The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: imt/tgmwc//tgmwc-10/tgmwc-10-90.07

Archive/File: imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-10/tgmwc-10-90.07
Last-Modified: 1999/12/15

Q. Now, I would like to read you one or two further extracts
from the interrogation of Straempel and ask you whether
these statements conform with your knowledge of the facts:

  "Q. Did the foreign section of the Party continue to
  support the Bund after the order you mentioned before was
  A. I am sure that Herr Draeger, Consul in New York City
  and representative of the foreign section of the Party,
  did continue to have relations with Bund officials."

Does that conform with your recollection of the facts?

A. No. In my opinion, that does not correspond to the facts.
Naturally, I cannot say whether the Consul Dr. Draeger
maintained his contacts against my order, but there was a
very strict order to withdraw completely from the Bund,
because from the very beginning, I objected strenuously to
the activities of the Bund and was supported in my
objections by the Deputy of the Fuehrer.

Q. You were acquainted with Draeger, were you not?

A. Yes.

Q. What was his position in the United States, in so far as
your organisation was concerned?

A. He was a liaison officer of the Ausland Organization for
the individual Party members in the United States.

Q. He was what was known as a confidential agent, was he

A. No, he was not, naturally, but we had ...

Q. And, as a matter of fact, you called him a "confidential
agent" in your interrogation, did you not?

A. No. I called him a "Vertrauensmann," and this was
translated into "confidence man." I did ...

Q. Well, I will accept that correction. He was a confidence
man for your organisation in the United States. Correct?

A. Correct, yes, that is true.

Q. And in addition to him, there were other confidence men
of your organisation in the United States? Correct?

A. Yes, correct.

                                                   [Page 37]

Q. Will you tell the Tribunal what their names were and
where they were located?

A. One was Wiedemann, Consul General in San Francisco. There
was also Dr. Gyssling in Los Angeles and Consul von Spiegel
in New Orleans, I believe, but I do not know, perhaps it was
Boston. It was one of the two. I believe that is all.

Q. And each of those individuals made reports from time to
time which were forwarded to you through Draeger. Is that
not a fact?

A. No, they made no reports to me. I cannot recall that I
ever saw a report from Wiedemann, Spiegel or Gyssling. That
was not their job.

Q. Draeger made the reports to you, did he not?

A. Draeger made the reports to the Ausland Organisation in
Berlin or to me personally. Mostly to my office.

Q. And contained in those reports were various items of
information collected by other confidential agents? Is that
not correct?

A. I do not know, because I am not familiar with these
reports and I cannot say whether there was anything to
report. We had no Party organisation in the United States,
because it had been dissolved by Rudolf Hess in April, 1933.

Q. So you say: but you nevertheless had an individual in
Germany, whose duty it was to read and pass on these reports
from Draeger as they came in. Is that not a fact?

A. So far as I know, and I believe my information is
correct, the reports that we received were of a purely
technical nature. We had a few Party members in the United
States whose card index and membership fees had to be looked
after in order to preserve their privileges as Party
members. Political activity in the United States was
forbidden and did not actually exist.

Q. But I am suggesting to you that in spite of the order the
activities of your organisation nevertheless continued. Now,
is it not a fact that there was an individual in your
organisation in Germany who received these reports from the
United States regularly?

A. It was my assistant, Herr Grothe, who ...

Q. I beg your pardon?

A. It was my assistant, Herr Grothe.

Q. Correct. Why did you not tell me that before when I asked
you about the individual who read these reports from the
United States as they came in?

A. Please repeat the question, I did not understand it.

Q. Well, I will withdraw that question. After Grothe
received these reports from the United States regularly, to
whom did he report the substance of those reports?

A. So far as I know, he usually kept them because they
contained nothing of interest and he, himself, was not in a
position to use them. Herr Grothe had an honorary position
with us because of his advanced age and took over this
branch of the office because it was of no importance at all
in the Ausland organisation.

Q. So that you were in no position to know what was
contained in those reports?

Is that correct?

A. That is for the most part correct.

Q. So you do not know whether they were important or not and
you do not know whether they contained information relative
to espionage matters or not.

Is that correct?

