The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1999/12/16

                                                   [Page 58]


TUESDAY, MARCH 26th, 1946

MARSHAL OF THE COURT: If it please the Tribunal, defendant
Streicher will be absent from this session of the Court.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, Dr. Seidl.

DR. SEIDL (for the defendant Hess): Mr. President, your
Honours, I now turn to the reading of the interrogation of
the witness Alfred Hess.

THE PRESIDENT: Where shall we find it?

DR. SEIDL: Mr. President, I received this transcript of the
interrogation of the witness only last Saturday, and it has
thus not been possible for me to incorporate in into the
document book as yet. This witness was interrogated at Bad
Nergentheim on 19th March.

THE PRESIDENT: Do you mean that we have not got copies of

DR. SEIDL: I do not know whether the General Secretary, from
whom I received this transcript, has supplied a copy for the

THE PRESIDENT: Well, you had better go on then. Go on.

DR. SEIDL: Yes. Before answering the first question, the
witness made a few preliminary remarks which are as follows:

  "It should be noted that I had to terminate my activity
  in the Ausland Organisation of the N.S.D.A.P. after the
  flight to England of my brother Rudolf Hess, Deputy of
  the Fuehrer. Therefore the following statements are only
  valid for the period up to 12th May, 1941.
  Question 1: What were the tasks and the purpose of the
  Ausland Organisation of the N.S.D.A.P.?
  Answer: The purpose of the Ausland Organisation was the
  cultural, social, and economic care of all German
  nationals in foreign countries, regardless of whether
  they were Party associates or not. The Ausland
  Organisation in this sense was to be a bridge between
  Germans abroad and the home country. Its purpose was to
  foster and maintain love for and ties with the distant
  home country and to keep alive understanding for the
  Fatherland, as well as to awaken the understanding of
  Germans at home of the hard battle for existence of their
  people all over the world. The German abroad, through his
  dignified upright bearing, was to make himself popular in
  the country of his adoption, and thus act as the best
  representative of his Fatherland.
  Question 2: Who could become a member of the Ausland
  Answer: The question is not understandable. There was no
  such thing as a membership in the Ausland Organisation;
  just as little, for example, as there was a membership in
  the Foreign Office of the Reich or in a Gau of the
  N.S.D.A.P. in the Reich.
  Question 3: Is it correct that on the membership card of
  each Reich German associate the following principle was
  printed as a ruling principle of the Ausland
  'Follow the laws of the country whose guest you are, let
  its people make the internal policy of that country, do
  not interfere in this, not even in conversation'?
  Answer: It is correct that the above principle among
  similar ones was printed on the cover of the membership
  card. If I am not mistaken, under-
                                                   [Page 59]
  neath this principle there was the warning even of
  expulsion from the N.S.D.A.P. if this principle was not
  observed. This latter is to be ascertained without great
  difficulty by procuring a cover, which was in the
  possession of every Party associate in a foreign country.
  Question 4: Did the Ausland Organisation of the
  N.S.D.A.P. develop any activity which
  could appear as Fifth Column?
  Answer: 'Fifth Column' is not a clear concept, uniformly
  used. In general, it would probably mean secret espionage
  or sabotage activity. According to its guiding
  principles, the Ausland Organisation could not have
  carried on any such activity.
  I remember that the slogan 'Fifth Column' of the foreign
  press was considered in the Ausland Organisation as a
  clever bluff of the anti-Fascist propaganda, and it
  caused genuine amusement. Seriously, no State could
  conceive that such a widely known, rather suspect and
  vulnerable organisation could be suited for any service
  of the nature of the Fifth Column. I consider it natural
  that this or that German abroad had secret missions -
  services such as other nationals performed likewise for
  their Fatherland - but the Ausland Organisation was
  certainly not the giver of such assignments nor the
  intermediary for such agents.
  Question 5: What kind of instructions and guiding
  principles did the Deputy of the Fuehrer give the Ausland
  Organisation for its activity?
  Answer: The instructions and principles of the Deputy of
  the Fuehrer for the activity of the Ausland Organisation
  are such as those mentioned in my answers to questions 1
  and 3. He pointed out again and again with special
  emphasis, his strict instructions that the groups abroad
  were not to do anything which could damage the countries
  affording them hospitality or which could be considered
  an interference in the affairs of those countries. The
  basic principle must also be that National Socialism was
  a purely German movement, not an article for export which
  one wanted to force on other countries as suitable for
  Question 6: Did the Deputy of the Fuehrer give the
  Ausland Organisation any directions or orders which could
  have caused them to carry on an activity similar to that
  of the Fifth
  Answer: The Deputy of the Fuehrer not only never issued
  any such directions or orders, but as stated above in
  question 6, laid down principles which absolutely
  prohibited any activity of the sort carried on by the so-
  called Fifth Column.
  Question 7: Is it correct that, on the contrary, the
  Deputy of the Fuehrer pointed out with the utmost care
  that in all circumstances interference in the internal
  affairs of the country of adoption was to be avoided?
  Answer: I can repeat only that it was a chief concern of
  the Deputy of the Fuehrer to develop the work of the
  Ausland Organisation abroad in such a way that no
  interference of any kind should take place in the
  internal affairs of the country. The few insignificant
  offences, which were unavoidable with the then very large
  number of German nationals abroad - already amounting to
  several million - were correspondingly severely punished.
  Question 8: What were the tasks and the purposes of the
  'Volksbund fur das Deutschtum im Ausland' (Association
  for Germanism Abroad)?
  Answer: The 'Volksbund fur das Deutschtum  im Ausland'
  had the cultural care of the so-called 'Volksdeutsche.'
  'Volksdeutsche' are racial Germans who had lost their
  German citizenship either voluntarily or through the laws
  of other countries, that is, they have taken up
  citizenship in another country, for instance, in America,
  Hungary, Transylvania, etc.
  Question 9: Did the 'Volksbund fur das Deutschtum im
  Ausland' ever, in particular however before 10th May,
  1941, develop any activity which could have given it the
  appearance of a 'Fifth Column'?
                                                   [Page 60]
  Answer: I must state in this connection that the activity
  of the Ausland  Organisation did not have anything to do
  with the 'Volksbund fur das Deutschtum im Ausland,' so I
  can have no insight into its work. But I consider it
  entirely out of the question that my brother could have
  given the Volksbund tasks of a Fifth Column nature. It
  would neither have fallen within the jurisdiction of the
  Deputy of the Fuehrer, nor have corresponded with his
  views as to the task of the 'Volksbund fur das Deutschtum
  im Ausland.'
  Question 10 and last question: What kind of directions
  and instructions did the Deputy of the Fuehrer give as to
  the activity of this Bund?
  Answer: Directions, etc., which my brother gave as to the
  activity of this Bund, are unknown to me for, as already
  stated, my activity in the Ausland Organisation was in no
  way connected with the 'Volksbund fur das Deutschtum im.
  (Signed) Alfred Hess; sworn to and subscribed on 19th
  March, 1946."

