The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1999/12/15

Q. Just pay attention to me for perhaps one moment before
you look at that document. Do you know that Butting shared a
house at The Hague with the Military Intelligence Office? Do
you know that?

A. No, I do not.

Q. Now, I want to quote you quite shortly two paragraphs of
this document, which is a report published as an official
United States publication, called "National Socialism, Basic
Principles, Their Application by the Nazi Party's Foreign
Organization, and The Use of Germans Abroad for Nazi Aims."
I just want you to tell the Tribunal what you think first of
all about this report, which is printed in that book:

  "In 1938 the German legation owned two houses in The
  Hague. Both were of course the subject of diplomatic
  immunity and therefore inviolable as concerned search and
  seizure by the Dutch police. I shall call the house in
  which Dr. Butting had his office House No. 2. What went
  on in House No. 2? It had been remodelled and was divided
  like a two-family house - vertically, not horizontally;
  but between the two halves there was a communicating
  door. One side of the house was Dr. Butting's. The other
  half housed the Nazi Military Intelligence agent for

You say that you do not know anything about that?

A. Butting was Landesgruppenleiter of the Ausland
Organization. I am hearing about this house, or these two
houses, for the first time. This is entirely new to me.

Q. Very well. I will just go on.

  "S.B. (the military intelligence agent) may have had as
  many as a dozen subordinates working in Holland, all sub-
  agents of the Canaris bureau. These were professional
  spies who knew their trade. But they could not possibly
  know Holland as intimately as was required by the
  strategy of the German High Command, as was revealed
  following the invasion of May, 1940. For this, not a
  dozen but perhaps several hundred sources of information
  were necessary. And it is at this point that Butting and
  the military intelligence agent come together. Through
  his German Citizens' Association, Butting had a pair of
  Nazi eyes, a pair of Nazi cars, in every town and hamlet
  of the Netherlands. They were the eyes and ears of his
  minor Party officials. Whenever the military intelligence
  agent needed information concerning a corner of Holland
  which his people had not yet explored, or was anxious to
  check information relayed to him by one of his own
  people, he would go to Butting."

Do you know whether Butting assisted the military
intelligence agent in Holland in any way like that?

A. I was told later that he aided him in Holland. In what
proportion he helped him I do not know, for he had had no
such missions from me.

Q. I understand, he had no instructions but he was doing it.
Just turn now to the last paragraph on that page, too:

  "'I know every stone in Holland,' S.B. once boasted. By
  'stone' he meant canal, lock, bridge, viaduct, culvert,
  highway, by-road, airport, emergency landing field, and
  the name and location of Dutch Nazi sympathisers who
  would help the invading army when the time came. Had Dr.
  Butting's Party organization not existed under the
  innocent cover of his Citizen's Association, SB's
  knowledge of Holland would have been as nothing compared
  with what it was. Thus the Citizens' Association served a
  double purpose; it was invaluable for espionage at the
  same time as it fulfilled its primary function as a Fifth
  Column agency."

Do you know whether the members of your organization in
Holland were given instructions to learn about every canal,
lock, bridge, viaduct, railway, and so on?

                                                   [Page 25]

A. No, I had not the least idea of this.

Q. Very well. I want you to be quite clear. I am putting to
you that your organization was in the first place an
espionage system reporting information of importance back to
the Reich, and, in the second place, it was an organization
aimed to help, and which did help, your invading German
armies when they overran the frontiers of their neighbouring
States. Do you understand those two points?

A. Yes, indeed.

Q. Did your organization publish an annual book, your "Year
Book of the Foreign Organization"?

A. Yes.

Q. And did that book contain information as to the
activities of your organization during the year?

A. Partially, yes.

Q. I suppose that the Tribunal would be safe in assuming
that what was published in that book was accurate

A. One may assume that.

Q. Will you look at the "Year Book for 1942"? I have copies
of the extracts. Would you turn to page 37 of that book? If
you look back one or two pages in the book, you will find
that that is an article entitled "The Work of the Norway
Branch of the Ausland Organization in the War". Is that
written by your Landesgruppenleiter in Norway?

