The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2000/09/11

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THE PRESIDENT: Has Dr. Bergold asked any of the defendants'
counsel to represent him?

(No response.)

Has the Marshal been able to get in touch with Dr. Bergold?


DR. STAHMER: Mr. President, Dr. Bergold was advised
yesterday that his presence would be required in the
courtroom today. I understand the General Secretary also got
in touch with him regarding this matter. I am sorry I cannot
tell you any more about it. As far as I know, he did not ask
anyone to represent him in Court today.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Dr. Stahmer.

DR. STAHMER: Mr. President, I shall look into this matter
immediately, to see whether he has arrived or whether I can
contact him.

THE PRESIDENT: Very good; and Dr. Stahmer, I think the best
course would be for the Tribunal to consider the various
applications with reference to interrogatories and
documents, which I think you and other counsel wish to offer
in evidence; and the Tribunal will then examine these
witnesses if Dr. Bergold is not here by that time. The
Tribunal, of course, expects him to be here if it is
possible. Perhaps you will communicate with him, and the
Marshal should also communicate with Dr. Bergold.


THE MARSHAL: Yes, sir.

PROFESSOR JAHRREISS: Mr. President, I have learned that the
son of Dr. Bergold returned yesterday unexpectedly and
suddenly from a prisoner-of-war camp. Therefore, Dr. Bergold
travelled to his home, a short distance from Nuremberg. I
asked his secretary to go to Dr. Bergold's home and to bring
him here and I assume he will be here within approximately
half an hour.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Stahmer, you have some interrogatories, I
think, which you want to offer in evidence, have you not?

DR. STAHMER (counsel for defendant Goering): Yes, sir.

At the end of my presentation I still had some
interrogatories which I had been permitted to present but
which had not arrived.

First of all, I shall turn to the interrogatory by
Kannhuber, who was a General in the Air Force. He submitted
an organisational study for 1950, which was completed on the
2nd of May, 1938. He was questioned about the purpose and
significance of this study and he stated - I will give a
short summary - that a part of it, which came under the
heading of "long term objective", was a tentative sketch
based on theoretical assumptions. Then there was a second
part which gave the deadline of 1942, and the interim
solution for 1st October, 1938. This was a positive proposal
for the organization of the Luftwaffe.

This study was compiled by the author on his own initiative.
The witness does not know whether it was actually submitted
to Goering. He considers it improbable, but he does assume
that he did suggest the positive proposal for the
organization of the Luftwaffe to Goering.

                                                   [Page 38]

That is the substance of this interrogatory which will be
called Goering Exhibit 54.

I have another interrogatory which I should like to submit,
which originates from General Kurt Student. This deals with
the air attack on Rotterdam in May of 1940. It is an
explanation -

THE PRESIDENT: Have you got copies of these affidavits, I
mean these interrogatories? We have got this one you are now
offering of Student, but we have not got the one of

DR. STAHMER: Mr. President, I submitted this material to the
Translation Department and I asked that the translations
should be ready. I shall look into the matter and see what
has happened. At any rate, I did submit the originals to the
Translation Department.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes; the General Secretary will look into it.
And this one of Student, has that been applied for and
granted? It is not on my list.

DR. STAHMER: Yes, Mr. President, it has been granted, and
the prosecution has submitted a cross-interrogatory to this
one. I believe -


DR. STAHMER: If I am not mistaken, this interrogatory of
Student's was granted on the 14th of February.

Student deals with the air attack on Rotterdam in May, 1940.
He gives the necessary explanation as to how it came about
that during the negotiations for capitulation bombs were
still being dropped on Rotterdam. I believe I do not need to
refer to this interrogatory in detail. Briefly the position
was that capitulation negotiations were in progress. An air
attack had been planned, but the squadron which was being
employed could not be advised in time by wireless. The
ground troops sent signals, which were misunderstood by one

THE PRESIDENT: It appears that it covers the same ground
that has already been covered in evidence; does it not?

DR. STAHMER: It has been dealt with in the examination; yes,
that is correct, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Then it should not be read under any
circumstances now.

DR. STAHMER: Then I shall submit this document -

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, offer it in evidence. But I mean, you
need not read it in detail.

DR. STAHMER: Very well, Mr. President. This will be Exhibit

Then, Mr. President, I have another interrogatory by a
General of the Air Force, Koller, which I should like to
submit. This will be submitted as Exhibit Goering 55.

