The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Archive/File: imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-07/tgmwc-07-67.01
Last-Modified: 1999/11/20

                                                  [Page 273]

Dr. Horn, you deal with Dahlerus last, I believe.DR.
HORN:(Counsel for defendant Ribbentrop): That is right, Mr.

As the next witness, I ask the Tribunal to call General
Kostring, former military attache in Moscow, and at present
in prison in Nuremberg. In this case I am willing to forego
the appearance of the witness in person if the submission of
affidavit be permitted.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, we object to this witness
and so Dr. Horn can develop it as far as he desires.

THE PRESIDENT: You object to him?



DR. HORN: I wish, nevertheless, to ask the Tribunal to call
the witness in this case.

Originally, there was a possibility, as I was told, that the
witness might be called by the prosecution. Since this has
not been done, I ask that this witness be approved because
he took part in the German-Russian negotiations from August
to September, 1939, in Moscow, and until the beginning of
hostilities against the Soviet Union, remained in his post.
The witness, therefore, can tell us about the attitude of
official German circles and personalities toward the German-
Russian pact. For these reasons I ask the Tribunal to call
the witness.

GENERAL RUDENKO: As it has already been stated by Sir David
Maxwell Fyfe, the prosecution objects to the summoning of
this witness. I merely wish to define the position of the
prosecution in this case. The fact that the witness
participated or was present at the August-September, 1939,
negotiations is scarcely of interest to the Tribunal. The
Tribunal primarily proceeds from the fact of the existence
of this agreement and its treacherous violation by Germany.
Consequently, the summoning of this witness to describe
these negotiations would merely lengthen the proceedings.

DR. HORN: Mr. President, I am sorry, I was not able to
understand the answer and the reasoning of the General.

THE PRESIDENT: Would you repeat, General?

GENERAL RUDENKO: Very well. I was saying, with reference to
Sir David's protest on behalf of the prosecution, against
the summoning of this witness, that I wished to explain that
his testimony in regard to his presence at the 1939
negotiations in Moscow, would be of no interest whatsoever
to the Tribunal. The Tribunal proceeds from the facts that
this agreement had been concluded in 1939 and had been
treacherously violated by Germany.

I consider that the summoning of this witness before the
Tribunal is superfluous, since he has no connection
whatsoever with the present case.

DR. HORN: I ask the Tribunal's permission to point out that
for weeks General Kostring was in prison in Nuremberg at the
disposal of the prosecution. Therefore, I ask the Tribunal
to grant his being heard as a witness - for the reasons
which I have mentioned.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will consider the matter. Dr.
Horn, the Tribunal does not understand how the fact that
General Kostring is in prison at Nuremberg can be any answer
to the objection which is made on behalf of the prosecution,
namely, that the Tribunal is not interested in negotiations
which took place in September, 1939, but in the violation of
the treaty. The Tribunal would like to know whether you have
any answer to make to that objection. The only answer you
have made up to date is that General Kostring is here in

                                                  [Page 274]

DR. HORN: Mr. President, General Kostring is to testify that
the pact with Russia was drawn up with full intention of its
being kept on the part of Germany and on the part of my

I would not like to say anything further on this point at
the moment and I ask the Tribunal to call the witness for
the reason given.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well, the Tribunal will consider your

DR HORN: The next witness is Legation Counsellor, Dr. Hesse,
who was formerly in the Foreign office in Berlin and now
presumably in the camp at Ausburg.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, there is no objection to
this witness. I do not know if Dr. Horn wants him in person
or if an affidavit would do. The prosecution do not feel
strongly on the matter, but they ask Dr. Horn to accept an
affidavit whenever possible, and they suggest that he might
consider it in this case.

DR. HORN: In this case I will be satisfied with an

The next witness is the former ambassador in Bucharest,
Fabricius, presumably in Allied custody in the American zone
of occupation, or possibly already discharged from custody.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: There is no objection in this case.
Apparently this witness will speak as to an interview which
is already in evidence before the Court and will give a
different account of it. The prosecution makes no objection
under the circumstances.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will consider that.

