The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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I turn to the next document in the document book, D-443,
which I put in to become Exhibit GB 185. It is an extract
from a speech made by the defendant at a meeting of
commanders of the Navy in Weimar on the 17th December, 1943.
It was subsequently circulated by the defendant as a top-
secret document for senior officers only, and by the hand of
officers only. My Lord, if I might read:

   "I am a firm adherent of the idea of ideological
   education. For what is it in the main? Doing his duty is
   a matter of course for the soldier. But the full value,
   the whole weight of duty done, is only complete if the
   heart and spiritual conviction lend themselves to the
   idea. The result of duty done is then quite different
   from what it would be if I only carried out my task
   literally, obediently and faithfully. It is therefore
   necessary for the soldier to support the execution of
   his duty with all his mental, all his spiritual energy;
   and for this his conviction, his ideology are
   indispensable. It is therefore, necessary for us to
   train the soldier uniformly, comprehensively, that he
   may be adjusted ideologically to our Germany. Every
   dualism, every dissension in this connection, or every
   divergence or unpreparedness imply a weakness in all
   circumstances. He in whom this grows and thrives in
   unison is superior to the other. Then, indeed, the whole
   importance, the whole weight of his conviction comes
   into play. It, is also nonsense to say that the soldier
   or the officer must have no politics. The soldier
   embodies the State in which he lives, he is the
   representative, the articulate exponent of his State. He
   must, therefore, stand with his whole weight behind this
   We must travel this road from our deepest conviction.
   The Russian travels along it. We can only maintain
   ourselves in this war if we take part in it, with holy
   zeal, with all our fanaticism.

                                                  [Page 229]
   Not I alone can do this; it can only be done with the
   aid of the man who holds the production of Europe in his
   hand, with Minister Speer. My ambition is to have as
   many warships for the Navy as possible so as, to be able
   to fight and to strike. It does not matter to me who
   builds them."

My Lord, that last sentence is of importance in connection
with a later document. The Tribunal will see, when I come to
this, that the defendant was not above employing
concentration camp labour for this purpose.

I put in the next document in the document book, D.-640,
which becomes Exhibit GB 186. It is an extract from a speech
on the same subject by the defendant, as Commander-in-Chief
of the Navy, to the Commanders-in-Chief on the 15th
February, 1944. My Lord, it is cumulative except that I
think the last two sentences add something if I might read

   "From the very start the whole of the officer corps must
   be so indoctrinated that it feels itself co-responsible
   for the National Socialist State in its entirety. The
   officer is the exponent of the State, the idle chatter
   that the officer is non-political is sheer nonsense."

Now, the next document is 2879-PS, which I put in to become
Exhibit GB 187. It consists of three extracts from speeches.
The first is from a speech made by the defendant to the
German Navy and the German people on Heroes' Day, the 12th
March, 1944.

   "German men and women!
   ... What would have become of our country to-day, if the
   Fuehrer had not united us under National Socialism!
   Split into parties, beset with the spreading poison of
   Jewry and vulnerable to it, and lacking, as a defence,
   our present uncompromising world outlook, we would long
   since have succumbed to the burdens of this war and been
   subject to the merciless destruction of our

My Lord, the next extract is from a speech to the Navy on
the 21st July, 1944. It again shows the defendant's
fanaticism. It is perhaps worth reading the first sentence:

   "Men of the Navy! Holy wrath and unlimited anger fill
   our hearts because of the criminal attempt which was to
   have cost the life of our beloved Fuehrer. Providence
   wished it otherwise, watched over and protected our
   Fuehrer, and did not abandon our German Fatherland in
   the fight for its destiny."

And then he goes on to deal with the fate which should be
meted out to these traitors.

The third extract deals with the introduction of the German
salute into the Armed Forces. I do not think I need read it,
but as the members of the Tribunal will see, it was the
defendant Keitel, and this defendant, who were responsible
for the alteration of the salute in the German Forces and
the adoption of the Nazi salute - together with Goering -
Pardon me, I should have said, the defendants Goering,
Keitel and Donitz.

The next document is a monitored report of the speech made
on the German wireless by this defendant, announcing the
death of Hitler and his own succession. It is D-444. I put
it in to become Exhibit GB 188, and I read a portion of it.
The time is 22.26 hours marked on the document. I read

   "It has been reported from the Fuehrer's headquarters
   that our Fuehrer, Adolf Hitler, has died this afternoon
   in his battle headquarters at the: Reich Chancellery,
   fallen for Germany, fighting to the last breath against
   On the 30th April the Fuehrer nominated Grand Admiral
   Donitz to be his successor. The Grand Admiral and
   Fuehrer's successor will speak to the German nation."

                                                  [Page 230]

And then, the first paragraph of the speech:

   "German men and women, soldiers of the German Armed
   Forces. Our Fuehrer, Adolf Hitler, is dead. The German
   people bow in deepest sorrow and respect. Early he had
   recognised the terrible danger of Bolshevism and had
   dedicated his life to the fight against it. His fight
   having ended, he died a hero's death in the capital of
   the German Reich, after having led an unmistakably
   straight and steady life."

