The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1999/11/20

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: As far as Herr Gaus is concerned,
there is no objection, subject to one point on what I may
call the Foreign Office group of witnesses, and I think it
will be convenient if I develop it now, and then Dr. Horn
would deal with the point in one moment.

Dr. Horn is asking for Herr Gaus; Fraulein Blank, who was
the defendant's private secretary, and then witnesses three
to seven, five foreign office officials, von Sonnleitner,
von Rintelen, Gottfriedsen, Hilger and Bruns.

The position at the moment is that there is some doubt as to
whether Fraulein Blank was allowed or not by the Tribunal,
and two of the witnesses, von Sonnleitner and Bruns were
granted on 5th December. Von Sonnleitner was granted as one
of two and Herr Bruns was granted simpliciter.

The prosecution draws the attention of the Tribunal to the
fact that no special subjects are stated about which these
witnesses will speak, and at the present moment, the
applications are not within the Rule of Procedure 4 (a); but
what the prosecution suggests is:

That it is reasonable that the defendant should have certain
witnesses who will speak as to Foreign Office business and
activities, but that, if he has Herr Gaus and his private
secretary, Fraulein Blank, one other Foreign Office official
to speak as to general methods would be sufficient, and von
Sonnleitner is obviously the sort of person who could help
the defendant on General Foreign Office matters. To call
seven witnesses to deal with his general position in the
business would be unduly cumulative, and it is suggested
that three is sufficient.

I hope the Tribunal will not mind my dealing with the seven
witnesses, but really my point involves all of them.

DR. HORN: May I say something in reply to that: Dr. Gaus, in
all probability, will be my main witness for the defence.
Therefore, since 10 November, 1945, I and my predecessor
have done everything to find this witness, and then to bring
him here. Consequently, I do not know on what matters he can
give me rebutting evidence. For this reason I would also
prefer not to commit myself yet as to the other witnesses
from the Foreign Office. I would like to make only this
point: The witnesses who have been listed in addition to Dr.
Gaus are not such as will give information on routine
matters or general matters of the Foreign Office, but are,
rather, witnesses who can offer rebutting evidence
concerning special subjects which the prosecution has
brought up.

I consequently suggest that a final decision should be
reached as to the calling of these other witnesses only
after Ambassador von Gaus is here. In this connection, I
should like to ask the Court again personally to assist me
in the securing of this extraordinarily valuable witness
because I can submit my evidence in writing to the General
Secretary in time only if I have him here soon.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes. Well, we will consider that. That leaves
two to seven, does it not?

DR. HORN: Mr. President, may I say that I should like to
omit from this group witness number two, Margarete Blank.
Consequently not two to seven, but three to seven.

May I give the following explanation. Fraulein Blank was for
many years secretary to the former Minister of Foreign
Affairs, von Ribbentrop, particularly since 1933. The
witness Blank drew up a number of important drafts and
memoranda and also discussed outstanding points with
Ribbentrop in connection with these manuscripts. Here I
refer to memoranda which expressly relate to the charges,
and I therefore ask that the Tribunal's original decision,
which granted us this witness, be upheld.

                                                  [Page 270]

THE PRESIDENT: Then you are asking, are you, that Ambassador
Gaus and Fraulein Blank should be brought here as soon as
possible, and that the consideration of the other witnesses
three to seven, should be deferred until you have had an
opportunity of seeing Gaus and Blank?

DR. HORN: Yes, Mr. President. As regards Fraulein Blank, I
can say that she is in an internment camp near Nuremberg, in

THE PRESIDENT: Did you mean that Fraulein Blank was in a
camp so near Nuremberg, that you could go and visit her and
speak to her there?

DR. HORN: Yes, Mr. President, that is possible.


DR. HORN: May I interpret this as authorisation to visit
Fraulein Blank in order to interrogate her?

THE PRESIDENT: We understand that that is your application,
and we will consider it.

DR. HORN: Thank you, Mr. President.

