The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-06/tgmwc-06-57.02

Archive/File: imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-06-57.02
Last-Modified: 1997/10/24

Q. On realizing these facts, did you, or the General Staff
of the Army, or the High Command of the Army, make any
protests to Hitler about it?

A. Personally, I do not know whether or in what form or
whether the C.-in-C. of the Army made any protests.

Q. Did you, yourself, protest to General Halder or von

A. Unless I am mistaken, I believe that I am supposed to be
here as a witness for the events with which the defendants
are accused. I ask the Tribunal, therefore, to relieve me of
the responsibility of answering these questions which are 
directed against myself.

Q. Field Marshal Paulus, you do not seem to realise that you
also belong to the circle of the accused, because you
belonged to the organisation of the High Command, which is
indicted here as criminal.

A. And, therefore, since I believe that I am here as witness
for the events which have led to the Indictment, I have
asked to be excused answering these questions which concern

DR. NELTE: I ask the Tribunal to decide.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal considers that you must answer
the questions that have been put up to date.

THE WITNESS: Then may I ask for a repetition of the
question, please?

Q.  I have asked you, Field Marshall, whether, since you
realised that there were serious doubts, you talked to your
chief, Halder, or to von Brauchitsch, about these things?

A. I cannot remember having talked to the C.-in-C. of the
Army about it, but I did so with the Chief of the General
Staff, General Halder.

Q.  Was he of the same opinion?

A. Yes, he was of the same opinion, that is to say, he was
greatly concerned at such a plan.

Q.  For military or moral reasons?

A. For several reasons, both military and moral.

Q.  It is certain, then, that you and the Chief of Staff
Halder, realised those facts which branded the war against
Russia as a criminal attack, yet just the same you did
nothing about it? In your statement you have said that later
you became Commander-in-Chief of the 6th Army; is that right?

A. Yes.

Q.  Knowing all these facts you accepted the command of an
army which was to push against Stalingrad. Did you have any
serious misgivings about being made an instrument of an
attack which in your opinion was a criminal one?

                                                  [Page 260]
A. As the situation at that time appeared to the soldier,
and under the influence of the extraordinary propaganda
which was put into play, I then believed, as did so many
others, that I had to do my duty toward my Fatherland.

Q.  But you knew there were facts against such a belief?

A. Those facts became clear to me afterwards on account of
my experiences as Commander of the 6th Army, which found
their climax at Stalingrad; but I did not know them at that
time. Also, as for the attack being criminal, this
realisation came only later, when I thought about all its
aspects, because I could not see the whole picture before.

Q.  Then I have to consider your expression "criminal
attack" or any other expressions for the war-mongers -- I
have to consider that as something that you realised later?

A. Yes.

Q.  And I may say, then, that in spite of your having
serious misgivings and knowledge concerning the facts which
made the war against Russia a criminal aggressive action,
that in spite of this knowledge, you considered it your duty
to take command of the Sixth Army and to hold Stalingrad
until the last moment?

A. I have just explained that at that time, when I accepted
the command of the Sixth Army, I did not see the extent of
the crime intended in the planning and committed in the
waging of this war; that I did not see its entire extent and
could not see it, in the way my experiences as Commander of
the Sixth Army showed it to me later.

Q.  You speak of the extent, but the fact is that you knew
the background. Maybe you were one of the few who did know
it. You have not mentioned that.

A. I did not know it. I knew the instigation of this war to
be aggressive, from the attitude of the greater part of the
Officers Corps. In keeping with the prevailing concept, I
saw nothing unusual in the basing of the fate of a people
and a nation upon power politics.

Q.  So you agreed with these ideologies?

A. Not with the trend which appeared later, but I did not
exclude the concept that the fate of a country can be built
upon power politics. It was a mistake that at this time, and
in the 20th century, only the democracies and the concept of
the nationality principle should be the decisive factors.

Q.  Would you credit others too, who were not so near to
these sources, with the good faith that they only wanted
what was best for their Fatherland?

A. Yes, I would.

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.