? You knew
that, did you not?

A. In any case, that became clear to me later, when I
learned of the circumstances.

Q. No, no, that is not the important thing, defendant, it is
your state of mind on the 5th of February, 1938. You knew by
then that the Nazi clique in the government had brought a
framed-up charge against a man whom you regarded as the soul
of honour, did you not?

A. Yes.

Q. Now after, with that knowledge, on the 5th of February,
you saw Hitler, and told him about the fact that von
Schuschnigg might come, and he welcomed the idea at once. He
said, "go and get Schuschnigg," did he not? He had been
quite bored, if I may put it that way, with what you had
been saying up to that point. As soon as you said there was
a chance of a meeting with Schuschnigg, Hitler jumped to the
suggestion like a trout to a May fly, or rather, like a lion
to the kill; that is right, is it not?

A. Yes, Sir David. I described to the Tribunal the
impression made on me by events in Berlin and by my own
dismissal on 4th February. Do you think - it

                                                  [Page 364]

is surely not surprising that I now tried - just because I
was afraid another course would be adopted - to bring about
this long-desired discussion between the two Chiefs of State
which I hoped would clear up the differences and prevent the
adoption of a radical course. I told Foreign Minister
Schmidt and Chancellor Schuschnigg, when I asked them both
to take part in a discussion, to clear up matters if they
could possibly do so.

Q. Now, defendant, I am not going to go through the
circumstances of the meeting of 12th February because I went
through them with the defendant von Ribbentrop and the
Tribunal are well informed with regard to them.

I want to ask you this one question, and I do ask you to
consider it carefully because the question of your own
veracity may depend on it.

Are you now saying that there was not pressure put on Herr
von Schuschnigg at that interview?

A. Sir David, I never made such a statement - you know that
yourself, because it is in my reports; I myself said that
pressure was exerted.

Q. What I am asking you is this, and please let me make it
quite clear because the Tribunal have heard the evidence of
your friend Dr. Schmidt and a lot of other evidence. I only
want to ask you the one question, and please get it clear.

Do you now, on this day, say that pressure was not put on
Chancellor von Schuschnigg to make him agree to the terms of
the 12th of February? That is the one question I want to ask
you, and I give you the chance of answering. What do you say
today? Was or was not pressure put on Herr von Schuschnigg?

A. Yes; I never denied it. I do not understand why you ask
me. I never denied it.

Q. Herr von Ribbentrop denied it quite strongly, but we will
not go into that.

Now, one other question and then I am finished with Austria.

Did you arrange a meeting between Hitler and Cardinal

A. Yes, I did; and that was -

Q. Did you arrange that the leaders of the Church and the
diplomatic corps, apart from the French and British
representatives, should be present at Hitler's entry into

A. As for the leaders of the Church, it is not customary for
them to be present at parades, and I certainly did not
suggest it. As to the diplomats -

Q. Did you arrange for the diplomatic corps to be present?

A. It is possible that some of my diplomatic colleagues
asked me if they could attend this ceremony, and I said that
of course they could attend; why should they not?

Q. Well, I am not going to argue about the way you put it.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, I have now finished with
Austria. I have three very minor matters which I hope will
take a short time, but this might be a convenient period in
which to recess.


(A recess was taken.)


Q. Defendant, is the Tribunal to take it that, broadly
speaking, you were against the anti-Semitic movement and

A. I did not quite catch the question.

Q. Is the Tribunal to take it that, broadly speaking, you
were against the anti-Semitic movement and propaganda?

A. On the contrary, it was my aim and my desire and it
constituted the entire programme of my work to contribute as
far as possible to a union between the two countries,
because that was the great wish of the German nation.

Q. I do not think you can have understood my question. Let
me repeat it. I am now coming to the Jews.

                                                  [Page 365]

A. Oh, the Jews?

Q. Yes. Now, let me repeat it again. Is the Tribunal to take
it that, broadly speaking, you were against the anti-Semitic
movement and propaganda?

A. Yes; I have already told the High Tribunal just what my
attitude in principle was towards the racial question and
towards the question of the elimination of foreign influence
in certain cultural aspects of public life. These are two
entirely different questions, however.

Q. Yes, I appreciate that. Now, will you look at Document
3319-PS, which
is Ex Exhibit GB 287?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, it begins at Page 48 of
Document Book IIA. It is on Pages 44 and 45 of the German

Q. The part I want you to refer to is on Pages 58 and 59.
This, defendant, is from a confidential report of the
conference of the consultants on Jewish questions of the
German missions in Europe, on the 3rd and 4th of April,
1944. I want you just to look at Page 44, I think, in the
German version, and Page 58 of the English. This gives a
report of the contribution to the discussion of a certain
Herr Posemann, from Turkey. Was he from your staff? If you
would not mind, just say "yes" or "no" because -

A. May I tell you just who Herr Posemann was?

Q. I asked you if you would tell me whether he was a member
of the embassy staff, and if not, what was he. That is what
I want to know.

A. No; certainly not. Herr Posemann was a German bookseller
who had settled in Ankara. He was certainly not a member of
my embassy.