Then, that document also contains an order of the day issued
by the defendant, which is very much to the same effect.

Apart from his services in building up the U-boat arm, there
is ample evidence that the defendant as Commander-in-Chief
of U-boats, took part in the planning and execution of
aggressive war against Poland, Norway and Denmark. The next
document in the document book, C-126/C, has already been put
in as Exhibit GB 45. It is a memorandum by the defendant
Raeder, dated the 16th May, 1939, and I will call the
attention of the Tribunal to the distribution. The sixth
copy went to the Fuehrer der Unterseeboote, that is to say,
to the defendant Donitz. It is a directive for the invasion
of Poland, "Fall Weiss," and I will not read it. It has
already been read.

The next document, C-126/E, on the second page of that same
document, has also been put in as Exhibit GB 45. It again is
a memorandum from the defendant Raeder's headquarters, dated
the 2nd August, 1939. It is addressed to the Fleet, and then
Flag Officer U-boats - that is, of course, the defendant -
and it is merely a covering letter for operational
directions for the employment of U-boats which are to be
sent into the Atlantic as a precaution in case the intention
of carrying out "Fall Weiss" should remain unchanged. The
second sentence is important:

   "Flag Officer U-boats is handing in his operational
   orders to SKL" - that is, the Seekriegsleitung, the
   German Admiralty - "by 12th August. A decision on the
   sailings of U-boats for the Atlantic will probably be
   made in the middle of August."

The next document, C-172, I put in as Exhibit GB 189. It
consists of the defendant's own operational instructions to
his U-boats for the operation "Fall Weiss." It is signed by
him. It is not dated, but it is clear from the subject-
matter that its date must be before the 16th July, 1939. I
do not think the substance of the document adds anything. It
is purely an operational instruction, giving effect to the
document already put in, C-126/6, the directive by Raeder.

My Lord, the next document, C-122, has already been put in
as Exhibit GB 82. It is an extract from the War Diary of the
Naval War Staff of the German Admiralty, dated the 3rd
October, 1939, and records the fact that the Chief of the
Naval War Staff has called for views on the possibility of
taking operational bases in Norway. It has already been
read, and I would merely call the Tribunal's attention to
the passage in brackets, in the paragraph marked (d).

   "Flag Officer U-boats already considers such harbours
   extremely useful as equipment and supply bases for
   Atlantic U-boats to call at temporarily."

The next document, C-5, has already been put in as Exhibit
GB 83. This in from the defendant, as Flag Officer U-boats,
addressed to the Supreme Command of the Navy, the Naval War
Staff. It is dated the 9th October, 1939, and it sets out
the defendant's view on the advantages of Trondheim and
Narvik as bases. The document proposes the establishment of
a base at Trondheim with Narvik as an alternative.

Now the next document, C-151, has already been put in as
Exhibit GB 91. It is the defendant's operation order to his
U-boats for the occupation of Denmark and Norway, and the
operation order, which is top secret, dated

                                                  [Page 231]

the 30th March, is termed "Hartmut." The members of the
Tribunal will remember that the document, in the last
paragraph, said:

   "The naval force will, as they enter the harbour, fly
   the British flag until the troops have landed, except
   presumably at Narvik."

The preparations for war against England are perhaps best
shown by the disposition of the U-boats under his command on
the 3rd September, 1939, when war broke out between Germany
and the Western Allies. The locations, of the sinkings in
the following week, including that of the Athenia which will
be dealt with by my learned friend, Major Elwyn Jones,
provide corroboration. On that, I would put in two charts; I
put them in as D-652, and they become Exhibit GB 190.

My Lord, I have copies here for the members of the Tribunal.
They have been prepared by the Admiralty. There are two
charts. The first sets out the disposition of the submarines
on the 3rd September, 1939. There is a certification
attached to the chart, in the top left-hand corner, which I
should read:

   "This chart has been constructed from a study of the
   orders issued by Donitz between 21st August, 1939, and
   3rd September, 1939, and subsequently captured. The
   chart shows the approximate disposition of submarines
   ordered for 3rd September, 1939, and cannot be
   guaranteed accurate in every detail, as the file of
   captured orders are clearly not complete, and some of
   the submarines shown apparently had received orders at
   sea on or about 3rd September to move to new operational
   areas. The documents from which this chart was
   constructed are held by the British Admiralty in

My Lord, there are two points I would make on that first
chart. First, it will be apparent to members of the Tribunal
that U-boats which were in those positions on the 3rd
September, 1939, had left Kiel some considerable time
before. The other point which I would make is important in
connection with my learned friend Major Elwyn Jones' case
against the defendant Raeder, and that is the location of
the U-boat U-30. The members of the Tribunal may care to
bear it in mind while looking at the charts now.

The second chart sets out the sinkings during the first week
of the war, and the location of the sinking of the Athenia
will be noted. There is a short certification in the left-
hand corner of the Tribunal's copies:

   "This chart has been constructed from the official
   records of the British Admiralty in London. It shows the
   position and sinkings of the British merchant vessels
   lost by enemy in the seven days subsequent to 3rd
   September, 1939."

