The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: imt/tgmwc//tgmwc-06/tgmwc-06-53.05

Archive/File: imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-06-53.05
Last-Modified: 1998/03/31

                                                  [Page 127]
M. MOUNIER: Mr. President, your Honours, considering the
strictly limited time at my disposal, I see that in dealing
with the defendant Goering, of whom I shall have the honour
to speak to you, I shall be compelled to omit Pages 1, 2, 3
of my presentation. I would ask the Court now to turn to
Page 3 of my statement on Goering.

I should like to put before the Tribunal the question of the
responsibility of the defendant Goering for the measures
taken against the Commandos and against Allied airmen who
fell into the hands of the Germans during their operations.

During the Trial we have on several occasions mentioned an
order given by Hitler on 18th October, 1942, which was first
submitted by the American delegation on 2nd January, 1946,
as Exhibit USA 501 which is our Exhibit RF 1417. It is an
order detailing the measures to be taken against Commandos
in operations in Europe and Africa. They were to be
exterminated to the last man, even if they were in uniform,
and no matter how they came, by boat, plane or parachute.
Orders were given to take no prisoners. In the occupied
territories, isolated members of Commandos who might fall
into the hands of the German Forces were to be handed over
immediately to the Sicherheitsdienst, R.S.H.A. branch. This
order did not apply to enemy soldiers who were captured, or
who surrendered in open battle or within the fighting zone.

Among those notified was the C.-in-C. of the Air Force.
Consequently, the defendant Goering knew of this order in
his capacity as Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force, as well
as in his capacity as Commander-in-Chief of one of the three
military Services, he has joint responsibility with the Cs.-
in-C. of the other Services.

We know, also, that on the same date, 18th October, 1942,
Hitler had a memorandum distributed, annotating the previous
instructions to the effect that if one or two prisoners were
spared for the time being, so that information might be
obtained from them, they were to be put to death as soon as
they had been interrogated.

I refer to Document 503-PS (Exhibit RF 1418). The American
prosecution which produced this document has also submitted
to the Tribunal -- and I shall not come back to this fact --
and a certain number of cases proving that this order was
frequently carried out.

On the other hand, the Tribunal is already aware that
numerous Allied airmen who found themselves in German
territory after losing their planes were ill treated and
lynched by the Germans with the connivance of the

As evidence we present only the order of 10th August, 1943,
by which Himmler forbade the police to take part in these
lynchings and forbade them equally to oppose them.

I refer to Exhibit USA 333 (Exhibit FR 1419).

Goebbels, in an article in the "Voelkischer Beobachter,"
intervened in the same way. Bormann, in a memorandum of 30th
May, 1944, confirmed these instructions and stipulated that
they should be passed on to the administrative authorities,
not in writing but by word of mouth only. I refer to Exhibit

                                                  [Page 128]
USA 329, cited on 17th December, 1945, by the American
delegation (Exhibit RF 1420).

These instructions were carried out to the letter, to such
an extent that the American Forces have brought to trial
since the capitulation a considerable number of German
civilians who had murdered unarmed Allied airmen.

But the defendant Goering was not satisfied with merely
letting these things happen. At a conference which took
place on 15th and 16th May, 1944, he stated that he would
suggest to the Fuehrer that not only parachutists, but also
American or English crews who indiscriminately attacked
cities and civilian trains in motion, should be put to death
forthwith. This is Document 166-L, cited on the 31st
January, 1946, as Exhibit USA 377 by the American
prosecution (Exhibit RF 1421).

In fact, Goering saw Hitler between 20th and 22nd May, 1944.
The Air Force General, Korten, sent the defendant Keitel a
memorandum pointing out that Hitler had decided that enemy
airmen who were shot down should be put to death without
trial if they had participated in acts described as

This is Document Number 731-PS, which we submit to the Court
in the form of a photostatic copy. I ask the Tribunal's
permission not to read this document. I think the Tribunal
will prefer to read it itself. However, I am at its disposal
if it wishes me to read it.

THE PRESIDENT: No; it has already been put in, has it not?

