The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2000/07/05

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Justice Jackson, there are some
photographs which have been put before us. Are they
identified and do they form part of an exhibit?

MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: They form part of the exhibit which I
am now offering.

THE PRESIDENT: I see.

                                                   [Page 66]

MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: But the witness desires to comment on
the last document, and I will listen to that before we go
ahead.

BY MR. JUSTICE JACKSON:

Q. Yes.

A. First I should like to say, as you have so often
mentioned my non-responsibility, that if in general these
conditions had been true, on the basis of my statement
yesterday I should consider myself responsible. I do not
want to evade responsibility. But the conditions were not
what they are said to have been here. These are only
individual cases which are quoted.

As for this document, I should only like to say from what I
have seen of it that it seems to be a question of a
concentration camp, one of the small concentration camps
near the factories. The factories could not inspect these
camps. That is why the sentence is quite true where it says
that no factory representative ever saw the camp.

The fact that there were SS guards also shows that it was a
concentration camp.

If the question which you asked me before, as to whether the
labour camps were guarded - those for foreign workers - if
that refers to this document, then your conclusion was
wrong. As far as I know, the other labour camps were not
guarded by SS or by any other organizations. My position is
such that I feel it is my duty to protect the heads of
plants from any injustice which might be done them. The head
of a concern could not bother about the conditions in such a
camp.

I cannot say whether conditions were as described in this
camp. We have seen so much material on conditions in
concentration camps during the trial.

Q. Now I will ask to have you shown Exhibit 382-D - I should
say Document 382-D - which will be Exhibit USA 897. Now that
is the statement of several as to one of those steel boxes
which stood in the foreign workers' camp in the grounds of
No. 4 Armour Shop, and of those in the Russian camp. I do
not think that it is necessary to read the complete
descriptions.

Is that merely an individual instance, or what is your view
of that circumstance?

A. What is pictured here is quite a normal locker as was
used in every factory. These photographs have no value as
evidence.

Q. Very well. I will ask to have you shown Document 230-D
which is an inter-office record of the steel switches, and
the steel switches which have been found in the camp will be
shown to you, 80 of them, distributed according to the
reports.

A. Shall I comment on this?

Q. If you wish.

A. Yes. Those are nothing but replacements for rubber
truncheons. We had no rubber; and for that reason, the
guards probably had something like this

(Indicating).

Q. That is the same inference that I drew from the document.

A. Yes, but the guards did not immediately use these steel
switches any more than your police use their rubber
truncheons. But they had to have something in their hands.
It is the same thing, all over the world.

Q. Well, we will not argue that point.

A. I am not an expert. I only assume that that was the case.
I cannot testify on oath that that was the case. That was
only an argument.

THE PRESIDENT: Did you give an exhibit number to that?

MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Exhibit USA 898, your Honour.

BY MR. JUSTICE JACKSON:

Q. Now, Exhibit 899 would be our Document 283, which is a
1943 report from the Krupp hospitals taken from the files of
Krupp's. The subject:

  "Cases of Deaths of Eastern Workers."
  
  "Fifty-four Eastern workers have died in the hospital in
  Lazarettstrasse, four of them as a result of external
  causes and fifty as a result of illnesses.

                                                   [Page 67]
                                                            
  The causes of death in the case of these fifty Eastern
  workers who died of illnesses were the following:
  
  Tuberculosis ............38
  Malnutrition ..........2
  Internal haemorrhage ....1
  Disease of the bowels ....2
  Typhus ................1
  Pneumonia ............3
  Appendicitis ..........1
  Liver trouble ..........1
  Abscess of the brain ......1
  
  This list therefore shows that four-fifths died of
  tuberculosis and malnutrition."

Now, did you have any reports from time to time as to the
health conditions of the workers who were engaged on your
production programme?

A. First I should like to comment on the document. The
document does not show the total number of workers employed
when these people died, so that one cannot say whether that
is an unnaturally high proportion of illness. In an account
of a session of the Central Planning Board which I read
here, I observed it was said that amongst the Russian
workers there was a high rate of tuberculosis. I do not know
whether you mean that. That was a remark which Weiger made
to me. But presumably through the health offices we tried to
alleviate these conditions.

Q. There was an abnormally high rate of deaths from
tuberculosis; there is no doubt about that, is there?

A. I do not know whether that was an abnormal death rate.
But there was an abnormally high rate of tuberculosis at
times.

