The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1999/12/15

Q. What was von Neurath's attitude toward war?

A. On the first day of the war I saw von Neurath to the
railroad station. He

                                                   [Page 45]

was depressed and rather dismayed. He called the war a
terrible disaster, a gamble with the existence of the
nation. He said that all his work from 1932 to 1938 had
thereby been destroyed. I understand that during the war he
saw the Fuehrer occasionally and on each such occasion he
used the opportunity to ask Hitler to consider the idea of
peace. That he, Neurath ...

THE PRESIDENT: How can the witness say this? He was not
present at these meetings; how can the witness tell us what
the defendant von Neurath said to the Fuehrer?

DR. LUEDINGHAUSEN: As you will understand that is what the
defendant told him. That was told the witness by the
defendant directly.

WITNESS: Von Neurath told me so repeatedly. He told me ...

THE PRESIDENT: It will all be extremely cumulative.

DR. LUEDINGHAUSEN: I do not believe so. The defendant
himself needs only to corroborate this.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Luedinghausen, the Tribunal imagines that
the defendant von Neurath will give this evidence himself,
and the Tribunal does not wish to hear evidence from
witnesses of what was told to them.

DR. LUEDINGHAUSEN: Very well, I shall dispense with any
further questions along those lines. I should like to ask
only one more question.

DR. VON LUEDINGHAUSEN:

Q. Did not von Neurath with you and other people make an
effort to put an end to the war and to the Hitler regime? Or
at least consider the possibility of doing so? These are
facts that the witness knows from his own observation.

THE WITNESS: Von Neurath discussed this question with me on
several occasions after his return from Prague. He tried
particularly to bring about a meeting of the Reich Cabinet,
as did the other ministers, but he did not succeed since
Hitler disapproved of this Reich Cabinet as a "defeatists'
club." As a basis for ending the war von Neurath tried to
bring about a change of ministers and the appointment of a
Reich Chancellor, which was also in general demand. This
also failed. During the year 1943 Neurath became more and
more convinced . . .

THE PRESIDENT: This is the same thing over again - nothing
about what von Neurath did but all about what von Neurath
said to this witness.

DR. LEUDINGHAUSEN: I beg your pardon; these are only
preliminary remarks to clarify what is to follow.

THE PRESIDENT: I thought you said you had one last question?

DR. LUEDINGHAUSEN: Yes, we come to that now. The question
shows the attempts he made to carry out his intentions.

THE WITNESS: When von Neurath failed in his attempts at
reform, that is when he saw that it had miscarried and that
Hitler's attitude was negative and intransigent, von Neurath
was convinced at the beginning of 1944 that they should not
fail in saving Germany from complete destruction out of
consideration for Hitler. He considered the question of how
to speak to Hitler once more and persuade him to end the
war. He thought of Fieldmarshal Rommel and asked me to
discuss the matters with him. Rommel was at that time very
popular in Germany and abroad, and von Neurath believed that
due to the position he took, Rommel was the right person to
replace Hitler, if necessary. In the beginning of March,
1944, I went to Fieldmarshal Rommel and discussed the matter
with him. Rommel was just as critical of the situation. I
knew him from the First World War, so that I could speak to
him frankly. He was also of the opinion that if the war
could not be won on a military basis unnecessary bloodshed
and senseless destruction -

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Luedinghausen, we really do not want all
this conversation between this witness and Rommel. We do not
want it. We will not hear the conversation between this
witness and Rommel.

DR. LUEDINGHAUSEN: I also do not want the witness to discuss
this matter.

THE PRESIDENT: Why do you not stop him then? Why do you not
stop him?

                                                   [Page 46]

DR. LUEDINGHAUSEN: I did not want to hear it from the
defendant himself, but from the person who was employed by
the defendant to take these steps. That in my opinion has
more weight than if the defendant makes the statement
himself. That is why I asked the witness about it. But it is
almost finished now.

THE PRESIDENT: When we come to the defendant then we will
not hear him on these subjects.

DR. LUEDINGHAUSEN: No, that is not our intention - moreover,
as far as I know, that matter will be finished in just a few
words.

DR. LUEDINGHAUSEN:

Q. Please, witness.

A. Upon von Neurath's instigation, Rommel wrote a letter to
Hitler saying that because of the military situation he
believed that it would not be possible to continue the war,
and that he, Rommel, suggested to Hitler that he start
political negotiations. Consequently, as he told me, after
his accident Rommel fell from favour for this reason, and
thus von Neurath's attempt to end the war with Rommel's aid
also failed.

DR. LUEDINGHAUSEN: And then came the 20th of July and soon
afterwards the end. I have no more questions, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn.