The witness Alfred Hess was then cross-examined in
connection with his interrogation. I assume that the
prosecution wants to submit this cross-examination itself to
the Tribunal. But if this cross-examination and the
questions belonging to it have not yet been translated, it
might perhaps be practicable if it were done directly, in
this connection.

Mr. DODD: If it please the Tribunal, we have received the
cross-interrogatories but I suggest respectfully that rather
than take the time to read them, we offer them and if the
Tribunal will permit us, have them translated into the four
languages. It will take another ten minutes or so to read
them and we are not interested in doing it unless the
Tribunal feels that we should.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, certainly, Mr. Dodd.

DR. SEIDL: Mr. President, and gentlemen, I do not know
whether the affidavit of Ambassador Gauss submitted by me
yesterday has been translated and whether the Tribunal has
received these translations already. Yesterday at mid-day I
gave six copies to the information office and have heard
nothing further since.

THE PRESIDENT: Can the prosecution inform the Tribunal what
the position is?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, the prosecution has not had
a copy of this affidavit yet so we do not know what is in
it. We suggest that perhaps Dr. Seidl could postpone the
reading of that until we have had a chance to consider it.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, I am afraid that must be postponed.


Now I turn to volume 3 of the document book.

If it please the Tribunal, this volume of the document book
contains, in substance, statements and quotations taken
from, books and speeches of foreign statesmen, diplomats and
political economists, regarding the history and origin of
the Versailles Treaty, the contents of the Versailles
Treaty, the territorial changes made by the treaty, such as
the question of the Polish Corridor, and above all the
disastrous economic consequences which this treaty had for
Germany and also for the rest of the world.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, Sir David?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, I have read the documents
in this book and I should like just to say one or two words
about them.

They are opinions expressed by a great variety of gentlemen,
including politicians, economists and journalists. They are
opinions that are expressed polemically and some of them
journalistically, and with most of them one is familiar and
knew them when they were expressed fifteen to twenty-five
years ago.

