The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2000/09/11


Now we come to question 10:

  "Did the Fuehrer repeatedly order the former
  Reichsmarschall to divulge the name of the officer of the
  Luftwaffe who, in May of 1944, protected an Allied
  airman, who had been shot down in Munich, from being
  lynched by the population. Is it a fact that, despite
  repeated inquiries on the part of the Fuehrer the
  Reichsmarschall gave no instructions to find out the name
  of this officer and to make it known to the Fuehrer."

I can summarize the answer:

He says he cannot say this from his own experience; it had
only been reported to him that an officer of the Luftwaffe
and an Ortsgruppenleiter had interfered on behalf of this
American crew; that the Ortsgruppenleiter, who was known,
was shot on Hitler's order; that Hitler then demanded to
have the name of the Luftwaffe officer given to him and that
he had not been told the name. He said further that if the
Reichsmarschall had actually wanted to find out the name of
this Luftwaffe officer, he could easily have done so.

  "Question 11: At the end of the war did the Luftwaffe
  ever receive orders to destroy Dachau with bombs at the
  approach of the enemy? In particular, was an order to
  that effect given by the Gauleiter in Munchen under the
  code word 'Wolke'? Could a Gauleiter give such
  instructions to the Luftwaffe?"

Here again I can summarize the answer. The witness says:

   "I do not recall any order to that effect, and
   especially he does not know whether the Gauleiter m
   Munchen gave such an order. The Gauleiter was not
   competent to give an order of this kind and he does not
   believe that a senior officer of the Luftwaffe would
   have been willing to carry out such an order.
   Question 12: What do you know about the attitude of the
   Reichsmarschall and his Luftwaffe to enemy airmen who
   had been shot down?
   Answer: Notwithstanding occasional expressions of
   displeasure, the attitude of the Reichsmarschall was
   always correct and chivalrous, which was in line with
   the Air Force tradition which he learned in the First
   World War and to which he frequently referred. Of
   course, in his anxiety about the great difficulties of
   air defence and pressed by the Fuehrer perhaps on
   occasion he used harsh words. These words, however, were
   soon forgotten and I do not know of a single case where
   the Reichsmarschall followed up these spontaneous
   utterances by incorrect or harsh measures or orders
   against members of foreign air forces. The conduct of
   the entire Luftwaffe was always correct and humane. To
   fight in a chivalrous manner was a matter of honour with

                                                   [Page 42]

  the German airmen - to quote only a few examples of many.
  Even though the enemy aircraft shot at German airmen who
  were parachuting to earth, and these practices were
  bitterly resented by our airmen - "

THE PRESIDENT: Well, Doctor Stahmer. Again, what you are now
reading is all comment, it is not statement of facts, it is
comment and argument.

DR. STAHMER: Now, Mr. President, he is coming to an example
in which he reports about those things.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, let us come to it.


  "The sea rescue service of the Luftwaffe from the Bay of
  Heligoland through the English Channel as far as Brest,
  in the Bay of Biscay, in the Atlantic and in the
  Mediterranean, was put into use for the enemy in the same
  way as for the Germans. The rescue service crews in their
  aircraft and the rescue service boats made untiring
  efforts and showed exemplary willingness to sacrifice in
  going to the rescue of friend and foe in distress."

THE PRESIDENT: But, Dr. Stahmer, these were not particular
instances. These were not particular facts; they are just
general statements which are really comments and argument
about the chivalry of the German Air Force; that is all.

DR. STAHMER: Mr. President, by this he is trying to prove
the chivalry of the German Air Force.

THE PRESIDENT: But he does not prove it by making a general

DR. STAHMER: No. Later on he comes - he will go on to say
how many were rescued, how many of those were enemies and
how many were their own people. I believe these facts, Mr.
President, are important when judging the attitude of the

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Stahmer, as I said just now, if you will
get down to the facts, if you have got the numbers, well,
then, no doubt that will be a matter of fact.


  "Of the thousands who were rescued from the sea by the
  German Luftwaffe Rescue Service the great majority
  belonged to the enemy-crews of enemy aircraft and ships.
  Without being able to give exact figures at the moment, I
  would estimate, according to my memory, that the
  proportion of enemy rescued was from seventy to eighty
  per cent."

And he continues:

  "If, when we went out to rescue our own people, or to
  make reconnaissance flights for them, or were engaged on
  other work, we saw that crews, including enemy crews,
  were in distress off the enemy coast or beyond the range
  of our own rescue service, we immediately signalled to
  the enemy and called upon him to go to the rescue."

