The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: imt/tgmwc//tgmwc-10/tgmwc-10-91.04

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Last-Modified: 1999/12/16

DR. HORN: Mr. President, I was using the opposing fact which
I wish to present against the claims of the prosecution,
because according to my information and according to my
documents, they do not correspond to the facts. As far as
the establishment of point one of what Mr. President has
just said, I would like to state the following: The health
of the defendant von Ribbentrop is quite poor at present.
This morning the doctor told me that Ribbentrop is suffering
from so-called vasomotor difficulties in his speech. I
wanted to relieve him of part of his evidential statement by
making a statement of it here and thus showing the position
of the defendant to the Tribunal. I do not know whether the
defendant von Ribbentrop, in view of his current state of
health, that is, his inadequacy of speech, could make these
explanations as briefly as I myself can. Then, when the
defendant is in the box, he needs only to confirm these
statements under oath.

THE PRESIDENT: If the defendant von Ribbentrop is too ill to
give evidence today, then he must give evidence on some
future occasion. If you have any oral witnesses to call
other than the defendant von Ribbentrop, then they can give
evidence today; and with reference to the documentary
evidence, it is perfectly simple for you to offer those
documents in evidence in the way that it was done by Dr.
Stahmer, in the way that it was done by Dr. Seidl, and in
the way which the Tribunal have explained over and over

DR. HORN: I had intended to submit documents first and not
to call my witnesses until later. As far as von Ribbentrop
is concerned, I have learned that his condition has become
constantly worse. I do not know therefore whether, at the
end of the presentation of evidence, I will be in a position
to summon the defendant Ribbentrop; but I must be prepared
for the possibility that I might not be able to call him.
Otherwise I am concerned only with a very few very general
points for rectification.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Horn, you cannot give evidence at any
rate and if you cannot call von Ribbentrop, then you must,
if it is possible to do so, call some other witnesses who
will give the evidence which he would have given. If,
unfortunately it is not possible to do so, then his case may
suffer; but the Tribunal will give every possible facility
for his being called at any stage. If he is in fact so ill,
as you suggest, that he cannot give evidence, then his
evidence may be put off until the end of the defendant's
case, subject of course to a proper medical certificate
being produced.

DR. HORN: If the Tribunal wants then later to summon the
defendant, I will postpone the matter with the request that
if I cannot question him, that is, cannot question him fully
- for I emphasise again, a defect of speech is concerned -
then he can at least confirm the evidence as a witness.

THE PRESIDENT: You may call any of the witnesses. The
Tribunal has not laid down that the defendant must be called
first. You have applied for eight witnesses, I think, in
addition to the defendant and you can call any of them or
you can deal with your documents, but whichever you do, you
must do it in the way which the Tribunal has ordered.

DR . HORN: Then, I will turn now to the occupation of the
Rhineland. On 27th February, 1936, there was ratified
between the French Republic and the Soviet Union a mutual
assistance pact, the content of which was definitely in

                                                   [Page 71]

of the Locarno Treaty and of the League of Nations
agreement, and was clearly directed against Germany. At the
same time -

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Horn, you have just said that something
or other is against International Law. Now, that is not a
reference to any document which you are offering in
evidence, nor is it any comment upon the production of oral
evidence. If you have got a document to offer, kindly offer
it and then make any necessary explanatory remarks.

DR. HORN: Then, I wanted next to refer to Document No. 1 in
the Document Book Ribbentrop. We are concerned with a
memorandum of the German Government to the signatory Powers
of the Locarno Pact, of 7th March, 1936.

THE PRESIDENT: Which page is that?

DR. HORN: That is on page 6 of the document book. In
explanation, I may add that this memorandum was submitted to
the signatory Powers, because between the French Government
and the Republic of the Soviet Union a treaty of mutual
assistance had been ratified and at the same time, the
German Foreign Office received knowledge of a plan which the
French General Staff had worked out and which arranged that
the French army was to advance along the Main line, so that
North and South Germany in this way would be separated, and
even to join hands with the Russian army across

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Horn, for the formality of the record, it
is necessary to offer each document in evidence and the
document should be given a number. You have not yet offered
any of these documents in evidence or given them any
numbers, so far as I know.

DR. HORN: I gave this document the number, Ribbentrop
Exhibit No. 1. The number is in the upper right-hand corner
of the document.


DR. HORN: And I ask - perhaps I may say this in order to
save time - I ask that all these documents quoted as
evidence for Ribbentrop be given exhibit numbers.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well, and in the order in which you
quote them.

DR. HORN: Yes, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: They will be numbered that way. Very well.

DR. HORN: As to the particulars just submmitted on the
reason for this memorandum being lodged and as evidence of
the fact just cited regarding the arrangement of the French
General Staff, I will call the defendant von Neurath as a
witness. I will question him on this one point, when he is
called as a witness. In order to justify the German view,
which is contained in the memorandum and which consists in
the fact that the Locarno Pact and the League of Nations
were considered infringed upon, I would like to refer to
page three of the document and wish to quote the following:
This is on page eight of the document book.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Horn, was this document Exhibit No. 1 one
of the documents for which you applied and which you were
allowed in the applications?