Q. Well, the exhibit does not show whether the death rate
itself was abnormally high, but it shows an abnormal
proportion of deaths from tuberculosis among the total
deaths, does it not? Eighty per cent deaths from
tuberculosis is a very high percentage, is it not?

A. That may be. I cannot say from my own knowledge.

Q. Now I would like to have you shown -

THE PRESIDENT: Did you give that an exhibit number? That
would be 899, would it not?

MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: 899, your Honour.

BY MR. JUSTICE JACKSON

Q. Now, let me ask you to be shown Document 335. This is a
report from the files of Krupp dated at Essen, the 12th of
June, 1944, directed to the "Gau Camp Doctor Herr Dr.
Jaeger," and signed by Stinnesbeck:

  "In the middle of May I took over the medical supervision
  of the P.O.W. Camp 1420 in the Noggerathstrasse. The camp
  contains 644 French P.O.W.s. During the air raid on 27th
  April of this year most of the camp was destroyed and at
  the moment conditions are intolerable.
  
  315 prisoners are still accommodated in the camp. 170 of
  these are no longer in huts but in the tunnel in
  Grunertstrasse on the Essen-Muhlheim railway line. This
  tunnel is damp and is not suitable for accommodation of
  human beings. The rest of the prisoners are accommodated
  in ten different factories in Krupp's works.
  
  Medical attention is given by a French military doctor
  who takes great pains with his fellow-countrymen. Sick
  people from Krupp's factories must be brought to the sick
  parade, too. This parade is held in the lavatory of a
  burned-out public-house outside the camp. The sleeping
  accommodation of the four French medical orderlies is in
  what was the urinal. There is a double tier wooden bed
  available for sick bay patients. In general, treatment
  takes place in the open. In rainy weather it has to be
  held in the small room.

                                                   [Page 68]

  These are insufferable conditions. There are no chairs,
  tables, cupboards or water. The keeping of a register of
  sick people is impossible. Bandages and medical supplies
  are very scarce, although people badly hurt in the works
  are often brought here for first aid and have to be
  bandaged before being taken to the hospital. There are
  many strong complaints about food, too, which the guard
  personnel confirm as being justified.
  
  Illness and loss of manpower result from these
  conditions.
  
  The construction of huts for the accommodation of the
  prisoners and the building of sick quarters for the
  proper treatment of patients is urgently necessary.
  
  Please take the necessary steps.
  
  (Signed) Stinnesbeck."

A. That is a document which shows what conditions can be
after a severe air raid. The conditions were the same in
these cases for German and foreign workers. There were no
beds, no cupboards, and so forth. That was because the camp
in which these things had been provided had been burned
down. That the food supply was often inadequate in the Ruhr
district during this period was due to the fact that attacks
from the air were centred on communication lines, so that
food transport could not be brought into the Ruhr to the
necessary extent. These were temporary conditions which we
were able to improve when the air raids ceased for a time.
When conditions became even worse after September or October
of 1944, or rather after November of 1944, we made every
effort to give food supplies the priority for the first time
over armament needs, so that in spite of these disasters the
workers would be fed.

Q. Well, then, you did make it your business to get food for
and concern yourself about the conditions of these workers?
Do I understand that you did it, that you took steps?

A. It is true that I did so and I am glad that I did even if
I am to be reproached for it now. For it is a universal
human obligation when one hears of such conditions to try to
alleviate them, even if it is somebody else's
responsibility. But the witness Riecke testified here that
the whole of the food question was under the direction of
the Food Ministry.

Q. And it was an essential part of production, was it not,
to keep workers in proper condition to produce? That is
elementary, is it not?

A. No. That is wrongly formulated.

Q. Well, you formulate it for me as to what the relation is
between the nourishment and production of workers.

A. I said yesterday that the responsibility for labour
conditions was divided between the Food Ministry, the Health
Office in the Reich Ministry of the Interior and the labour
trustee in the office of the Plenipotentiary for Labour
Employment and so on. There was no comprehensive authority
in my hands. In the Reich, because of the way in which our
State machine was built up, we lacked a comprehensive
authority in the form of a Reich Chancellor, with power to
convene conferences of the heads of departments for joint
discussions.

But I, as the man responsible for production, had no
responsibility in these matters. However, when I heard
complaints from factory heads or from my deputies, I did
everything to remove the cause of the complaints.

Q. The Krupp works -

THE PRESIDENT: Shall we break off now?

MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Any time you say, sir.

(A recess was taken until 1400 hours.)