As my next witness I name the former SS Gruppenfuehrer and
personal adjutant to Hitler, at present in Nuremberg in
solitary confinement.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, Sir David?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: With regard to this witness, the
application says that there was a decisive conference
between Hitler and the defendant von Ribbentrop, and that he
can speak as to certain things that occurred. If that is so,
if he can speak as one attending the conference, the
prosecution has no objection.

We object - and this point will arise in regard to a number
of witnesses - to what I call self-created evidence. That is
if a witness is merely coming to say that the defendant said
that he had certain views. That, in the submission of the
prosecution, does not carry the thing any further. If I
understand, this witness is speaking as an observer of the
conference, and, as such, we take no objection.

DR. HORN: I should like to give Sir David my assurance that
this is a witness who has first-hand knowledge of decisive
events and can testify to them.

My next witness is Adolph von Steengracht, since 1943 State
Secretary of the Foreign Office. This witness is now in
Nuremberg in solitary confinement.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: If the Tribunal would be good enough
to look at the seventh line from the foot of this
application, it says that Steengracht will further testify
that, contrary to the assertions of the Chief prosecutor of
the United States, the protests of the churches and of the
Vatican were always "processed", thus obviating even worse

If it is meant by that-and the English is a little obscure -
that the defendant Ribbentrop forwarded the protests of the
churches to Hitler, then the prosecution would feel that
they ought not to object to the witness.

DR. HORN: I can say in regard to this, Mr. President, that
these protests were submitted not only to Hitler, but that
furthermore, on the initiative and orders of the defendant,
other German offices concerned in these breaches of
International Law were approached for the purpose of
settling the difficulties arising from the protests of the
churches and the Vatican.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well. Can we go on to 10?

DR. HORN: My witness No. 10 is Dahlerus. Mr. Dahlerus has
already been referred to at length to-day, and I should like
to know whether further discussion as to procurement of this
witness is necessary.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: I have already explained my general
attitude with regard to Dahlerus. Apparently this defendant
wants him on one particular point, namely, an order from
Hitler, and I submit that the appropriate way would be if
Dr. Horn added an interrogatory on that point.

Prima facie, it seems highly improbable that Hitler
communicated his private order to a Swedish engineer, but in
view of the fact that interrogatories have been ordered, I
suggest that Dr. Horn can send a further interrogatory on
that point.

                                                  [Page 271]

DR. HORN: Mr. President, may I make a remark in this
connection? It is not, as was translated, a question in this
case of an order from Hitler, but a question of the decisive
note that was the beginning of the second World War.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My point of view applies to many of
these requests. This is only evidence if Herr Dahlerus can
say what Hitler said, what Hitler told him. It is not
evidence if Herr Dahlerus can say, "Herr Ribbentrop told me
that Hitler had so ordered". That does not add to the
evidence of the defendant himself. Therefore, I think it is
essential that before one can judge of the evidential value
at all, the matter should be submitted, as I suggest, by way
of interrogatory.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Horn, unless you have anything further to
add with reference to this witness, we will stop at this
point, because we think it is impossible to go further to-
day, and apparently it is impossible to finish the whole of
your applications this afternoon, so do you wish to add
anything more about Dahlerus?

DR. HORN: Yes, I should like to make another short statement
in answer to what Sir David considers as important for the
evidence. Mr. Dahlerus; will not say here what he heard from
Ribbentrop; he will testify to what he heard about
Ribbentrop from an important person and from Hitler himself,
and that is why I consider his evidence particularly

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: A general point, my Lord: In the
case of the witnesses who are asked for by Dr. Horn, I had
prepared the comments of the prosecution, and they have been
typed out in English. The Tribunal will realise that we only
received this application yesterday, and it had to be
translated, and is not ready by to-day. I have not been able
to get this translation, but I have given Dr. Horn a copy
quite informally so that he would be informed, and it might
be useful if I handed it in because it might shorten the
proceedings and also act as a record when the Tribunal
resumes the consideration of these points. I do not know if
that appeals to the Tribunal.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, very well. Then we will adjourn now.

