The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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                                                   [Page 11]


MONDAY, 25th MARCH, 1946

THE MARSHAL: May it please the Tribunal: The defendants
Streicher and Ribbentrop are absent from this session.


(Dr. Seidl goes to the lectern.)

DR. SEIDL (counsel for defendant Hess): Mr. President, on
Friday last I stated that I would not read anything from the
first volume of the document book; that does not mean,
however, that I should not like to refer to one or the other
document in my brief: The question now arises whether under
these circumstances, these documents, to which I may refer,
but which I will not read now, should be submitted as
evidence to the Tribunal, or whether it is sufficient if
these documents are copied down in the book. I would be
grateful if the Tribunal would help me to decide this

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, I have a suggestion to
make, that the Tribunal take these documents de bene esse at
the moment and that when Dr. Seidl comes to make his final
speech, then any point as to admissibility can be discussed.
With regard to the third book, for example, that consists of
a number of opinions of various politicians and economists
in various countries. The prosecution will, in due course,
submit that these have no evidential value and in fact
relate to a matter too remote to be relevant. But I should
have thought the convenient course would have been to
discuss that when we find what ultimate use Dr. Seidl makes
of the documents, at the moment letting them go in, as I
suggest, de bene esse.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Seidl, the Tribunal think that you should
offer the documents in evidence now, and that they should be
numbered consecutively. Probably the best way would be with
the letter "H" in front of them - H No. 1 and so on - and
that then, as Sir David says, as they are being offered all
together, objection, if necessary, can be taken to them at a
later stage - objection with regard to admissibility or

DR. SEIDL: Very well. I turn once more to volume 1 of the
document book. The first document is a speech made by the
defendant Rudolf Hess on 8th July, 1934. This document will
bear the number H-1, page 23 of the document book. The
second document can be found on page 27 of the document book

THE PRESIDENT: One moment, Dr. Seidl, to what issue has this
speech relevance?

DR. SEIDL: The speech of the 8th July, 1934?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes. Well, it is the one on page 23. It is
8th July, 1934.

DR. SEIDL: Yes, Mr. President, this speech deals with the
question of war and peace. Since the defendant Hess is
accused of having participated in the psychological
preparation of aggressive war, and thus also of being a
participant in the conspiracy, it seems to me that the
attitude of the defendant Hess toward the question of a war
is of considerable importance as regards evidence.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well. We will allow you to read it.

DR. SEIDL: Mr. President, I do not intend to read the speech
now. I only want to bring up the speech as a document so as
to be able to refer to it in my speech, if necessary.


                                                   [Page 12]

DR. SEIDL I shall read nothing at all from the first
document book. I shall only mention certain documents as

I turn to page 28 of the document book. This is another
speech by the defendant Hess, delivered on 27th November,
1934. The number of this exhibit will be H-2.

THE PRESIDENT: The speech of the 8th December, 1934, begins
on page 27,

DR. SEIDL: Page 27 - that is right. It was marked here
incorrectly. As the third exhibit I submit a speech - that
is to say, an excerpt from a speech - of the 17th November,
1938, page 31 of the document book, Exhibit H-3.

I turn to page 32 of the document book, an excerpt from a
speech delivered on the 11th October, 1935, Exhibit H-4.

Then comes a speech of the 14th March, 1936, page 33 of the
document book, Exhibit H-5.

The next exhibit is on page 35 of the document book, a
speech of the 21St March, 1936, Exhibit H-6.

Exhibit H-7 is a speech on page 36 of the document book.

Exhibit H-8 is a speech of the 6th June, 1936, on page 40 of
the document book.

Then, I turn to page 43 of the document book, a speech at
the Reichsparteitag in Nuremberg, 1936, Exhibit H-9.

There follow excerpts of a speech on page 59 of the document
book, Exhibit H-10.

A speech of the 14th May, 1938, at Stockholm is found on
page 70 of the document book, Exhibit H-11.

The next exhibit is on page 78 of the document book, Exhibit

So much for the first volume of the document book.

I pass on to the second volume, to the affidavit which I
submitted last Friday. It can be found on page 164 of the
document book. It is an affidavit made by the former
Secretary, Hildegard Fath, and it will bear the Exhibit No.

The next exhibit is on page 86 of the document book, Volume
2, a decree of 3rd June, 1936, Exhibit H-14.

And now I come to the point where I shall read certain
excerpts from the minutes of the meeting between the
defendant Hess and Lord Simon, which took place on 10th
June, 1941. These minutes begin on page 93 of the document
book. The minutes will be Exhibit H-15.