A. I am sure that if they had contained such information,
Grothe would have submitted them to me.

Q. Well, outside of that, you have no knowledge of it
whatsoever. Is that correct?

A. That is correct.

Q. Now, let me just read you one or two more excerpts from
the interrogation of Von Straempel:

                                                   [Page 38]

  "Q. These relationships seem to have violated the order
  you mentioned before. Did you report these violations to
  the foreign office?
  A. Yes, several times. In reports that I drafted for
  Thomsen when I was in the embassy, we called the
  attention of Berlin to the fact that this relationship to
  the Bund was very detrimental and stated that the
  continued support of the Bund by the foreign section of
  the Party was impairing diplomatic relations with the
  United States.
  Q. What action was taken in Berlin to halt the activities
  of which you complained?
  A. I know of no such action."

Does that conform to your knowledge of the facts?

A. I know nothing of these statements by Herr Straempel.
This is the first time that I have heard of protests from
the Embassy in Washington regarding prohibited connections
between Dr. Draeger and the Bund.

Q. You know who Thomsen was, do you not?

A. Thomsen was charge d'affaires in Washington.

Q. And you know that from time to time various officials of
the Bund came over here and had conferences with
representatives of your Organisation and of the Fuehrer, do
you not?

A. I have heard that they visited the Fuehrer but they did
not visit me and we had no conference of any description.

Q. I did not say with you. I said with representatives of
your office; perhaps your office; perhaps your friend, Herr

A. That is possible, but I cannot say definitely because he
did not report to me on this matter. They could not have
discussed any official matters with Grothe because he knew
very well that I completely repudiated the activities of the
Volksbund in America.

Q. In any event, however, you accept responsibility for
everything which was done in your organisation. Correct?

A. Naturally.

THE PRESIDENT: Do either of the other Chief Prosecutors wish
to cross-examine? Then, Dr. Seidl, you can re-examine if you


Q. Witness, you have already answered a question that I
intended to ask you, whether there was no secret transmitter
in Germany which would have been in a position to broadcast
secret communications to foreign countries. I ask you now:
Did you yourself have a transmitter in Germany?

A. I myself had no transmitter.

Q. Did the Ausland Organisation have such a transmitter?

A. I consider that to be absolutely impossible; if there had
been one, I would have known of it. I never saw one.

Q. Is it correct that in order to communicate with Germans
overseas by radio you yourself did not use code on the
German network?

A. That is correct.

Q. You stated previously that the Deputy of the Fuehrer Hess
was your immediate superior?

A. Yes.

Q. Were the directives given to you by the Deputy of the
Fuehrer of a general nature, or did he go into the details
of the work of the Ausland Organisation?

A. The Deputy of the Fuehrer gave only general directives
and left all the details to me because I had his complete
confidence. In his general directives he impressed upon me
repeatedly in the sharpest terms the fact that it was my
duty to guard against any measures by the Ausland
Organisation that might be detrimental to foreign relations.

                                                   [Page 39]

DR. SEIDL: I have no further questions.

THE PRESIDENT: The witness can retire.

DR. SEIDL: Your Honours, before I go on to my next witness,
that is the witness Stroelin, I should like to submit the
suggestion, or rather the application, to the Tribunal that
the affidavit of the witness Gaus be handled in the same way
as the interrogation of the witness Bohle. Gaus has already
been admitted as a witness for another defendant. However,
the defence Counsel for the other defendant waived his right
to call this witness. The situation is the same as it was in
the case of Bohle; therefore it would be preferable, in my
opinion, to hear the witness Gaus now, and to read his sworn
statement to him during his examination as has been done in
other cases, in the case of Blaha for instance.

THE PRESIDENT: Has the affidavit been translated yet and
submitted in the various languages to the chief prosecutors?

DR. SEIDL: I do not know whether the translation is
complete. At any rate, at noon I submitted six copies of the
affidavit to the translating division.

THE PRESIDENT: Can you tell me, Sir David or Colonel

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, I have not seen this
affidavit, and, my Lord, with regard to the last one, we got
it hurriedly translated into English, but it was only by the
kindness of my Soviet colleagues who allowed the matter to
go on without a Russian translation and left it to my
delegation to deal with, that the matter went on. Otherwise,
my Soviet colleagues would have asked the Tribunal to have
it put back.