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal wishes to hear from defendants'
counsel what arrangements they have found it possible to
make with reference to the apportionment of time for their
speeches.

                                                   [Page 69]

DR. NELTE: I should like first of all to point out that the
defendants' counsel, with whom the Tribunal discussed the
question of final defence speeches during an earlier closed
session, did not inform the other defendants' counsel, since
they were under the impression that the Tribunal would not
impose any restrictions on the defence in this respect. I
personally, when I raised my objections, had no knowledge of
this discussion, as my colleagues, who conferred with you
earlier, have authorized me to explain.

On the suggestion of the Tribunal, counsel for the
individual defendants have discussed the decision announced
in the session on 13th June, 1946, and I am now, submitting
to the Tribunal the outcome of the discussion; in doing so,
however, I shall have to make certain qualifications, since
some of my colleagues are either not present or differ in
their opinion on the apportionment of time.

The defendants' counsel are of the opinion that only the
conscientious sense of duty of each counsel can determine
the form and length of the final defence pleas in this
unusual trial. Their view does not affect the generally
recognized right of the Tribunal, as part of its
responsibility for controlling the proceedings, to prevent a
possible misuse of the freedom of speech. They also believe
that, in view of this fundamental consideration and in view
of the usual practice of international courts, the Tribunal
will understand and approve that the defendants' counsel
voice their objections to a measure for restriction of the
just right of freedom of speech, for a misuse on their part
must not be taken as a foregone conclusion. This fundamental
attitude is, of course, in accord with the readiness of the
defence to comply with the directives and the wishes of the
Tribunal as far as is reconcilable with a proper and right
conception of the defence in each case. The individual
defendants' counsel have been asked to make their own
estimates of the probable duration of their final pleas. The
result of these estimates shows that, despite the
limitations counsel have imposed upon themselves, and with
due respect to the wishes of the High Tribunal, a total
duration of approximately twenty full days in court is
required by the defence.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Nelte, the Tribunal asked defence counsel
for an apportionment of the fourteen days between them.

DR. NELTE: I believe, Mr. President, my statement makes
clear that it appears impossible to accept that limitation.
If the Tribunal considers that the apportionment of fourteen
full days is indisputable, then the entire defence will
submit to that decision. But so far as I know, it will be
quite impossible, under such circumstances, to obtain
agreement among the defence counsel, and considerable danger
therefore exists that counsel who make their pleas later
will be handicapped in their defence by lack of adequate
time.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, I think the Tribunal probably fully
understands that you think 14 days - you and your colleagues
consider that 14 days is too short, but, as I say, what the
Tribunal asked for was an apportionment of the time, and
there is nothing in what you have said to indicate that you
have made any apportionment at all, either of the fourteen
days or of the twenty days which you propose.

DR. NELTE: The period of twenty days was arrived at when
each defendant's counsel had stated the duration of his
speech. It would, therefore, be perfectly possible to say
that, if the Tribunal would approve the duration of twenty
days, then we could agree on the apportionment of time for
the individual speeches. But it is impracticable to
apportion the time if the total number of days is only
fourteen. You can rest assured, Mr. President, that we have
all gone into the question conscientiously and that we have
also decided on the manner in which individual subjects can
be divided among defendants' counsel; but the total number
of about twenty days appears to us,, without wanting to
quote a maximum or minimum figure, to be absolutely
essential for an apportionment. It is perfectly possible,
Mr. President, that in the course of the speeches

                                                   [Page 70]

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Nelte, as I have indicated to you, what
the Tribunal wanted to know was the apportionment, and
presumably you have some apportionment which adds up to the
twenty days which you say is required, and the Tribunal
would like, if you have such an apportionment, that you
should let them see it, or if you have no such
apportionment, then they would wish to hear from each
individual counsel how long he thinks he is going to take.
If you have got a list, it seems to the Tribunal that you
could hand it in.

DR. NELTE: The figures are available and they will be handed
to the Tribunal, but some of my colleagues have said that
their estimates are only valid on the assumption that only a
specific number of days is to be granted. That is the point
of view to which I referred earlier as being slightly at
variance with mine, but we all thought that the decision of
the Tribunal was only a suggestion and not a maximum to be
apportioned. I hope, Mr. President, that your words now are
also to be understood in that way, and that the Tribunal
will still consider whether the proposed period of fourteen
days could not be extended to correspond with the time which
we consider necessary.

THE PRESIDENT: What the Tribunal wants is an apportionment
of the time as between the various counsel.


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