(A recess was taken.)

THE PRESIDENT: Do any of the other defendants' counsel want
to ask questions of this witness?

LIEUTENANT-COLONEL GRIFFITH-JONES: May the witness be handed
Exhibit GB 262. My Lord, that is the same document of which
an extract has already been handed up to the Tribunal while
I was cross-examining the last witness.

CROSS-EXAMINATION

LIEUTENANT-COLONEL GRIFFITH-JONES:

Q. Witness, I want to be quite clear as to what you say
about the Deutsche Auslandsinstitut. Do you say that that
institute had no connection with either Hess or the Ausland
Organisation?

A. The Auslandsinstitut had no connection with Hess. The
connection with the Ausland Organisation was due to the fact
that the Ausland Organisation had its rallies at Stuttgart.

Q. So that the fact that the Ausland Organisation and the
Deutsches Auslandsinstitut both had their meeting at
Stuttgart, that is the only connection between the two
organisations; is that so?

A. The Ausland Organisation to my knowledge did not consult
the German Auslandsinstitut on practical matters for it had
its own collection of material. The Ausland Organisation
was, as far as I know, created in the year 1932, and ...

Q. Now, I do not want to stop you but if you can answer my
question "yes" or "no" it will save us all a great deal of
time. I will repeat my question in case you are not quite
clear about it. Do you say that the fact that both those
organisations held their meeting in Stuttgart is the only
connection
between the two? Now you can answer that "yes" or "no."

A. I cannot answer that question with "yes" or "no." I must
say that the connecting link was the fact that Stuttgart was
the city of foreign Germans and, so-to-speak, the
representative of Germans abroad, because of its historical
background.

Q. Do you read English?

A. A little.

Q. Will you look at page 461 of the book that you have? At
the bottom of page 461 you will see reproduced a copy of an
article from the "Stuttgarter Neues Tageblatt" of the 21st
of September, 1933.

The Tribunal will find the extract on page 4 of the
translation.

                                                   [Page 47]

That article describes the annual meeting of your
institution after its reorganisation in 1933 after the Nazi
Party came to power. I just want to read four short extracts
from that article 2 and ask you for your comments.

  "The chairman of the Deutsche Auslandsinstitut, Chief
  Mayor, Dr. Stroelin, opened the celebration."

That is yourself presumably, is that so?

A. Yes.

  Q. "Among those present, he greeted in particular,
  Minister-president and Minister of Religion in
  Wurttemberg, Mergenthaler, as the representative of the
  supervisory authorities, General Haushofer of Munich as
  representative of Rudolf Hess, who has been entrusted by
  the Fuehrer with the supreme direction of all matters
  concerning Germans in foreign countries."

Did you say that?

A. I cannot remember having said that. Haushofer was to my
knowledge the representative of the V.D.A., and I cannot
conceive how he could have been the deputy of Hess at this
occasion. However, it is probably true.

Q. Do you think the Tribunal is safe in taking it that the
"Stuttgarter Neues Tageblatt" on the day after that
celebration would accurately report what you said in your
opening address?

You need not look at the rest of it for the moment. It is
not likely that that article is untrue or incorrect, is it?

A. No, the article is probably correct, but I did not
remember that Haushofer was at that time the deputy of Hess,
for Rudolf Hess had no connection with the Deutsches
Auslandsinstitut as such.

Q. It appears that you are saying there, and you are saying
it in a speech, that Haushofer is representing Hess, and
that Hess has been charged by the Fuehrer with the supreme
command of all matters concerning Germans in foreign
countries. Do you understand what you are saying there?

A. Yes, it may have been Put that way at that time, but in
practice, we never reached the point where I received a
directive of any kind from Rudolf Hess.

Q. Your institution could correctly be said to concern
itself in matters concerning Germans in foreign countries,
could it not?

A. I did not understand the question.

Q. Did your institution, the Deutsches Auslandsinstitut,
concern itself in matters concerning Germans in foreign
countries?

A. Yes.

Q. Very well, I shall leave that. Will you look down the
page and omit the next

A. I would like to add to this point. It was the first time
that I made a speech for the Deutsches Auslandsinstitut and
the speech was, of course, drafted with the approval of the
personalities who were to be greeted. I cannot now remember
that Haushofer was present in that capacity on that
occasion, and can merely repeat my statement that as the
honorary president of the Institute I know nothing of Rudolf
Hess having given directives to the Deutsches
Auslandsinstitut.

Q. You may have known nothing about it, but you were the new
chairman of the Deutsches Auslandsinstitut at that time,
were you not?