DR. HORN: The next witness is Professor Karl Burckhardt,
President of the International Red Cross in Geneva and
formerly League of Nations Commissioner at Danzig.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: May it please the Tribunal, Dr.
Burckhardt is obviously in a very special position. As
President of the International Red Cross he is a person to
whom all belligerents, irrespective of country, are indebted
and the point that the prosecution make is that if he can
speak to evidence coming from Hitler himself, that is if he
can prove either by saying that he was informed by Hitler
that the defendant Ribbentrop had interceded, or if he can
say he saw letters received by Hitler from Ribbentrop, the
prosecution would have no objection.

If he is merely going to say that Ribbentrop told him so,
the prosecution would object.

Therefore, we submit that the reasonable course would be
that he should make an affidavit as to his means of
knowledge, and if that is done and if the means of knowledge
are satisfactory, I should not think for a moment that the
prosecution would do anything but accept the evidence of Dr.

The second point, we submit, is irrelevant: the question of
the results of the English promises of guarantee to Poland
on the position in Danzig.

DR. HORN: Apart from the reasons which I have already
submitted in my application I can also say that Professor
Burckhardt visited Ribbentrop and Hitler in the year 1943,
and therefore can make detailed statements.That answers the
first question by Sir David.

I agree, however, that Professor Burckhardt submit the
necessary affidavit and thus be spared a personal
examination.The next witness is the Swiss Ambassador
Feldscher, who was, to our knowledge, Ambassador in Berlin.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: I suggest, my Lord, that he is in
the same position as Dr. Burckhardt. He should be dealt with
in the same way.DR. HORN: I agree, Mr. President.

The next witness is the former Prime Minister of Great
Britain, Mr. Winston Churchill.

                                                  [Page 275]

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: May it please the Tribunal, the
prosecution objects to this application, and with the
greatest respect to Dr. Horn, submits that there are no
relevant reasons disclosed in the application now before the
Tribunal. The first part of it is apparently on account of a
conversation which does not touch the facts of this case,
and the second part is also a discussion of a conversation
which apparently took place some years before the war,
between the German Ambassador and a gentleman who at that
time was in no official position in England. But what
relevancy the conversation has to any of the issues in this
case the prosecution respectfully submits is not only non-
apparent but non-existent.

DR. HORN: Against this statement of Sir David, I want first
to point out the following:

Prime Minister Winston Churchill was at that time Leader of
His Majesty's Opposition in Parliament. In this capacity we
may attribute to him a sort of official position,
particularly since he, to my knowledge, as Leader of the
Opposition is even paid a salary.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: I am sure that Dr. Horn would be the
last person to rely on a point on which he has been

Mr. Churchill was not Leader of His Majesty's Opposition at
any period and was certainly not from 1936 to 1938, when the
defendant Ribbentrop was ambassador. Mr. Attlee was then
leader of the Opposition. Mr. Churchill was not in office;
was a back bench member of the Conservative Party, an
independent member of the Conservative Party at that time.

I did not want my friend to be under any misapprehension.

DR. HORN: At any rate, Mr. President, Mr. Churchill was one
of the statesmen best known in Germany. This statement which
Churchill made at that time on the occasion of his call at
the embassy was immediately reported to Hitler by Ribbentrop
and was, in all probability, one of the reasons for Hitler
making the statements quoted in the so-called Hoszbach
Document, submitted as 386-PS, statements and declarations
so surprising to the participants, and in which the
prosecution saw the first definite evidence of a conspiracy
in the sense of the Indictment.

Furthermore, I would like to say that the British
prosecuting counsel, Lt.-Col. Griffith-Jones, mentioned that
after the seizure of Czechoslovakia by Germany, people in
England and Poland became very concerned. Therefore,
negotiations between England and Poland were started, and a
pact of guarantee concluded.As a result of this statement by
Churchill mentioned already, and of those by other important
British statesmen, that England would bring about a
coalition against Germany within a few years in order to
oppose Hitler with all available means - as a result of
these statements, Hitler became henceforth more keenly
anxious to increase his own armaments and to prepare
strategic plans.For these reasons I consider Churchill's
statement extraordinarily important and I ask that this
witness be called.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: I have stated my point, my Lord. I
do not think I can add to it.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal would like to have Dr. Horn's
observations, which they have only heard through the
microphone, in writing on this subject.