Then there are several questions put by the prosecution. The
first question is "What had Kaltenbrunner to do with - "

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Stahmer, it is for the prosecution to
read their questions if they want to read them.

DR. STAHMER: I am not interested in these questions, Mr.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: The prosecution do not want the
questions read.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will read them. Do you mean you
want to put them in, put them in evidence?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: We will put them in, but we do not
want them read.


                                                   [Page 43]

DR. STAHMER: I have already stated that this is Exhibit
Goering 55. Then I have one more interrogatory, Mr.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Stahmer, you realize that the Tribunal
proposes to read all the evidence and therefore these
interrogatories will be read and considered even though they
are not read now in open court. You have offered them in
evidence so the Tribunal will be grateful if you will cut
short the reading of these affidavits and interrogatories as
far as possible.

DR. STAHMER: I shall proceed accordingly, Mr. President.
Now, we turn to the interrogatory of Hammerstein which I
shall submit as Exhibit Goering 52. Mr. President, this
interrogatory is not at my disposal in the original. I can
only submit a certified copy. It has been submitted to the
prosecution; it has been translated but it cannot be found
at the moment. But I assume I shall find the original very
soon, I have advised Sir David of this. The British
prosecution has already had it and this document has been

THE PRESIDENT: You mean the original has been mislaid or

DR. STAHMER: It has been mislaid, Mr. President, and I am
unable to find it at the moment. Anyhow, it has been

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, there is no objection to
this affidavit. I have a copy in front of me. It is general
in its terms and if I may say so, I thought it would serve
its purpose admirably if Dr. Stahmer put it in and the
Tribunal consider it in due course.


DR. STAHMER: The original will be submitted in the next few
days. It is an interrogatory of the Judge Advocate of the
Air Force, Dr. von Hammerstein. For several years he was the
Supreme Judge of the Air Force and in that capacity he
reported once a month to the  defendant Goering. Thus he was
in a position to judge the attitude of Goering as Supreme
Law Lord and he now describes in detail how seriously the
defendant Goering took his duties as Supreme Law Lord. He
further describes how the Reichsmarschall Goering reserved
to himself the right to make decisions in all the more
important matters; how he took great care in dealing with
all matters, how he insisted that the soldiers under his
command must maintain a strict discipline and saw to it that
the soldiers under him were punished most severely if they
committed illegal acts against the civilian population and
especially against the civilian population in the occupied
countries. Then he further describes how Reichsmarschall
Goering demanded severe punishment particularly when it was
a question of acts of violence against women and how in the
many decrees he always insisted that respect to women was
the first duty of a soldier; how in serious cases of rape,
he always demanded the death penalty, no matter what the
nationality of the woman was. In two cases, for instance, he
rescinded the sentences because they were too lenient and he
confirmed the sentences only after the death penalty had
been imposed.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, surely, what you have said, Dr.
Stahmer, has given us the substance of the affidavit. You
said that this man was the Judge Advocate for the Air Force
and that the law with reference to offences in the Air Force
was strictly carried out. I am sure that is all you want to
say in summarising it.

DR. STAHMER: Yes, Mr. President. What I wanted to bring out
was that it did not matter what the nationality of the woman
involved was. In one case against a Russian woman, he -

THE PRESIDENT: That is exactly what I have said, that the
law was strictly carried out. It is only an illustration of
how the law was strictly carried out.

DR. STAHMER: Very well, Mr. President, I have given the
substance. I shall dispense with all further explanation and
submit this document.

                                                   [Page 44]

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Stahmer, the Tribunal thinks that its
time is being wasted, and unless counsel for the defence can
do what the Tribunal desires them to do, which is to offer
these affidavits and interrogatories in evidence, giving the
shortest possible summary or description of the affidavits
or interrogatories, the Tribunal will have to order that the
interrogatories and affidavits shall be simply offered in
evidence, and they will hear no comment whatever on them.

The time is approaching when the defence counsel are going
to make their speeches, and if there is anything in these
affidavits or interrogatories of real importance, they will
have the opportunity then of commenting upon it. And also,
the Tribunal itself proposes to read not only the oral
evidence, but the documentary evidence in this case.

DR. STAHMER: Then, Mr. President, I should like to submit
this document as Exhibit 52.

THE PRESIDENT: Now then, the counsel for the defendant von
Ribbentrop. Dr. Horn, you have no affidavits or
interrogatories to put in, have you, that have been approved
by the Tribunal?

DR. HORN: Mr. President, I ask to be permitted to submit
four affidavits to the Tribunal.