M. MOUNIER: Yes, Mr. President.

In consequence, an agreement was made with the O.K.W. that
Himmler, Goering, and Ribbentrop should be consulted on the
measures to be taken in this matter. Ribbentrop proposed
that any attack upon German cities should be considered as
an act of terrorism. General Warlimont, in the name of the
O.K.W., proposed two measures; lynching and what he called
special treatment, which consisted in delivering the parties
concerned to the Sicherheitsdienst, where they were
subjected to several methods of handling, one of the most
notorious being the well-known Kugel action, of which the
Tribunal has already heard, and which was simply a way of
doing away with all those in question. Exhibit GB 151 was
submitted to this effect on 9th January, 1946.

On 17th June, 1944, Keitel wrote to Goering asking him to
approve the definition of acts of terrorism drawn up by
Warlimont. On 19th June, 1944, Goering replied through his
aide-de-camp that the population should be forbidden to act
as it had done against enemy airmen, and that these enemy
airmen should be brought to trial, unless the Allied
Governments had forbidden their airmen to commit acts of

I refer here to Document 732-PS, which I submit to the
Tribunal as Exhibit RF 1405.

Moreover, I draw the Tribunal's attention to this document,
dated 26th June, 1944. Reich Marshal Goering declared that
he would support the bringing to trial of these airmen.
Remember this date, 19th June, 1944, because it is

But on 26th June, 1944, the defendant Goering's aide-de-camp
telephoned to the Armed Forces Operations Staff, who had
insisted upon a definite reply, and notified them that his
chief, Reich Marshal Goering, was in agreement with their
definition of acts of terrorism, and the procedure proposed
which, as far as I remember, included two alternatives: the
handing over of those in question for special treatment or
their immediate execution.

I refer to Documents 733-PS and 740-PS, cited on 31st
January, 1946, by the French prosecution, under the numbers
374 and 375 RF (Also RF-1423-4).

In a memorandum dated 4th July, 1944, Hitler made it known
that since the British and the Americans had bombed small
towns of no military importance

                                                  [Page 129]

as a reprisal for V-1, he was asking the German radio and
Press to announce that all enemy airmen shot down in an
attack of that kind would be put to death as soon as they
were caught.

Such are the facts found in these absolutely irrefutable
documents, and if I cite in detail the reply made on 19th
June, 1944, by the defendant Goering, or to be more exact,
by his aide-de-camp, it is because I am anxious to the
documents concerning this question in their entirety.

But I see that in spite of the initial attitude in his reply
of 19th June, 1944, I am obliged to infer the full
responsibility of the defendant Hermann Goering.

In fact, the defendant Hermann Goering states that he never
agreed to these measures, and that Captain Breuer, who
telephoned to the Armed Forces Operations Staff, acted --
according to the defendant Goering -- without having
previously consulted him. He added, in the statements which
he made, that he could not be held responsible for all the
absurd or insignificant actions carried out by his

But, Gentlemen, without reference to the famous
"Fuehrerprinzip"-- for I see no reason to apply German law
in any way -- the defendant Goering is in any case
responsible in his capacity as leader. Responsibility begins
with authority.

Moreover, what did he do to stop the massacre of airmen by
people whom he had ordered to do the opposite, according to
orders which it was forbidden to formulate in writing?

Even if we consider the position which he took in his reply
of the order dated 19th June, 1944, to which I have referred
as establishing accurately his views at that date on the
massacre of airmen and parachutists, we cannot fail to see
that at that date, 19th June, 1944, even in Germany, the
most shortsighted knew that the German forces would soon
succumb to the weight of the Allied Armies.

Allied airmen were put to death in Germany throughout the
war. Moreover, if the defendant Hermann Goering maintains
that the letter of 19th June, 1944, was written by his aide-
de-camp, he is obliged to admit that the letter of 26th
June, 1944, also written by the aide-de-camp, can be imputed
to him, although signed by one of his subordinates. We
consider, then, that this document signed by an aide-de-camp
involves Goering as much as if he had signed it himself.