It is very difficult when these affidavits are sought to be
put in at the last minute without having given us a chance
of seeing them.

THE PRESIDENT: Perhaps Colonel Pokrovsky could tell me
whether he has seen this affidavit or had it translated yet.

COLONEL POKROVSKY: Members of the Tribunal, I fully share
the viewpoint of Sir David Maxwell Fyfe. It appears to me
absolutely unacceptable to have this document presented
immediately to the Tribunal.

If I understood Sir David Maxwell Fyfe correctly, he did not
receive this affidavit. The Soviet delegation is in the same
position. Besides, I would like to remind you that the
question of this witness has already been discussed, that it
has been definitely solved, and it seems to me there are no
grounds for a further revision of this question.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Seidl, the Tribunal considers that the
course which must be taken is that that affidavit must be
translated and submitted to the Tribunal for their
consideration, for this witness was allowed to the defendant
Ribbentrop, I think, and then he withdrew his application
for the witness. You have not applied for the witness Gaus,
and I would point out to you and to the other Counsel for
the defendants that it is very inconvenient that documents
of this sort - after all the question of witnesses and
documents has been thoroughly gone into by the Tribunal -
should be presented at the last moment and without any
translation whatever. But we will not go into it now, and it
must be translated and submitted to the Tribunal in the
three languages.

DR. SEIDL: Perhaps I might make one short remark in regard
to the last point. I was under the impression that a formal
application to call a witness would not be necessary in the
case of a witness who has already been admitted by the
Tribunal for another defendant. That was undoubtedly so in
the case of Gaus who was named as a witness for Ribbentrop.
Consequently I have no reason to make a formal application
since I had the opportunity to interrogate the witness in

I have just been informed by counsel for the defendant
Ribbentrop that, as his representative said last Saturday,
he will forgo calling the witness Gaus, and now I, in turn
apply to call Ambassador Dr. Gaus as witness regarding the
statements in his sworn affidavit.

                                                   [Page 40]

THE PRESIDENT: I do not know what you mean by saying you
call him. You can apply to call him if you like, but you do
not call him until you apply.

DR. SEIDL: Yes, Sir.

THE PRESIDENT: When we have seen this document, we will
determine the question.

DR. SEIDL The next witness admitted by the Tribunal for the
defendant Hess is the witness Karl Stroelin. In order to
save time I have also prepared an affidavit for this
witness, and I ask the Tribunal to inform me whether we will
follow the same procedure with this witness as with the
witness Bohle, or whether the prosecution agrees that only
the affidavit should be presented.

THE PRESIDENT: Have they seen the affidavit?

DR. SEIDL: I gave the affidavit to the prosecution this

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: I have an English translation of the
affidavit. There are one or two questions the prosecution
wants to put to the witness, so I suggest that the most
convenient course would be if Dr. Seidl did as he did with
the last witness, to read the affidavit, and then after the
affidavit is read, the few questions that the prosecution
desires to be put can be put to him.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, very well.

COLONEL POKROVSKY: I must report to you, Mr. President, that
as far as this document is concerned, the defence counsel
has violated the procedure you have established, namely, the
Soviet prosecution received this affidavit only a very short
time ago, about one or two hours ago, and it was not
received by us in Russian but in English. Therefore, I only
had the opportunity of familiarising myself with it very
slightly, and I ask to have the presentation of this
document postponed until such time when the order of the
Tribunal is complied with, in other words, not until we have
received our document in Russian.

THE PRESIDENT: But, Colonel Pokrovsky, in the interest of
the time of the Tribunal, would it not be better to get on
with it now? Sir David has apparently seen the affidavit and
read it in English, and if he is satisfied upon that, would
it not be better to go on with it, rather than to postpone

You see, Dr. Seidl has actually been allowed this witness,
so that it is only a question of time, doing it by way of an
affidavit when he can call him, and he can then ask him

COLONEL POKROVSKY: I must repeat that I have familiarised
myself with this document very slightly. As far as I can
understand, it is of no particular interest to the Soviet
delegation, it is of greater interest to the British
delegation -

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