Mr. President, I ask the permission of the High Tribunal to
read these questions, for there is a special significance
connected with the testimony given by this witness in
relation to the defendant in this proceeding.

  "Question 1: Did the former Reichsmarschall Goering at
  any time issue an order that enemy airmen who had been
  shot down should be handed over to the police - the SD -
  or that they should be shot without a trial?
  Answer: As far as I know, no. In any case, I know of no
  such order issued by the Reichsmarschall.
  Question 2: Did the former Reichsmarschall Goering help
  to formulate an order on the strength of which the
  British Air Force officers who escaped from Stalag 3 at
  Sagan in March, 1944, were shot by the police or SD?
  Answer: General Korton told me that the Luftwaffe -
  meaning the Reichsmarschall and himself - had no part in
  the issuing of this order.
  Question 3: Did the former Reichsmarschall Goering learn
  of the fact contained in question 2 after the order given
  by Hitler had been carried out? Did he learn about it
  only then?

                                                   [Page 39]

  Answer: General Korton told me that he and the
  Reichsmarschall did not get to know of it until later.
  Question 4: On what day was this order issued by Hitler?
  Answer: I do not know.
  Question 5: On what day, or on what days, was this order
  carried out?
  Answer: I do not know.
  Question 6: Do you know whether the former
  Reichsmarschall Goering very strongly condemned the
  shooting of these fifty British Air Force officers?
  Answer: General Korton told me that the Reichsmarschall
  was very angry about this shooting.
  Question 7: Have you any knowledge as to whether the
  former Reichsmarschall Goering and his deputy for the Air
  Force, the Chief of the General Staff, repeatedly
  remonstrated with Hitler about the measures which Hitler
  had ordered to be taken against the enemy 'terror' flyers
  who had been shot down?
  Answer: According to statements which General Korton made
  to me in June of 1944, that is correct. I remember too
  that some time afterwards it was reported to me that the
  Reichsmarschall had complained to the Fuehrer about the
  action taken by Party organizations and individuals among
  the population against so-called 'terror' flyers; the
  reason for this being that some air crews had come to
  In March of 1945, he flatly turned down the order given
  by the Fuehrer that all enemy crews who had been shot
  down and were shot down in the future should be turned
  over to the SD.
  Replying to questions 1 to 7, I should like to state in
  explanation: At the time of the report I was Chief of the
  Luftwaffe Operations Staff. In February, 1944, the
  Fuehrer's headquarters, the High Command of the Armed
  Forces, the Reichsmarschall with his personal entourage
  and the Chief of the General Staff of the Air Force,
  General Korton, together with two or three ordnance
  officers, were transferred to Berchtesgaden. I had to
  stay with the High Command of the Luftwaffe, that is,
  with the working Staff in East Prussia, known as
  'Robinson', as it was expected that the Fuehrer's
  Headquarters would have to be moved back quickly. The
  whole signals system and organization for the issuing of
  orders for Luftwaffe supplies was to operate by way of
  Because of the separation between the High Command of the
  Luftwaffe on one hand and the Commander-in-Chief and
  Chief of General Staff on the other hand, a separation
  which increased from week to week, we in East Prussia did
  not have knowledge of many things which were being
  handled directly in Berchtesgaden. Often we received no
  knowledge at all of important Fuehrer directives, or if
  we did, we received the information very late. It was not
  until the beginning of June - I believe it was the week
  after Whitsun - that I, together with some Luftwaffe
  officers, was transferred to Berchtesgaden. From February
  until that time, I think I had attended only one
  conference at Berchtesgaden. As to questions 2 to 6,
  which deal with 'Sagan', it was from General Korton that
  I learned, and I believe Colonel Christian informed me
  almost at the same time, that the airmen who had escaped
  from Sagan had been shot by order of the Fuehrer I rather
  think I heard about it first from General Korton, who, if
  I remember rightly, told me about it during one of the
  rather long telephone conversations which he had every
  evening. Korton made it quite clear that he did not like
  this, and told me those things which I mentioned in reply
  to questions 2, 3 and 6. The conversation must have taken
  place at the end of March or the beginning of April.
  However, I cannot give the exact date.
  In reply to questions 1 and 2, concerning the 'terror'
  flyers: it was approximately the beginning of June, 1944
  - first I thought that it was in July, but I think now
  that it must have been June - when General Korton advised
  me that

