The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1999/12/15

Q. If you had knowledge of any of their activities - I
understand from your evidence that you had none of the
activities about which your own Ausland Organisation
Yearbook publishes a story. Both in Norway and Greece, the
activities were recounted in those two stories. You knew
nothing about them at all, is that right?

A. I did not know about the activity in Norway. I have
already testified to that effect. I was very familiar with
the activity in Greece which was along perfectly normal

Q. Very well. I want to leave that, and I just want to ask
you two questions about another matter. Am I right in saying
that the information - and I am not going to argue with you
now as to what type of information it was - but the
information that your organisation sent back, was that
passed on to the defendant Hess?

A. Sometimes, yes, and sometimes, no. It depended upon the
nature of the information. If it was information on foreign
policy it was, of course, sent to another office.

Q. You were in fact acting as a pool of information, were
you not? Let me explain myself: You were forwarding
information that you received to the S.S.

A. Sometimes, yes; if not to the S.S. then probably ...

Q. To the foreign office?

A. Sometimes also to the foreign office.

Q. And to the Abwehr, were you not?

A. Very seldom, but it happened occasionally.

Q. You say very slightly. Did you not have a liaison officer
attached to your organization from the Abwehr?

A. No. I had only one assistant who maintained an honorary
connection with the Abwehr, if the occasion arose.

Q. Perhaps we are talking about the same gentleman. Did you
not have a Captain Schnauss attached to your head office in

A. Herr Schnauss has never been a captain but he was a
political leader and

                                                   [Page 33]

honorary S.S. leader. In the Army, I believe he was a
sergeant. He also did not come from the Abwehr, he was chief
of personnel of the Ausland Organisation and his function in
this organisation was purely honorary.

Q. You say he was not a liaison officer between your
organisation and the Abwehr?

A. No, he was not an officer at all. He was not a member of
the Wehrmacht.

Q. I do not want to quibble with you about his rank. Was he,
in effect, whatever he was, acting in a capacity of liaison
between you and the Abwehr?

A. Yes, that is correct.

Q. Very well. Now, in addition to the information that Hess
obtained through your system of reporting, that is, the
Ausland Organisation, did he also obtain information from
those organisations which were dealing with the
Volksdeutsche, that is to say, non-German citizens, racial
Germans abroad who were not members of your organisation,
because you only allowed German citizens to become members
of your organisation. But others - Volksdeutsche, I think
you call them - did Hess receive information from other
sources about their activities?

A. I could not say, because I did not discuss it with Hess,
and the affairs of the Volksdeutsche (Germans who are
citizens of the other countries) were entirely out of my

Q. Dr. Karl Haushofer was for some time in 1938 and 1939
president of the V.D.A., was he not?

A. I believe so.

Q. Which was an organisation dealing with the activities of
the Volksdeutsche in foreign countries. Is that correct?

A. Yes, I believe so. I am not familiar with this field.

Q. And, as you know, Hess and Karl Haushofer were great
friends, were they not?

A. Yes, that is correct.

Q. Haushofer had been Hess's pupil at Munich University; did
you know that?

A. Vice versa.

Q. Do you not know that Hess received information from
Haushofer as to the activities of these other organisations?

A. No, I know nothing about it.

Q. Well, now, I do not want to catch you out. Is that your
answer? Are you being honest to this Tribunal?

A. No. I wanted to add that the Deputy of the Fuehrer very
painstakingly separated the "Auslandsdeutsche," i.e.
citizens of the Reich who worked abroad and the
"Volksdeutsche," and with equal care he made certain that I
should have nothing to do with the questions of
Volksdeutsche. Therefore I knew nothing of these matters.

Q. Hess as Deputy to the Fuehrer was in fact in charge of
all matters concerning Germanism abroad, was he not?

A. Yes that is so, because he was born abroad. However - to
my knowledge, he did not take charge of these matters in his
capacity as Deputy to the Fuehrer: I do not believe that
there was any connection.

Q. Are you telling the Tribunal that just because he was
born in a foreign country he had charge of all matters
concerning Germanism abroad?

A. I believe so, because any other Reichsleiter of the Party
might very well have taken care of these matters. However, I
assume that Hess took over these functions simply because he
was familiar with foreign countries.

Q. I want to be quite clear. Whatever the reason was, he in
fact did have charge of them. That is your evidence?

A. Yes.

Q. Now, I just want to remind you of a passage in your
interrogation in this building on the 9th of November. Do
you remember that you were interrogated on the 9th of
November last.

                                                   [Page 34]

A. November, yes.

Q. You were interrogated by a Lieutenant Martin, the
afternoon of that day.

A. By Lieutenant Martin, yes.

Q. Let me read a short extract from the transcript of that
interrogation and ask you whether, in fact, it is correct.
You were being asked about the information which came back
through the Ausland Organisation.

  "Q. He would have to rely on you for his information, on
  matters of that kind?
  A. Not entirely; I think Hess had a great many
  connections in Hamburg through which he obtained
  information which he did not relay to me.
  Q. What were his connections in Hamburg?
  A. The shipping companies.
  Q. Rather like your Landesgruppenleiter instructions in
  A. I think he knew a number of people there. I have
  always been convinced
  that he knew them.
  Q. Is that Helferich?
  A. Helferich was one, but then there were many people
  from whom he received information. I believe from
  Professor Haushofer, his old teacher, with whom he was
  very friendly. But he always made it a point not to
  inform us of anything that concerned the Volksdeutsche;
  he said : 'It is not your affair at all'."