I wish to ask the Soviet Chief Prosecutor whether it would
be convenient to the Soviet prosecution that we should
continue on Monday morning with this examination of
witnesses and evidence. I think it will probably take the
whole of the morning if we deal with the defendant
Ribbentrop's applications and then the defendant Keitel's,
so that the Soviet prosecution, if that course were adopted,
would come on at two o'clock. Would that be convenient for

GENERAL RUDENKO: If it is convenient for the Tribunal it
will be so for us, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: There is just one other point I should like
to ask you. I think the Tribunal were notified that there
were two witnesses whom the Soviet prosecution proposed to
call. I think that we said that General Warlimont and, I
think, General Halder, ought to be called so as to give the
defence counsel the opportunity of cross-examining them.

GENERAL RUDENKO: If the Tribunal so wishes I shall deal with
this question. I became acquainted with the transcript of
the reports made by General Zorya and Colonel Pokrovsky when
the question concerning witnesses Halder and Warlimont was
discussed. The Soviet Delegation considers there to be no
basis for objections to the Court examining the witnesses
Generals Warlimont and Halder at the request of the defence.
But the Soviet prosecution intended to request that the
Tribunal admit these witnesses as witnesses on behalf of the
Soviet prosecution.

I would like once again to state the plan which the Soviet
prosecution has in mind regarding the conclusion of its
presentation of evidence. It remains for us to present to
the Tribunal the last section, "Crimes Against Humanity".
The presentation of this will take approximately three to
four hours.

                                                  [Page 272]

In addition, we shall ask the Tribunal to permit us to
examine four witnesses, Soviet citizens who have been
specially brought here and are now in Nuremberg. In such a
way we consider that, if we start our presentation to-morrow
at two o'clock, then on Tuesday we will finish our
presentation on all counts.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will expect to have General
Warlimont and Halder presented here before the Soviet case
finishes, not for the Soviet prosecution to ask them
questions but for them to be cross-examined by the defence
if the defence so wish, but that may take place at any time
that is convenient to you. If you wish, they could be called
at two o'clock on Monday; if you prefer, at the end of the
Soviet presentation, either on Tuesday afternoon or on
Wednesday morning, whichever is convenient to you.

GENERAL RUDENKO: As I already stated, the Soviet prosecution
did not think of introducing either Halder or Warlimont. The
Soviet prosecution did not object that, on the request of
the defence counsel Halder and Warlimont be subjected to
cross-examination. As far as I can remember, as far back as
last December the Tribunal granted the application of the
defence to call Halder into Court as a witness. Wherefore it
seems to me - and as to an expeditious presentation of
material by the Soviet prosecution, it really will not
influence the examination of essential questions - that the
examination of the witnesses Warlimont and Halder should be
made in the trial during the presentation of evidence by
defence counsel.

As far as I know, in the application of the defendant
Keitel, which was presented to the Tribunal, Halder and
Warlimont are indicated as witnesses, and the defendant
Keitel and his attorney applied for examination of them as
witnesses on behalf of the defence.

On the basis of this, I consider that the examination of
these witnesses should be made during the presentation of
evidence by the defence counsel.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal understands that both General
Warlimont and General Halder are here in Nuremberg. Is that


THE PRESIDENT: Probably the most convenient course would be
for the Tribunal to see exactly what order the Tribunal made
with reference to their being called. We will look up the
shorthand notes and see exactly what order we made, and deal
with the matter on Monday morning. In the meantime, on
Monday morning we will continue, as you said is convenient
to you, the applications by Dr. Horn for the defendant
Ribbentrop and the applications by Dr. Nelte on behalf of
the defendant Keitel, and we shall sit from two until four
o'clock only on Monday afternoon.

(The Tribunal adjourned until February 25, 1946, at 10.00 hours.)

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