                                                   [Page 40]

  the Fuehrer intended to order that 'terror flyers' be
  left to the fury of the people.
  We discussed this matter repeatedly and we were unanimous
  in our opposition. We had always considered the direct
  attacks by low-flying enemy aircraft on the civilian
  population, on women and children, gatherings of
  civilians, civilian passenger trains, hospitals, school
  children who were out for a walk, our own crews who were
  parachuting to earth, and farmers who were tilling their
  fields, cruel and contrary to international law, but we
  did not consider the decree which the Fuehrer intended to
  issue to be the proper way to solve this very difficult
  problem. Our reasons for this were: Articles of War,
  International Law, it was against fundamental soldierly
  principles, it would lead to many misunderstandings and
  thereby cause harm not only to enemy flyers, but also to
  our own men; and the effect it would have on the morale
  of our own crews - "

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Stahmer, is not this really going into
argument and not dealing with facts? It really is not
necessary for you to read all this witness's arguments about
it. He is not really dealing with facts at all now and it is
in detail

DR. STAHMER: Mr. President, these are the facts which he
discussed with General Korton, the facts which induced them
to reject the Fuehrer's order. These were the reasons which
he and Korton discussed -

THE PRESIDENT: Some of what you have read no doubt is a
matter of fact, but what you are now reading is a matter of

DR. STAHMER: No, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Stahmer, surely you can summarize the
rest of this.

DR. STAHMER: Mr. President, this document is of great
importance to the defendant because it deals with just those
points with which he is accused and which distress him most
and -

THE PRESIDENT: I heard you say it is of great importance and
therefore you have been reading it and in so far as it is
statement of fact, it seems to me that there is some excuse
for reading it in detail. But when you come to matters of
argument, it seems to me there is no excuse for reading it,
because argument by a particular witness is not really
relevant for the Tribunal's consideration at all. Summarize
the argument, if you like. I mean, you have read the factual
part. Summarize the rest which - maybe you can tell us, if
you like, what the argument is.

DR. STAHMER: Very, well, Mr. President. General Korton
further stated that all the documents which are relevant to
the question of terror flyers and the shooting of Air Force
officers were submitted to him and, after perusing them, he
arrived at the conclusion that the contents of these
documents are proof of the fact that the High Command of the
Armed Forces, as well as the Reichsmarschall, opposed this
action, and did everything in their power to prevent such a
decision from being put into effect as intended by Hitler.
He particularly points out that, in one of these letters,
there is a marginal note to the effect that it was not
possible to get a reply from the Commander-in-Chief of the
Air Force, and he concludes from that that the
Reichsmarschall personally fought against any conclusive
treatment of this matter.

Then there is a further incident dealt with in question 8:

  "Did the Fuehrer for the reason stated under figure 5, on
  the occasion of a situation discussion and in the
  presence of all who attended it, become excited and
  accuse the German Luftwaffe of having made a mutual
  cowards' agreement with the Allied Air Forces?
  Answer: During the first half of March, 1945, Bormann
  showed the Fuehrer a note taken from a correspondent's
  report in the Allied Press. The gist of this note was
  that the crew of an American fighter plane, which shortly
  before had been shot down over Germany, had been picked
  up by advancing

                                                   [Page 41]

  American troops. The crew had testified that the enraged
  civilians had threatened them with death and in all
  probability they would have been lynched if it had not
  been for the German soldiers who had liberated them and
  protected them. Bormann pointed out to Hitler in a few
  words that this confirmed the fact that German soldiers,
  in instances such as this, were going against their own
  countrymen; and he concluded his remarks somewhat as
  follows: 'My Fuehrer, that is the way your orders are
  being carried out.' Thereupon in the presence of all who
  attended the situation discussion the Fuehrer made some
  very excited statements and among other things the
  Fuehrer said to me: 'If my orders are not being carried
  out it is due to the cowardice of the Luftwaffe because
  the men in the Luftwaffe are cowards and they are afraid
  that something might happen, to them too some day. The
  entire thing is nothing but a cowards' agreement between
  the German Luftwaffe and the English and American
  airmen.' I reported this to the Reichsmarschall. Whether
  Hitler made the same remark to the Reichsmarschall
  personally, that I am not able to say; but I consider it
  quite probable, because when making reproaches of this
  kind, especially if they applied to the Luftwaffe, he
  repeated himself and used the same expressions.
  Question: On what day did this discussion take place?
  Answer: I cannot give the date."

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