DR. HORN: As the next witnesses I name Lord Londonderry,
Lord Kemsley, Lord Beaverbrook and Lord Vansittart.
Interrogatories have already been sent out to these

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: These witnesses are being dealt with
by interrogatories and we make no objection to that

DR. HORN: As the next witness I would like to call Admiral
Schuster; last address, Kiel.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: We object to the calling of Admiral
Schuster. The grounds for his being asked for are that he
took part in the negotiations which

                                                  [Page 276]

led to the German-English Naval Treaty of 1935. Apparently
the point that is desired to be made is that the treaty was
concluded on this defendant's initiative.

The prosecution submit that that point is irrelevant; that
the negotiations before the treaty are irrelevant, and the
treaty is there for the Tribunal to take judicial notice of,
and on it my friend can found any argument which he desires.

But in general, the prosecution wish to stress that going
into negotiations anterior to old-standing treaties would be
an intolerable waste of time when there are so many vital
issues before the Tribunal.

DR. HORN: In this trial we are discussing the problem of
plans and preparations. In this connection it is certainly
not inappropriate to hear evidence as to what the German
Government, and especially Ribbentrop, had planned and
prepared at that time. The planning and preparations which
took place within the negotiations leading to the signing of
the Naval Treaty, were carried further than just to the
conclusion of that treaty. The treaty was considered by von
Ribbentrop and Admiral Schuster can bear witness to the fact
- to be the first cornerstone in a close alliance between
England and Germany. To make clear to the Tribunal these
intentions and thereby the policy which the defendant von
Ribbentrop pursued, I consider this witness important; and I
ask Sir David to modify his position.SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE:
I am afraid I cannot. My colleagues and I have considered
this matter very carefully and I have put our general
position as to pre-treaty negotiations, especially as to
treaties of long standing. With the greatest desire to be
reasonable, to help Dr. Horn, I am very sorry I cannot, at
this point, accede to his request.

GENERAL RUDENKO: I would like to add to what my colleague,
Sir David, has stated by the following remarks:

Dr. Horn has requested us to justify our arguments. I
believe that there is one fundamental divergence in this
matter between the prosecution and the defence: the defence
in calling witnesses, tries to give evidence of the
defendant's attempts to conclude peace-promoting agreements.
We proceed from another fact, namely, the treacherous
breaking of concluded agreements and the commission of
crimes violating these agreements. It seems to be quite
superfluous, to call witnesses to prove that the defendant
strove, in view of these considerations, to sign peaceful
agreements. The violation of these agreements and their
treacherous non-fulfilment are generally known facts.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Horn, in order to test the relevancy of
this class of evidence, I should like to ask you this

Assuming that Ribbentrop did want to make agreements with
England and did not wish that Germany should make war on
England, what relevancy would that have to the allegation
that Germany was planning to make war upon Poland?

DR. HORN: Mr. President, to be able to answer that question
conclusively as far as the conduct of the defence is
concerned, I would have to go back to the political and
diplomatic conditions which existed in the period before the
second World War. As to the reasons for calling witnesses, I
would not like to enter into arguments on such matters of
principle, before I have thoroughly scrutinised all possible
evidence at my disposal and formed a definite opinion and a
basis for my conduct of the defence. The ruling which the
President gave regarding reasons for summoning witnesses -
that the Tribunal will help us to procure the witnesses and
the evidentiary material - I have understood to mean that
for the summoning of witnesses, we only have to state
reasons which in all probability would be confirmed by the
witnesses themselves after preliminary interrogation.To make
it quite clear, I do not wish to commit myself.THE
PRESIDENT: It is a material question to consider in
determining what evidence is relevant. But as you do not
wish to commit yourself upon the point, you can proceed.

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