Is that correct?

A. That is quite correct, yes.

Q. And as you have said it there, is that a correct
description of the position that Hess was in with regard to
information from abroad, from agents abroad? Does that
correctly state the facts as they were?

A. So far as I can see, it is probably correct. I myself can
judge only to the extent to which the reports concerned the
Ausland Organisation. I can only guess about the other
reports. I cannot give any definite information because I
was not in his confidence.

questions. Perhaps I might get the Exhibits in order, the
ones that I have referred to.

The Year Book of the Deutsche Ausland, from which the
stories about Norway and Greece came, becomes Exhibit GB
284. The two translations that you have are numbered 153 and
156, both of which also become Exhibit GIB 284.

The secret wireless telegram, which was M-158, becomes
Exhibit GB 285; and the letter from Landesgruppenleiter
Konradi, which was document PS-3796, becomes Exhibit GB 286.

THE WITNESS: May I add something to a point which was
brought up by the British cross-examination?


THE WITNESS: May I begin?

THE PRESIDENT: You may give a short explanation. You are not
here to make a speech.

THE WITNESS: No, I do not want to make a speech. I merely
wish to say the following on the question of secret
transmitters which was brought up this morning: Although I
am not familiar with the technique of these secret
transmitters, I assume that a secret transmitter would be of
use in a foreign country only if there were a receiving set
in Berlin. I am certain that to my knowledge there was never
such a receiving set, either in my office in Berlin or in
any other office of the Ausland Organisation, and therefore
I may assume that such a receiving set did not exist.


Q. Do you recall being interrogated on September 11th, 1945,
by Colonel Brundage?

A. Yes.

                                                   [Page 35]

Q. I want to read you a few questions and answers from your
interrogation and ask you whether you recall being asked
those questions and having made those answers.

  "Q. Now, when you started, your immediate superior was
  A. Rudolf Hess, until 1941 when he left for England.
  Q. Who succeeded him?
  A. Martin Bormann. Martin Bormann automatically succeeded
  Hess, but he did not really fill Hess's position, because
  Hess had been born abroad in Egypt, while Martin Bormann
  understood nothing about foreign affairs. He paid no
  attention to them at all, but of course, he was my
  Q. But he was nominally your chief?
  A. He was technically my chief, but he gave me no orders,
  directives or similar instructions, because he did not
  understand anything about these things.
  Q. So that everything that was done in your office, you
  would say you were responsible for?
  A. Absolutely.
  Q. And you are willing to accept the responsibility for
  A. Naturally."

Do you remember being asked those questions and having made
those answers?

A. That is absolutely correct.

Q. And were those answers true when you made them?

A. Absolutely true.

Q. And are they still true to-day?

A. They are still true.

Q. So that you accept responsibility for everything which
your office was conducting, is that true?

A. Yes, that is correct.

Q. Who was von Straempel?

A. Von Straempel was, I believe, Councillor to the Embassy
in the Foreign Office, but I do not know him very well.

Q. Was he not the first secretary in the German Embassy in
the United States from 1938 until Pearl Harbour?

A. I cannot say definitely. I knew him only superficially
and had absolutely no connection with him.

Q. Well, he was interrogated with respect to the support of
the German-American Bund by the Ausland Organisation prior
to 1938, and I want to read you just one or two questions
and answers which he made and ask you whether they conform
to your understanding of the facts. Do you understand?

A. Yes.

  "Q. Was the German-American Bund supported by the Ausland
  A. I am positive that it was connected with the foreign
  section of the Party. For example, the Bund received
  instructions from the Party on how to build up their
  political organization, how, where and when to hold mass
  meetings and how to handle their propaganda. Personally,
  I do not know whether they received financial support."

Does that conform with your understanding of the facts?

A. No, that is a completely false representation. The
Ausland Organization gave absolutely no financial support
and had no connection with the Volksbund of German-
Americans. I have stated that clearly in many interrogations
here in Nuremberg, and have signed an affidavit to that

Q. I know you have. So that if von Straempel has sworn that
that is a fact, your testimony is that he was not telling
the truth. Is that correct?

A. I am of the opinion that if von Straempel was legation
secretary, or secretary of another office, he could not have
known of the matter and he therefore testified

                                                   [Page 36]

about something of which he obviously knew nothing. In any
event, what he said is not true.

Q. Are you familiar with the fact that in 1938 an order was
issued prohibiting members of the German Embassies and
Consulates to continue relations or connections with the

A. It was a general order for German citizens abroad to
resign from the Bund if they were members. But as far as I
know, that order was issued by the Deputy of the Fuehrer
upon my request some years previously about 1935 or 1936.

DR. SEIDL (counsel for the defendant Hess): I object to this
question, it has no connection with the evidence for which
the witness Bohle was called, during his direct examination
he was not questioned on any subject which has the slightest
relation to the question of the activity of the German-
American Bund. I do not believe that this form of
interrogation is designed to test the witness, as it has no
bearing on the subject.

COLONEL AMEN: It seems to me to have a very direct bearing
on whether or not this organisation was engaged in espionage
work abroad and within the United States.

THE PRESIDENT: Certainly; in the opinion of the Tribunal,
the questions are perfectly proper.


Q. Is it not a fact that in spite of that order, the foreign
section of the Nazi Party nevertheless continued to support
the Bund?

A. No, I was not aware of that and I consider it to be

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