Mr. President and Gentlemen, I shall not enlarge upon the
responsibility of the defendant Goering for compulsory
labor, but I respectfully beg the Tribunal to refer in due
course to certain aspects of the case that I have tried to
emphasise in this brief in order to clarify the position of
the defendant in this matter.

I shall make no further mention of the employment of
prisoners of war and internees from concentration camps,
which I detailed on Page 10 of my brief. I should like
simply to say a word concerning economic plunder and the
looting of art treasures. These questions are dealt with at
the bottom of Page 11 of my brief.

Concerning economic plunder, Gentlemen, I shall not stress
the considerable part played by the defendant Goering as
leader of the Four Year Plan in all the measures which
contributed to strip literally all the Western countries of
their substance. I shall simply point out one fact which, I
believe, has not yet been brought to your knowledge, but
which is found in the penultimate sub-heading on Page 12. It
is the following:

After the Armistice in 1940, the defendant Goering had
brought about, through Roechling, the official sequestrator,
the cession to the "Hermann Goering Werke" of all the
factories of Lorraine belonging to the family of Wendel.

This is connected with all the operations of economic
pillaging about which the Economic Section of the French
prosecution have already informed the Tribunal.

                                                  [Page 130]
With regard to this, the Court will not fail to realise that
the defendant Goering shares jointly with the defendants
Rosenberg, Ribbentrop and Seyss-Inquart -- for the
Netherlands -- the responsibility for this spoliation.

As to the looting of works of art, Gentlemen, we have
documents which permit us to draw our conclusions with
regard to this matter, which is obviously unpleasant for a
man who has occupied the position of the defendant Goering,
namely, that a part of the works of art and objects of value
which were looted from the Western countries were reserved
for him without any kind of compensation. I shall not
discuss the exact qualification of this act in civil law; I
leave it to the Tribunal to apply the proper legal terms to
it, when it delivers its judgment. But what I should like to
say to-day is that the appropriation of works of art by the
defendant Hermann Goering, for his private purposes, is
proved in documents which cannot be contested and which have
already been submitted to the Tribunal. I refer particularly
to Exhibit USA 368 cited on 18th December, 1945. This
document was submitted by the Economic Section of the French
prosecution as Exhibit RF 1309.

I may rapidly recall that this document prescribes that
works of art brought to the Louvre are to be classified in a
certain way:

     "Firstly, those works of art regarding which the
     Fuehrer has reserved for himself the right of disposal.
     Secondly, those works of art destined to complete the
     collection of the Reich Marshal" etc.

I shall not read the rest of the document.

What followed these appropriations? Did the defendant
Goering pay anything?

The opposite seems to be the case; for in the interrogation
of the defendant Rosenberg, which was submitted as Exhibit
RF 1330, and to which I referred, it is pointed out that the
defendant Goering made his selection from the works of art
assembled by Rosenberg's special staff, and made no
corresponding payment to the Reich Treasury.

Not to abuse the patience of the Tribunal, I respectfully
beg it to go back to Page 10 of the transcript previously
cited, where it will see the part played by the defendant
Goering in the appropriation of works of art, and the fact
that no money was paid in return.

I simply emphasise, in passing, that at the top of Page 11
you will find this statement, in reply to a question asked
by Colonel Hinkel.

THE PRESIDENT: You are referring to Page 10 and Page 11 of
which document?

M. MOUNIER: Page 11, Mr. President, of Document 1403, which
was submitted yesterday as Exhibit RF 1330, by my colleague
M. Gerthoffer.


M. MOUNIER: It is not there, for reasons which I have
already pointed out to the Tribunal.

Colonel Hinkel, at the bottom of Page 10, asked the
following question:

     "Does not the last paragraph of this letter say that
     you don't think that Goering should pay for these
     articles, because he had chosen them in order to put
     them in an art gallery?"

The reply of the defendant Rosenberg: "Not exactly. I should
like to add what follows, which I consider important:

     "I was rather annoyed when I heard for the first time
     that Goering had appropriated for his own use a part of
     the collections which the Special Staff had sent to

That is all, Gentlemen, I shall say no more. I merely want
to point out to you the annoyance which the Chief of the
"Einsatzstab" himself felt, on learning this fact.

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.