Q. I see. Well, at any rate, he was a consultant of the
German Foreign Office for this discussion. Now, just listen
to what he says:

  "Early last year the Turkish Government struck a blow at
  Jewry in connection with an attempt to solve the
  minorities problem. Very drastic measures were taken to
  carry out this action. Suspicion on the part of Allied
  circles that purely anti-Jewish measures were concerned
  were countered by Turkey by taking similar measures
  against other minorities. Anyhow, Turkey has now
  abandoned further such measures for finding a solution of
  the minorities problem acid therefore of the Jewish
  problem. For this reason it is impossible to continue
  anti-Jewish propaganda under our direction at the present
  moment, as it is undesirable and would be injurious to
  Turkey's present foreign policy. There are no anti-Jewish
  publications in Turkey, apart from caricatures and comic
  books about Jews. The first signs of realization of the
  extent of international Jewish domination are evinced in
  the translation of the "Protocol of the Elders of Zion,"
  and of Ford's book, The International Jew. The sale and
  distribution of these brochures have been promoted by the
  embassy. For the time being, work is possible only within
  this narrow range, since, as was already emphasized, an
  anti-Jewish propaganda obviously inspired by Germany
  might cause us unfavourable political complications."

Now, do you believe in the "Protocol of the Elders of Zion"?
Do you believe it is a correct and authentic work?

A. Not at all, no.

Q. Then why was the marketing of these brochures being
promoted by the embassy?

A. Perhaps I may give the Tribunal a very brief explanation
as to the origin of this conference. It was arranged by the
Foreign Office, and consisted of experts from the embassies
and legations who had been specifically employed to deal
with the Jewish problem. In my embassy there was no such
expert as I always refused to have one. For this reason the
Party had of its own accord instructed the bookseller, Herr
Posemann, to deal with this problem, and had delegated him
to attend this conference.

If Herr Posemann here sets forth that the embassy circulated
the propaganda brochures which are mentioned here, then he
is gravely mistaken.

                                                  [Page 366]

Firstly, the Turkish Government would never have tolerated
the circulation of such material, and secondly, you, Sir
David, can convince yourself today that all these brochures
are still lying in the basement of my embassy at Ankara.

Q. So that this statement made at the Foreign Office
meeting, you say, is wrong?

A. Yes.

Q. You say that you were not involved in any such action;
that is your answer? I want to ask you one or two things
about the Catholic Church. You remember the Fulda
declaration of the bishops?

A. Yes.

Q. That is right, is it not? That was made and based on an
assurance which Hitler gave to the Church of his good
intentions, on 23rd March, 1933? Do you remember Hitler
making a statement like that?

A. Not only on the 23rd, but also in the government's
declaration, Hitler expressly stated his view that all
policy must be based on the spiritual foundation of the
Christian denominations.

Q. Now, that in turn was the result, at least in part, of a
statement of yours at a cabinet meeting on the 15th of
March, 1933, when you stressed the importance of
incorporating political Catholicism into the new State; that
is a correct and factual statement, is it not? That is the
way the thing works out?

A. Completely, Sir David.

Q. Yes.

A. I made every effort to induce Hitler to establish this
Christian basis of his policy firmly by means of solemn
engagements; and I think I have already explained to the
High Tribunal that I really made every effort to carry
through this programme.

Q. Now let me ask you to look once again at Document IIA,
Page 96; Page 78 of the German version, which is Document
2248-PS. It is your report to Hitler of 20th July, 1935. Now
in that report you use these words: "the clever hand which
eliminates political Catholicism without touching the
Christian foundations of Germany."

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, it is on Page 99 of the
English text And it is Page 86 of the German text. My Lord,
it is the first paragraph, Page 99:

  "Cultural problems have a special significance. The way
  in which Germany deals with her political and religious
  difficulties, the clever hand which eliminates political
  Catholicism without weakening the Christian foundations
  of Germany will not only have a decisive reaction on
  England or Catholic Poland. We may rather say that the
  solution of the German-Austrian question stands or falls
  with it."

Now what I want you to bear in mind, this is your account to
Hitler in July 1935, over two years after the Concordat: "
... the clever hand which eliminates political Catholicism
without touching the Christian foundations of Germany ... "
Now your counsel quoted one passage of His Holiness the
Pope's allocution, and I would just like you to look and
tell the Tribunal whether you agree with the next passage,
which occurs after the bit quoted by Dr. Kubuschok.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, this is a new document -
No, my Lord, I am sorry. It is an old exhibit. It is
Document 3268-PS, which is Exhibit USA 356. Your Lordship
remembers that Dr. Kubuschok quoted a portion, in his
Document Book, of the Pope's allocution. My Lord, I have
some extra copies.


Q. Now after the bit which Dr. Kubuschok quoted as to the
Concordat having prevented worse evils, His Holiness goes on
to say:

  "The struggle against the Church did, in fact, become
  more and more embittered: the disbanding of Catholic
  organizations; the progressive suppression of the
  flourishing Catholic schools, both public and private;

                                                  [Page 367]

   enforced weaning of youth from family and Church; the
   pressure brought to bear on the conscience of the
   citizens, and especially of civil servants; the
   systematic defamation, by means of clever and
   well-organized propaganda, of the Church, the clergy,
   the faithful and of the Church's institutions, teaching
   and history; the closing, disbanding and confiscation of
   religious houses and other ecclesiastical institutions;
   the complete suppression of the Catholic Press and
   publishing houses."

Do you agree with His Holiness that that is a correct
description of the action of the German Reich against the
Catholic Church?

A. Completely.

Q. Well now, I would just like you also to look at the "Mit
Brennender Sorge," which is Document 3280-PS.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: Your Lordship will find it at Page
40 of Document Book II - I am sorry, my Lord, it is Page 47.
I said 40. It is 40 of the German text.

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