We are concerned here with the affidavit of Legation
Counsellor Dr. Eberhardt von Thadden, Legation Counsellor in
the Information Office No. 14 of the Foreign Office, which
was a branch which dealt with the Jewish problem and with
the co-ordination of anti-Semitic propaganda in foreign
countries with other German agencies. It was -

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Horn, have you applied for these

DR. HORN: I applied to the General Secretary in writing and
I asked that these affidavits be accepted. This morning I
received confirmation that these affidavits had been given
to the prosecution and to the Translation Department.
Therefore, I beg to submit this document as Exhibit
Ribbentrop 319.

A further affidavit which I am submitting, and I have
applied to the General Secretary in writing for its
acceptance, is the affidavit of Dr. Werner Best, the former
Reich Plenipotentiary.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: I am sorry, but I was telling Dr.
Horn that we have not had copies of these yet; they have not
reached us so far.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I have before me a list of four
affidavits, Thadden, Best, Ribbentrop and Schulze, and it is
stated that they are not approved by the Tribunal. Therefore

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, Dr. Horn mentioned them to
me a day or two ago and asked me whether I would object to
their being translated, and I said no, that I should not
object to their being translated. Of course, I have not had
a chance to see them.

THE PRESIDENT: Would not the best course be, as they have
gone to the Translation Department, for them to be offered
in evidence now, as I understand Dr. Horn is intending to
do, subject, of course, to any question which may arise as
to their admissibility?


THE PRESIDENT: Very well, if you will just give us the
numbers, then -

DR. HORN: The affidavit signed by Best I should like to
submit as Exhibit Ribbentrop 323. I should like to give a
brief explanation of the reason for this affidavit.

In cross-examination, my client was confronted with Document
2375-PS. This document is an affidavit of a colonel of the
police, Dr. Rudolf Mildner. A passage from this affidavit
which dealt with the handling of the Jewish question in
Denmark was quoted to my client. I examined this document
and have ascertained that two

                                                   [Page 45]

documents bear the number 2375-PS. One document is a
statement made by Dr. Mildner which was not made under oath.
This statement which was not made under oath contained that
passage which was put to my client in cross-examination.
Under the same number there is an affidavit which has been
sworn and is also by Dr. Mildner. The passage about the
attitude of Ribbentrop to the Jewish question is not
contained in this affidavit.

For this reason, I have got Dr. Best, who had been
instructed by Ribbentrop to handle the Jewish question and
according to Dr. Mildner did do so, to give this affidavit,
No. 320, which I am now submitting to the Tribunal.


DR. HORN: Apart from that my client was confronted in cross-
examination with a series of documents to which he could
only make brief statements, as they were lengthy documents,
most of which he had not seen before. I should like to ask
the Tribunal to permit me to submit a few brief explanations
on behalf of my client in the form of an affidavit, which I
shall call Exhibit Ribbentrop 321.

Then, I should like to be permitted to define my attitude on
Document TC-75, which contains a note sent by Ribbentrop to
Hitler. This was submitted by the prosecution in a very
abbreviated form. When I had this document given to me in
the original for the first time, the photo copy tallied with
the copy submitted by the prosecution. When I had this same
document given to me a second time, I received a photostatic
copy of nine pages. In my final speech I should like to
refer to this document. Therefore, in order to save the
Tribunal's time I ask for permission to submit this complete
document TC-75.

I have no further applications, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Horn, you did not give a number to that
last affidavit.

DR. HORN: TC-75 will become Exhibit Ribbentrop 322.


DR. SIEMERS (counsel for the defendant Raeder): Mr.
President, with the permission of the Tribunal, I should
like to deal with those points of my examination which have
not yet been dealt with.

First of all we are concerned with the witness who has been
allowed me by the Tribunal, Admiral Boehm. The Tribunal will
recall that I was permitted to examine this witness at the
end of the presentation of evidence. In the meantime, after
consultation with Mr. Elwyn Jones and Sir David, I have
obtained an affidavit from Admiral Boehm in Hamburg, so that
I could perhaps dispense with calling him as a witness.

I submitted this affidavit to Sir David and to Mr. Elwyn
Jones and Mr. Jones told me yesterday afternoon that Sir
David agreed, and that he would dispense with the cross-
examination, and at the same time I agreed not to insist on
an examination, but to be satisfied with the submitting and
the reading of the affidavit. I believe Sir David agrees.

I should like to submit this affidavit of Admiral Boehm's as
Exhibit Raeder 129. This was sworn to on the 13th of June
this year in the presence of notary Dr. Wiedekind at

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