Now, while I submit, as I have submitted to the Tribunal,
that the whole subject is too remote, I have a suggestion
which I hope the Tribunal will consider reasonable, that the
prosecution should, as I suggested yesterday, let this book
go in at the moment de bene esse and that when Dr. Seidl
comes to making his final speech he can adopt the arguments
that are put forward by the various gentlemen when

                                                   [Page 61]

he quotes, if he thinks they are right. He can use the
points as illustrations, always provided the thesis that he
is developing is one which the Tribunal thinks is relevant
to the issues before it. That will preserve for Dr. Seidl
the advantage of the right to use these documents subject,
as I say, to the relevancy of the issues, but I suggest that
it would be quite wrong to read them as evidence at the
moment. They are merely polemical and journalistic opinions
and directed to an issue which the prosecution has submitted
and I do submit is too remote.

However, I am most anxious that Dr. Seidl should have every
advantage for his final speech. Therefore, I suggest it
would be convenient if they were put in without being read
at the moment and were left, subject to the limitation of
relevancy, which can be considered when all the evidence is
before the Tribunal, for him to make use of in his final

I hope that the Tribunal may consider that not only a proper
but a reasonable method of dealing with such material.

DR. SEIDL: Mr. President, may I -

THE PRESIDENT: Just one moment, Dr. Seidl. We will hear you
in a moment.

. Perhaps it would be better to hear what you have to say
now. Do you think the suggestion made by Sir David Maxwell-
Fyfe would be one which would be acceptable to you?

DR. SEIDL: Mr. President, at first glance the suggestion of
Sir David Maxwell Fyfe seems to be very reasonable. But I
regret I must say that if the matter is treated in that way
great difficulties will arise for the defence. For example,
the arguments on relevancy, which in their nature belong in
the presentation of evidence and must be heard then, will be
postponed until the final speech of the defence. This would
mean that the defence counsel in his final speech again and
again would be interrupted; that he would have to argue for
the relevancy of his quotations; that perhaps whole parts of
his speech would fall by the wayside in that manner; and
that in that way the danger would arise that the cohesion of
the speech will be broken completely.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, Sir David.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, that is a danger which
every advocate has to meet, that certain portions of his
speech may not be deemed relevant, but I thought that that
might be a helpful way out. But if it is not accepted then
the prosecution must respectfully but very strongly submit
that the issues of the terms of the Treaty of Versailles are
not relevant to this Tribunal. I have already argued that
and I do not want to develop it at great length. I do want
to make it clear that the questions which are raised by the
quotations here were, of course, the subject of political
controversy in practically every country in Europe, and
different opinions were expressed as to the rightness and
the practicality of the provisions, especially the economic
provisions of the Treaty of Versailles. I am not disputing
that that is a matter of controversy, but I am saying that
it is not a controversy that should come before this
Tribunal. I myself have replied to practically all the
quotations from the English statesmen here as a politician
over the past years, and I am sure many people in this court
must have taken one view or the other, but that is not a
relevant issue to this Tribunal and, of course, especially
is it wrong in my view to put forward as evidential matter
opinions expressed by one side in the controversy. Every one
of these speeches, as far as they were English, was either
preceded by matters to which it was a reply, or was followed
by a reply, and I should think the same applies to those of
Senator Borah in the United States.

These matters, and this is my second point, are not really
evidential, and - this is a point for argument; and it will
have to be decided what is a convenient time for the
Tribunal to decide on whether this is a relevant issue. But
that was why I put forward this suggestion that it was
better to decide it when the whole of the true evidence of
fact had been put before the Tribunal. But, I do want, apart
from my suggestion, to make quite clear that as regards
relevance, the prosecution unitedly submits that the
rightness or practicality of the provisions of the Treaty

                                                   [Page 62]

of Versailles is not a relevant matter. The other argument,
I want to distinguish between the two, the other argument
has been adumbrated by Dr. Stahmer as to the actual terms of
the preamble to the military clauses. That is quite a
different point which we can discuss when, as I understand,
certain propositions of law are to be put forward by one of
the defence counsel on behalf of the defence. But, as I say,
the rightness and practicality of the Treaty and especially
the economic clauses is a subject of enormous controversy on
which there are literally thousands of different opinions
from one shade to the other, and I submit it is not an issue
before this Tribunal and, secondly, I submit this is not
evidence. It is not evidential matter, even if it were an

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