A. I assume so, I cannot recall this.

Q. Will you look at page 37 and you will see that there are
some passages
in the book that you have in front of you that have been
lightly marked in pencil along the side.

A. Yes, I have it.

Q. Will you find the paragraph which starts, "Therefore,
soon after the outbreak of war in September, 1939 ."

Have you got that?

A. Yes, I have it.

Q. Perhaps you will be so kind as to follow me.

  "Therefore, soon after the outbreak of war in September,
  1939, the enlargement and extension of the German
  legation in Oslo, of the consulates in Bergen, Trondheim,
  Stavanger, Kristiansand, Haugesund, Narvik and Kirkenes
  as the official representatives of German interests in
  Oslo proved to be of primary importance. This enlargement
  of the Reich agencies resulted in the local organization
  of the N.S.D.A.P. in Norway having to increase its field
  of activity too, in the same proportion, in order to
  support the work of the Reich agencies, particularly with
  Party members and other Germans who had a thorough
  knowledge of the country and language."

Why, in September 39, was it necessary for the Party to
increase its organization in Norway with people having
higher knowledge of the country and language? Answer me that
before you read on. You need not worry about the rest; we
are going to deal with it. Why was it necessary in 1939 to
enlarge your organization?

A. In Norway, as far as I recall, there were only 80 members
of the Party in all, and it goes without saying that after
the outbreak of the war, the agencies not only of Germany
but also, as you know, those of other States, were enlarged
and were assisted by national elements, who knew the country
concerned. That did not hold true for Germany alone but for
all the nations participating in the war.

Q. Yes. I still do not understand why your perfectly
harmless organization should have found it necessary to
increase its membership with people who had a profound
knowledge of the language and the country. Why should the
Ausland Organization have found it necessary?

A. Because the Reich agencies also needed Germans who knew
the country and the people, namely to furnish information on
the German targets of attack in Norway - exactly what every
other nation did too.

                                                   [Page 26]

Q. Well, your answer is, is it, that you required them to
tell you about targets in Norway. Is that your answer?

A. No, I did not say that. I said that they were to be at
the disposal of the agencies in Norway in case they were
needed for giving information, that is for German propaganda
purposes among the Norwegians. I would like to emphasize
once again that that was done not only by Germany but, of
course, by all the warring countries.

Very well, let us go on and see what happens next:

  "The choice and appointment of these supplementary
  collaborators was carried out by the local leader of the
  organization in close collaboration with the
  representatives of the Reich. Therefore, from the first
  moment of the outbreak of war, a great number of Party
  members were taken away from their jobs and employed in
  the service of the nation and the Fatherland. Without any
  hesitation and without considering their personal
  interests, their families, their careers or their
  property, they joined the ranks and devoted themselves
  body and soul to new and often dangerous tasks."

Tell me, was finding out and reporting about the Norwegian
people, was that an "often dangerous" task?

A. Certainly not.

Q. What, then, were the often dangerous tasks which your own
Landesgruppenleiter is saying members of his organization
were undertaking from the very moment war broke out, in
September 39?

A. I cannot tell you anything about that, for I have no
knowledge whatsoever about this and I cannot conceive any of
these dangerous tasks. I have the impression from this
article, which, incidentally I did not know about until now,
that the Landesgruppenleiter had the natural desire to give
more importance to his organization than it had in reality.

Q. But you say you did not know about this. This appeared in
the official year book of your organization. Did you never
read what appeared in that book?

A. Certainly not everything, for I am not familiar with this

Q. You have told us that the members of your organization
took no, part in this. What about the people who were
responsible for publishing that book? Did they never draw
your attention to an article of that kind?

A. Obviously not.

Q. Just look at the next little paragraph:

  "And the successful results of their work, which was done
  with all secrecy, were revealed when, on the 9th April,
  1940, German troops landed in Norway and forestalled the
  planned flank attack of the Allies."

What work was revealed on the 9th of April? What work which
had been done with all secrecy was revealed on the 9th
April, work carried out by members of your organization?