A. No, I was not the chairman. The chairman of the Institute
was a special Leader. In my capacity as Lord Mayor it was
merely one of my many extra duties to act as president of
the institute. It is impossible for me to remember which
personalities I greeted at the time, and how I did it.

Q. Please confine yourself to answering the particular
question I put to you: Were you or were you not the chairman
of the Deutsches Auslandsinstitut on the 20th September,
1933?

A. Yes, I was appointed to that position.

                                                   [Page 48]

Q. You had just been appointed because you were a good Nazi
and the Nazi Party had come to power and was reorganising
this institution.

A. I was appointed to this post because I was Lord Mayor of
Stuttgart and because later the city of Stuttgart was called
the "city of foreign Germans" since, because of its history
and tradition it had always had very close connection with
Germans abroad.

Q. Very well, now, we will go on. Will you miss out the next
short paragraph and look at the paragraph which starts off,
"Deputy Gauleiter Schmidt, representing Dr. Goebbels, stated
the local Party leadership -

A. What page is that on?

Q. It is on the same page.

A. Page 461?

Q. I beg your pardon, it is on page 462. We turn over the
page. Page 462. And it is the third paragraph in the centre
of the page.

A. Yes, I have found the place.

  Q. "Deputy Gauleiter Schmidt, representing Dr. Goebbels,
  stated the local Party leadership (Gauleitung) is
  prepared to cooperate through thick and thin with the new
  officers of the D.A.I."

Hess, you know, was in charge of the party leadership, was
he not - the Gauleiter? We will go on:

"National Socialism will demand the blood community of all
Germans as its historic right."

Will you look now - we will leave that - will you look now -
at page 463 -

A. May I say something in connection with this?

Q. If you please, yes.

A. The Deputy Gauleiter, Schmidt, was here purely in his
capacity as a Deputy of the Gauleiter, but he was not the
Deputy of Rudolf Hess.

Q. No. But the point I am putting - I will make it quite
clear-is that the Gauleiter which came under Hess was going
to cooperate with your institution through thick and thin.
You appreciate that?

A. That is self-explanatory.

Q. Would you look at page 463, and at the second paragraph.
In his address the new director of the D.A.I., Dr. Csaki,
stated:

  "We have followed with deep distress the inner disunity
  of the German people. Now, since that has been overcome,
  since we see that all the Germans, who are citizens of
  foreign countries (Volksdeutsche) are aligned, we are
  filled with a sense of pride in our German mother-
  country, a feeling of happiness that Germany is united.
  
  The sense of unity among the German people gives us a
  feeling of happiness. In the course of centuries various
  positions have been lost. We must avoid any further loss.
  It gives us a feeling of pride and self-reliance that we
  are the bridges for the German Lebensraum."

Was that in fact what the purpose of the Deutsches
Auslandsinstitut was?

A. Dr. Csaki said in this quotation that the Germans abroad
were bridges to the German Lebensraum. This German
Lebensraum also applied to the Germans in Hungary and
Roumania and to that extent it is true when he says the
Germans are "bridges" to this Lebensraum, i.e. the space in
which Germans live. This has also always been the attitude
of the Deutsche Auslandsinstitut; to build bridges to the
Lebensraum in which these Germans live.

Q. Very well. Now, have you ever read a book by Dr. Emil
Ehrich, entitled "The Ausland Organisation der N.S.D.A.P."?
You need not took at that. Have you ever read that book? A
title of that kind?

A. I do not think so.

Q. Do you know that Dr. Emil Ehrich was the personal adviser
to Bohle?

                                                   [Page 49]

A. I believe he was Bohle's adjutant at one time.

Q. Will you look at page 305 of the book that you have in
front of you - my Lord, this passage appears on page 5 of
the document the Tribunal has - and that is a reproduction
of Dr. Emil Ehrich's book. Would you look at the second
paragraph on page 305, half way down that paragraph,
starting:

  "On August 27th, 1936 the Fuehrer designated Stuttgart
  the city of foreign Germans, and the Gauleiter of the
  Foreign Organisation of the N.S.D.A.P. undertook the
  protection of this beautiful city, which also houses
  within its walls the German Foreign Institute, which
  works in hearty co-operation with the Ausland
  Organisation."

Would I be right in saying that throughout the whole
history, from 1933 onwards, the Deutsches Auslandinstitut
was working in the heartiest co-operation with the Ausland
Organisation?

A. This is not correct, inasmuch as there was no practical
or scientific co-operation between the Deutsches
Auslandinstitut and the Ausland Organisation. The hearty co-
operation, as I have already mentioned, referred to the fact
that the Ausland Germans had their meetings in Stuttgart.
That was the hearty co-operation between them. There was no
co-operation in practical matters since it was not
necessary.


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