Your Honours, the defendant Hess, on the 10th May, 1941,
flew to England. Nobody except his then adjutant Hitsch knew
of this flight. The Fuehrer himself was informed about the
flight and the intentions connected therewith in a letter
which was delivered to the Fuehrer after Hess had already
landed in England. After his arrival in England, Hess was
frequently questioned by officials of the Foreign Office
and, as already mentioned, a meeting took place between him
and Lord Simon on the 10th June, 1941. This meeting lasted
two hours and a half. In the course of this meeting, the
defendant Hess told Lord Simon the reasons for his
extraordinary undertaking and he then submitted four
proposals, or four points which he claimed embodied the
intentions of Adolf Hitler, and which he considered to be
the basis for an understanding and final peace.

During the conference Lord Simon assumed a pseudonym; in the
minutes which were given to the defendant Hess shortly after
the meeting, he is referred to as Dr. Guthrie.

As far as I know, this measure was probably taken to prevent
the stenographers or the translators from knowing at once
what it was all about. In the minutes mention is also made
of a Dr. Mackenzie, an official of the Foreign Office, and
of Mr. Kirkpatrick, who had previously already spoken with
the defendant Hess.

After a few introductory remarks by Lord Simon, the
defendant Hess began to explain the reasons which led him to
take his singular step, and I quote on page 93 of the
document book, about the middle of the page. I must add in
the minutes,

                                                   [Page 13]

the defendant Hess is referred to by the name "J". The
defendant Hess, after the introductory remarks, said the

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Seidl, there seems to be a typographical
error, probably in the date. The date is given as the 9th of
August. You said the 10th of June, did you not?

DR. SEIDL: The 10th of June, yes.

THE PRESIDENT: Is this a mistake at the top of page 93 -

DR. SEIDL: On the cover of the document there is the
following remark:

"Minutes of the conversation which took place on the 9th
June, 1941, somewhere in England." On the inside of the
document, there is also the entry 9/6/41; so there must
obviously be a typographical error here.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, it must have been. They put "8" instead
of "6".



DR. SEIDL: "I know that nobody, probably, has correctly
understood my coming; but in view of the extraordinary step
that I have taken, that can by no means be expected,
Therefore I would like to begin by explaining how I came to
do this."

I continue on page 94:

  "The idea came to me in June of last year, during the
  time of the French campaign, while visiting the Fuehrer."

I believe I may omit the following incidental remarks and
continue quoting further:

  "I must admit that I came to the Fuehrer convinced, as we
  all were, that sooner or later in the end we would surely
  conquer England, and I expressed the opinion to the
  Fuehrer that we must naturally demand from England the
  restitution of goods - such as the equivalent of our
  merchant fleet, etc. - , which had been taken from us by
  the Versailles Treaty."

I turn to page 95:

  "The Fuehrer then immediately contradicted me. He was of
  the opinion that the war could possibly be an occasion
  for coming to an agreement with England, which he had
  attempted to achieve ever since he had been politically
  active. To this I can testify, that, ever since I have
  known the Fuehrer, since 1921, the Fuehrer has always
  said, that an agreement between Germany and England had
  to be achieved. He said he would bring this about as soon
  as he achieved power. He told me at that time in France
  that one should not impose any severe conditions, even if
  victorious, on a country with which one desired to come
  to an agreement. At that the thought came to me that if
  this were known in England, it might be possible that
  England also might be ready for an agreement."

I turn now to page 96 of the document book.

  "Then, at the conclusion of the French campaign came the
  Fuehrer's offer to England. The offer, as is known, was
  refused. This made me all the more firm in my belief that
  under these circumstances I had to execute my plan.
  During the subsequent period came the air war between
  Germany and England, which, on the whole, meant heavier
  losses and damages for England than for Germany.
  Consequently, I had the impression that England could no
  longer give in without losing considerable prestige. That
  is why I said to myself, now I must realize my plan all
  the more, for if I were over in England, England could be
  enabled to cultivate negotiations with Germany without
  loss of prestige."

I turn now to page 97 of the document book. After a short
incidental remark by Dr. Mackenzie, Hess continued:

                                                   [Page 14]

  "I was of the opinion that apart from the question of
  terms for an agreement, there would be still in England a
  certain general distrust to overcome. I must confess that
  I faced a very critical decision, the most critical in my
  life, of course, and I believed I was aided by
  continuously keeping before my inner vision the picture
  of an endless row of children's coffins with the mothers
  crying behind them on the German side as well as on the
  English side..."