A. I am sorry I cannot reply, for I have no knowledge
whatsoever of this. I do not know.

Q. I see. Will you look down to the last paragraph of that
page? It is the second sentence - four, five lines down - at
the end of the fifth line. I beg your pardon. You have the
book in front of you; I have forgotten. Will you look at
page 40 of the book? In the centre of a paragraph the last
word of one of the lines starts with "According to the task-
plan" - Have you got it: It is page 40?

A. (The witness shook his head.)

Q. To save time, let me read it.

  "According to the task-plan which had been prepared since
  the outbreak of the war, the leadership of the local
  organization gave orders on the 7th of April for phase
  one of the state of employment ..."

It does not sound, does it, like plans being made for
different phases of an

                                                   [Page 27]

operation? It does not sound, does it, as if the work of
your organization had been simply finding out about
Norwegian people?

A. That might have been, since this is entirely new to me,
exclusively an agreement in the country itself with military
or other authorities. I have had no knowledge of it up to
this moment.

Q. So I understand you to say. But you were the head of this
organization were you not?

A. Yes.

Q. You have come before this International Tribunal and
given them evidence, presumably saying you are in a position
to give them truthful and accurate evidence, is that so?

A. Yes.

Q. Do you understand that?

A. Yes, I understood that.

Q. Well, then, do I understand you to say now that you do
not know what was happening in your organization and
therefore you are not in a position to give evidence as to
whether or not it was a Fifth Column business?

A. It is evident that in an organization of this size the
leader, who has his office at Berlin, cannot know exactly
everything which is going on abroad and especially also that
which is going on against his instructions. I did not have
the same disciplinary authority over my Party members abroad
as did, for instance, some Gauleiter within the Reich. I
need not elaborate on that, because it seems self-evident.
It is also evident, and this I know, that some Germans
abroad, who were called on because of their patriotism in
individual cases, let themselves be used for such purposes
without the knowledge of the Ausland Organization and
against its explicit instructions.

Q. In the interest of time we will not pursue that
particular sphere of activity in Norway, just in case it may
have been an exception which you did not know about.

Let me turn to something else. Will you look at page 65 of
that book?

Is that an article by your Landesgruppenleiter in Greece?

A. Yes.

Q. Is it in the form of a day-to-day diary of the activities
of the Ausland organization in Greece when German troops
invaded that country?

A. Yes.

Q. Will you look at page 65?

  "Sunday the 27th of April. Swastika on the Acropolis."

That is the heading. I beg your pardon. I do not know
whether it comes directly under that heading. This is the
Landesgruppenleiter talking:

  "I set out immediately and quickly visited the other
  quarters where the German colony had been interned, the
  Philadelphia and the Institute. I instructed the inmates
  of the house in Academy Street to give up returning home
  today as well, and to hold themselves in readiness. After
  all, we did want to help the German troops immediately
  with our knowledge of the language and the district. Now
  the moment has come. We must start in immediately."

Do you know -

A. Yes, I even know all about this. It certainly must be
evident that the moment German troops occupied a foreign
city and freed the Germans living abroad who had been
interned, the latter would put themselves at the disposal of
the German troops and help them in every respect as guides,
interpreters, or the like. That is certainly the most
logical thing in the world.

Q. That is in fact what they did do, and the assistance that
your organization appears to have given them is that it
managed to organize them and get them

                                                   [Page 28]

ready to do it, is that not so? That is what your
Landesgruppenleiter seems to be doing?

A. I did not understand that question. Will you please
repeat it?

Q. Do you understand that it is your Landesgruppenleiter who
is organising the members of your organisation, organising
them so that they can give their assistance most
beneficially to the invading armies?

A. That is a completely wrong way to express it. The
Landesgruppenleiter in Greece, who had served at his post
since 1934, could not possibly tell whether there was to be
an invasion of Greece or not. That had not the slightest
thing to do with his kind of organization. The moment that
German troops were in the country it stands to reason that
they would greet their countrymen, act as their hosts, and
help them in every way. That was a patriotic duty taken for

Q. I see.

Just turn to page 66, the next page. Will you find the
paragraph which commences "Meanwhile I organized the
employment of all Party members to do auxiliary service for
the armed forces."

Do you have that?

A. I understand it, although I have not found the place.

Q. You had better find the place.

A. Where shall I find that place?

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