The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1997/11/12
                                                  [Page 233]
The documents of the Soviet prosecution are presented under
the following sections:

     1. Preparations for war in Germany itself.
     2. Assuring the security of the preparations for war by
     the intelligence activities.
     3. The securing by the Fascist conspirators of the
     participation of the satellite countries in the
     aggression against the Soviet Union.
I shall begin with Section 1, which I shall call,
"Preparations for War in Germany Itself."

The statements of Hitler and his accomplices demonstrate
that the idea of a criminal attack on the Union of Soviet
Socialist Republics had for a long time been ripe in the
minds of the Fascist conspirators.

But apart from this fact, we are also interested in the
question as to when this intention began to take on the
concrete form of direct military preparations for the
predatory war against the Soviet Union.

On 18th December, 1940, the directive known to the Tribunal
as directive No. 21, Case "Barbarossa" (the document of the
American prosecution Numbered 446-PS), was put into its
official form.

The moment when the signature of the Command appears on such
a document is the moment which crowns long and intensive
work by all who formed the links in the chain of military

This work may not have been governed by written orders. The
secrecy camouflaging this work often made it necessary to
have recourse to verbal orders. And, on the other hand, many
orders of a routine nature, on the strength of an already
existing strategic project, acquired a corresponding trend,
although outwardly they seemed to have no connection with

It therefore appears that, with regard to establishing the
actual moment at which military plans for the attack on the
Soviet Union began ---

THE PRESIDENT: General Zorya, the Tribunal observes that you
are about to read a deposition of General Warlimont, who,
the Tribunal understands, is in Nuremberg, and the Tribunal
considers that, in accordance with the order that it made
the other day in another case, in the case of another
deposition, that if the defendants' counsel desired, and you
wish to use this deposition, you ought to be prepared to
allow General Warlimont to be submitted to the defendants'
counsel for cross-examination.

MAJOR-GENERAL ZORYA: I am about to read into the record an
extract from the interrogation of General Warlimont. This
interrogation was carried out by General Alexandrov of the
Soviet prosecution, and if the defence desires to call
General Warlimont for cross-examination here before the
Tribunal, the Soviet prosecution will do its utmost to
satisfy this request.

THE PRESIDENT: That is, of course, on the supposition that I
am right to saying that General Warlimont is in Nuremberg --
available in Nuremberg. Go on.

MAJOR-GENERAL ZORYA: I am definitely of the opinion that it
would be useful, when establishing the actual moment of the
beginning of military operations for

                                                  [Page 237]
the attack on the Soviet Union, to resort not to documents
only -- for not everything is always put down in writing --
but to revert to the testimony of people who participated
directly in the realisation of these preparations. I should
now like to pass on to those depositions of Walter Warlimont
which you, Mr. President, have just mentioned. These
depositions were given by Warlimont on 13th November, 1945.

I am presenting them as evidence as Exhibit USSR 263.

Walter Warlimont, as is known, was the Chief of the
Department of National defence in the O.K.W., and later
deputy chief of the Operational Staff.

I shall read into the record that part of his deposition
which touches on the question before us. I ask you to turn
to Page 2 of the Russian text of this document, which is on
Page 20 in the bundle of documents presented by the Russian
prosecution on the question, and the answers to questions
put to Warlimont:

     "Personally, I first heard of this plan" -- that is
     Plan "Barbarossa" -- "on 29th July, 1940. On that day
     General Jodl arrived in a special train at Reichenhall
     station, where Department 'L' of the Operational Staff
     was stationed. Hitler was in Berchtesgaden. This
     surprised me immediately, because General Jodl had,
     till then, never, I believe, come to see us. Besides
     myself, the three other senior officers were ordered to
     present themselves."
I now omit several lines and pass on to Page 3 of the
minutes of Warlimont's interrogation; this will be Page 21
in the bundle of documents:

     "I cannot repeat his statements verbatim. The gist was
     as follows: Jodl said that the Fuehrer had decided to
     prepare for war against Russia. The Fuehrer justified
     this by saying that war had to come one way or another,
     so that it would be better to prosecute this war in
     connection with the one already being fought, and, in
     any case, to start the necessary preparations for it."
I pass over several lines which are not relevant to the
question we are dealing with and continue:

     "At a later I talked with Hitler .He had intended to
     commence the war against the Soviet Union as early as
     the autumn of 1940, but later he gave up this idea. The
     reason was that the strategic position of the troops at
     that time was not favourable for the purpose. The
     supplies to Poland were not good enough; railways and
     bridges were not prepared; the communication lines and
     airdromes were not organised. Therefore, an order was
     given to secure the whole transport and to prepare for
     such an attack as would eventually be made."
To the question put by the prosecution as to whether this
order as issued on 9th August, 1941, and called "Aufbau
Ost," Warlimont replied:

     "Yes, this order was prepared by the staff in
     accordance with the instructions of General Jodl. In
     General Jodl's opinion, the concentration could take
     place only after all the preparations indicated in this
     order had been made."
Further on in his statement, Warlimont said that "Case
Barbarossa," originally called "Fritz," was presented to
Hitler on 5th December, 1940, after which it was re-edited
and issued on 18th December.