My Lord, I turn to the defendant's participation in War
Crimes and Crimes, against Humanity.

The course of the war waged against neutral and Allied
merchant shipping by the U-boats followed, under the
defendant's directions, a course of consistently increasing
ruthlessness. The defendant displayed his masterly
understanding in adjusting himself to the changing fortunes
of war. From the very early days, merchant ships, both
Allied and neutral, were sunk without warning; and when
operational danger zones had been announced by the German
Admiralty, these sinkings continued to take place both
within and without those zones. With some exceptions in the
early days of the war, no regard was taken for the safety of
the crews or passengers of sunk merchant ships, and the
announcement claiming a total blockade of the British Isles
merely served to confirm the established situation, under
which U-boat warfare was being conducted without regard to
the established rules of international warfare or the
requirements of humanity.

The course of the war at sea during the first eighteen
months is summarised, by two official British reports made
at a time when those who compiled them

                                                  [Page 232]

were ignorant of some of the actual orders issued, orders
which have since come to hand.

My Lord, I turn to the next document in the document book.
It is D-641 (a), which I put in to become Exhibit GB 191. It
is an extract from an official report of the British Foreign
Office concerning German attacks on merchant shipping during
the period 3rd September, 1939, to September, 1940, that is
to say, the first year of the war, and it was made shortly
after September, 1940.

My Lord, if I might quote from the second paragraph on the
first page:

   "During the first twelve months of the war, 2,081,062
   tons of Allied shipping comprising 508 ships have been
   lost by enemy action. In addition, 769,213 tons of
   neutral shipping, comprising 253 ships, have also been
   lost. Nearly all these merchant ships have been sunk by
   submarine, mine, aircraft or surface craft, and the
   great majority of them were sunk while engaged on their
   lawful trading voyages. 2,836 Allied merchant seamen
   have lost their lives in these ships.
   In the last war the practice of the Central Powers was
   so remote from the recognised procedure that it was
   thought necessary to set forth once again the Rules of
   Warfare, in particular as applied to submarines. This
   was done in the Treaty of London, 1930, and in 1936
   Germany acceded to the rules. The rules laid down:
   (1) In action with regard to merchant ships, submarines
   must conform to the rules of International Law to which
   surface vessels are subjected.
   (2) In particular, except in the case of persistent
   refusal to stop on being summoned, or of active
   resistance to visit and search, a war ship, whether
   surface vessel or submarine, may not sink or render
   incapable of navigation a merchant vessel without having
   first placed passengers, crew and ships' papers in a
   place of safety. For this purpose, the ship's boats are
   not regarded as a place of safety unless the safety of
   the passengers and crew is assured in the existing sea
   and weather conditions, by the proximity of land, or the
   presence of another vessel which is in a position to
   take them on board."

Then, the next paragraph:

   "At the beginning of the present war, Germany issued a
   Prize Ordinance for the regulation of sea warfare and
   the guidance of her naval officers. Article 74 of this
   ordinance embodies the submarine rules of the London
   Treaty. Article 72, however, provides that captured
   enemy vessels may be destroyed if it seems inexpedient
   or unsafe to bring them into port, and Article 73/(1)
   and (2) makes the same provision with regard to neutral
   vessels which are captured for sailing under enemy
   convoy, for forcible resistance, or for giving
   assistance to the enemy. These provisions are certainly
   not in accordance with the traditional British view, but
   the important point is that, even in these cases, the
   Prize Ordinance envisages the capture of the merchantman
   before its destruction. In other words, if the Germans
   adhered to the rules set out in their own Prize
   Ordinance, we might have argued the rather fine legal
   point with them, but we should have no quarrel with
   them, either on the broader legal issue or on the
   humanitarian one. In the event, however, it is only too
   clear that almost from the beginning of the war the
   Germans abandoned their own principle, and waged war
   with steady disregard for International Law, and for
   what is, after all, the ultimate sanction of all law,
   the protection of human life and property from arbitrary
   and ruthless attacks."

I pass to the third paragraph on the next page which sets
out two instances:

   "On the 30th September, 1939, came the first sinking of
   a neutral ship by a submarine without warning and with
   loss of Life. This was the Danish ship Vendia bound for
   the Clyde in ballast. The submarine fired two shots and
   shortly after torpedoed the ship. The torpedo was
                                                  [Page 233]
   fired when the master had already signalled that he
   would submit to the submarine orders, and before there
   had been an opportunity to abandon ship. By November,
   submarines were beginning to sink neutral vessels
   without warning as a regular thing. On the 12th November
   the Norwegian Arne Kjode was torpedoed in the North Sea
   without any warning at all. This was a tanker bound from
   one neutral port to another. The master and four of the
   crew lost their lives and the remainder were picked up
   after many hours in open boats. Henceforward, in
   addition to the failure to establish the nature of the
   cargo, another element is noticeable, namely an
   increasing recklessness as to the fate of the crew."

And then dealing with attacks on Allied merchant vessels,
certain figures are given.

   Ships sunk          241
   Recorded attacks    221
   Illegal attacks     112

At least 79 of these 112 ships were torpedoed without

THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): Then they were not illegally
sunk, however?


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