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Seidl, have you got the original document
there before you?


THE PRESIDENT: Might it be handed up?


(The document was handed to the President.)

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, go on.

DR. SEIDL: " ... and vice-versa, the coffins of mothers with
the children behind them.

  I want to mention certain points which, I believe, have a
  certain importance from the psychological point of view.
  I must go back a bit. After Germany's defeat in the World
  War, the Versailles Treaty was imposed on her; and no
  serious historian is to-day still of the opinion that
  Germany was to blame for the World War. Lloyd George has
  said that the nations stumbled into the war. I recently
  read an English historian - Farrar - who wrote about
  Edward VII and his policy. This historian Farrar lays the
  main guilt for the war on the policies of Edward VII.
  After her collapse Germany had this treaty imposed upon
  her, which was not only a frightful calamity for Germany
  but also for the whole world. All attempts of
  politicians, of statesmen in Germany, before the Fuehrer
  came to power - that is to say, when Germany was a pure
  democracy - , to obtain any sort of relief failed."

I forgo the reading of the following part of the minutes
literally. A conversation followed on various points. Among
other things the subject of the conversation then was the
aerial strength of Germany at that time, and the
preparations with regard to the building of U boats. I do
not believe that these questions are relevant in the present
connection; and so I shall turn at once to that part of the
minutes where mention is made of the proposals which Hess
made to Lord Simon. This is on page 152 of the document
book. From the minutes we can see that Hess had previously
written down the proposals which he wanted to submit. He
gave these notes to Dr. Mackenzie, and Mr. Kirkpatrick, who
then read and translated them and I now quote on page 152,
at the bottom of the page, literally:

"Basis for an understanding" - "Grundlage der
Verstaendigung" - and here I have to ask the Tribunal to
turn from page 152 of the document book to page 159 of the
document book for the reason that the first point in the
proposal obviously has been presented in the wrong fashion.
On page 159, about the middle of the page, there is a
statement by Dr. Mackenzie which expresses the first point
correctly, and I quote:

  "In order to prevent future wars between the Axis and
  England, the limits of the spheres of interest should be
  defined. The sphere of interest of the Axis is Europe,
  and England's sphere of interest is the Empire."

I ask now that you turn back, namely to page 153 of the
document book. Here we find on the last line the second
point of the proposals which Hess made. Dr. Mackenzie is
reading: "2. Return of German Colonies."

I turn to page 154 of the document book and begin to quote
at the top of the page:

It is possible that the figure 2 is inadvertently repeated
here in the document book. It should be 3.

                                                   [Page 15]

  "Indemnification of German citizens who before or during
  the war had their residence within the British Empire and
  who suffered damage to life and property through measures
  of a Government of the Empire or as a result of pillage,
  riot, etc.; indemnification of British subjects by
  Germany on the same basis.
  4. Armistice and peace to be concluded with Italy at the
  same time."

Then there is a personal remark by Hess as follows:

  "The Fuehrer in our conversation repeatedly presented
  these points to me in general as the basis for an
  understanding with England."

I shall not read any further excerpts from these minutes.

I forgo the reading of the other passages marked in red. The
conference was terminated by a statement made by Lord Simon
to the effect that he would bring the proposals made by Hess
to the knowledge of the British Government. That was Exhibit

Your Honours, the defendant Rudolf Hess is accused in the
Indictment of helping the Nazi conspirators to seize power
and of furthering the military, economic, and psychological
preparations for the war as mentioned under Count I of the
Indictment; of participating in the political planning and
preparation of aggressive wars and of war in violation of
international treaties, agreements and promises, as
mentioned in Counts 1 and 2, and of participating in the
preparation and planning of foreign political plans of the
Nazi conspirators as listed under Count 1.

That accusation is the nucleus of the Indictment against
Rudolf Hess. It is therefore my duty to discuss also briefly
in evidence the circumstances which in 1939 led to the
outbreak of war. In that respect I have the following to

On the 23rd August, 1939, at Moscow, a non-aggression pact
was concluded between Germany and the Soviet Union, which
has already been submitted by the prosecution as Exhibit GB
145. On the same day, that is to say one week before the
outbreak of the war and three days before the planned attack
on Poland, these two nations also made a secret agreement.
This secret agreement essentially contained the definition
of the spheres of interest of both nations within the
European territory lying between Germany and the Soviet

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