I think that the testimony of a man like Friedrich Paulus, a
former Field Marshal of the German Army, who, as is known,
was directly concerned both in the preparations and in the
execution of Case "Barbarossa," can give considerable help
in investigating the preparation of this plan.

I present the testimony of Friedrich Paulus, dated 9th
January, 1946, given in a camp for prisoners of war, and
marked Exhibit USSR 156, and request that it be accepted as

                                                  [Page 238]
DR. NELTE (counsel for defendant Keitel): Mr. President, I
just wanted to remark that I do not possess a copy of the
document concerning Paulus. But it seems to be the same
statement which it has not yet been possible to give to the
defendants' counsel. If the Soviet prosecution could give me
the statement now, I would then decide if I could present my
protest for decision now in the form in which I raised it at
the beginning of this session.

(Whereupon copies of the document above referred to were
handed to Dr. Nelte.)

DR. NELTE: According to the original before me now, this is
a similar statement by Field Marshal Paulus. Paulus has
expressed his opinion in a letter to the Government of the
Soviet Union and the Soviet Delegation has, I assume, now
presented the original to you. This photostat bears no
official certification by the Soviet authorities, nor is the
statement an affidavit which could be admitted as evidence.

Therefore, I ask the Tribunal in this particular case to
give a general decision on the question which I raised at
the beginning of this session, so that in the future the
Soviet prosecution will be familiar with the treatment of
such statements by the Tribunal.

THE PRESIDENT: Do you wish to make any answer to what Dr.
Nelte has said?


In accordance with the wish of the Tribunal, as expressed in
a previous session, the Soviet prosecution has taken the
necessary measures for originals of all the documents of the
Soviet prosecution, or else documents certifying the
authenticity of these documents, to be placed at the
disposal of the Tribunal through the good offices of the
General Secretary, with indications of the places where they
are to be found.

Moreover, bearing in mind that certain witnesses, whose
evidence will be presented in a forthcoming session by the
Soviet prosecution, are of considerable interest, and that
it is possible that the defence may wish to cross-examine
them, the Soviet prosecution will take all necessary
measures to bring some of these witnesses to Nuremberg in
order that their verbal evidence may be heard. Special
interest attaches to the deposition of Paulus, extracts from
which I propose to quote in my report, and which must be
checked no later than this evening, after which Friedrich
Paulus will be brought to the Courtroom.

THE PRESIDENT: Then I understood from what you said,
General, that as far as the photostatic copy of Field
Marshal Paulus' statement is concerned, a certificate will
be furnished -- as we indicated the Tribunal wished -- that
the photostatic copy is a true copy of the original, and so
far as the question of producing witnesses of importance is
concerned, Field Marshal Paulus will be produced as a
witness for the defendants' counsel to cross-examine.

That meets your objection, I think, Dr. Nelte.

DR. NELTE: The basic principle of this question, as it
appears to me, lies in the fact that official proof should
be given that the statements contained in the documents
submitted really represent what the persons who made them
meant to say. Written statements are never more than a
dubious substitute for a personal examination of a witness.

The defence is fully aware of the difficulties encountered,
particularly by the Soviet prosecution, in producing
witnesses where, for instance, reports are to be found. The
defence realises the fact, but in those cases in which the
individuality of the witness and the importance of certain
questions really do matter, the personal examination of
witnesses should be preferred to any affidavit. Wherever
this is impossible, for reasons which we are unable to
judge, it would, at any rate, be desirable that those people
who have made these statements should make them in the form
of an affidavit or an interrogatory.

If the Soviet delegation should produce a certificate to the
effect that these statements are true copies of the original
statements, it would not mean that

                                                  [Page 239]
the documents would acquire an increased value in our eyes.
We do not doubt for one moment that statements of this kind
are in the possession of the Soviet delegation. The defence
is interested not so much in the formal confirmation of the
statements as in the possibility of increasing the material

If the Soviet prosecution could assist us in this respect,
we should be grateful.

THE PRESIDENT: You can go on, General.

MAJOR-GENERAL ZORYA: I repeat, I believe that the testimony
of Friedrich Paulus can be of great assistance to us in our
investigation. I present the testimony of Friedrich Paulus
to which I have just referred and shall now read into the
record that part of his testimony which refers to the
history of the preparation of "Case Barbarossa."

I request you to open the bundle of documents submitted to
the Tribunal at Page 27, and there, in the text of Paulus'
testimony, on Page 2, you will find the passages underlined
in red pencil, which I now intend reading into the record.
From the 3rd September...

THE PRESIDENT: Perhaps, General, since it is now 12:45 you
had better not begin this document before the adjournment.

MAJOR-GENERAL ZORYA: I obey, Mr. President.

(A recess was taken.)

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