DR. HORN: Yes, Mr. President. This document is concerned
with excerpts from the "Documents of German Politics,"
("Dokumente der Deutschen Politik"), volume 4.

I want to stress that this collection of documents was
granted to me at the same time as the two evidence books.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal would like to see the original

DR. HORN: Mr. President, we are not in a position to present
original documents, since the Foreign Office was confiscated
by the victorious Powers, and with it a great part of the
documents. Then I would have to make an application now that
the signatory Powers concerned produce these original
documents, for we simply are not able to. We can only refer
to document collections.

THE PRESIDENT: Where does the copy come from?

DR. HORN: This copy, Mr. President, is from the "Documents
of German Politics," volume 4, as is shown in the document
book which the President has before him. The document is
found on page 123 of this document collection.

                                                   [Page 72]

I should like, Mr. President - may I add an explanatory
remark: If the Tribunal is interested in seeing the
original, I should have to have the collection which is up
in the document room now brought down. It is in German, and
I do not believe that it would be of any value to the
Tribunal at this time. May I mention further ...

THE PRESIDENT: You see, Dr. Horn, as a matter of formality
and certainty, the Tribunal ought to have in its record
every document which forms part of the record, whether it is
an original or whether it is a copy; and whatever the
document is that is offered in evidence, it ought to be
handed in to the Tribunal and kept by the Tribunal. It ought
to be put in evidence, offered in evidence and handed to the
General Secretary or his representative, and then the
Tribunal has a full record of every document which is in

But we cannot have documents such as this, which is a mere
copy of the original document which ought to be offered in
evidence. If it is at the information centre, then it is
quite capable of being produced here.

DR. HORN: Mr. President, the Tribunal decided that we are
justified in copying documents and certifying to the
authenticity in order that these documents may be submitted
as evidence to the Tribunal. Therefore, we have compared
every document with the original we had on hand, or with the
copy of the document and at the end of the document we
attested the authenticity of the copy. This document,
certified with my own signature, is, I believe, in the hands
of the Tribunal, in five copies.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Horn ... Yes, Mr. Dodd.

MR. DODD: We thought that we might be helpful. We say that
we are willing to accept this quotation from the volume
referred to, and I do think that we did put in some
documents ourselves and asked the Tribunal's indulgence at
the time in a somewhat similar case.

I think the Tribunal, if I may suggest respectfully, might
take this document on that same basis.

I have only conferred with Sir David, but I feel quite sure
that our French and Russian colleagues will agree as well.

THE PRESIDENT I think, Mr. Dodd, the point is - and, of
course, it is probably only a formal point - that the only
document which is offered in evidence or put in evidence is
a copy which does not contain Dr. Horn's signature and
therefore there is nothing to show that it is in fact a true
copy. Of course, if we had had Dr. Horn's signature, we
should be prepared to accept that it was a true copy of the
original. What we have before us is a mere mimeograph, I
suppose, of some document which has not been produced to us.

MR. DODD: Very well, your Honour. I have not had an
opportunity to examine it carefully. We did not get these
documents, by the way, until pretty late last night. We have
not had the usual period of time to examine it, but in any
event I have suggested it might go in and if Dr. Horn would
verify it, as suggested by the President and later furnish
the original copy, it might be all right.

THE PRESIDENT: That would be all right, certainly:

Dr. Horn, you understand what I mean. If you will produce to
us at some future date the actual document which you signed
yourself, to show tthat it was a true copy, that will be
quite satisfactory.

DR. HORN: Mr. President, in the entire document book there
is no document which I have not signed and given in five
copies to be translated. Of course, I cannot also sign all
the translations. This document which is contained in the
document book submitted to the President has my signature in
the German text.

THE PRESIDENT: You mean that you have handed your documents
in to be translated, in German, with your signature at the
bottom, saying it is a true extract, and you do not know
where those documents are because they have gone into the
Translation Department? That is right, is it not?

                                                   [Page 73]

DR. HORN: Only partially, Mr. President. I know that I
handed in these documents to the proper office, in German,
and with my signature.

Then that office kept them and had them translated. From the
moment I handed them in I have naturally had no further
control over their disposition.

I may also point out that the document books which we used
were available only in a single copy and must be used by all
attorneys, even now for their future work. Because of that,
I cannot produce the original for the Tribunal since it is
not my property. That can only happen with the agreement of
the person in charge of the document section, Lieut.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Horn, if, in the future, you and the
other Defendants' Counsel could get your document books
ready in sufficient time, you could perhaps then make the
arrangement that you hand in the document book, when you are
offering it in evidence, and then it would be capable of
being handed to the officer of the Court.

DR. HORN: Mr. President, I do not believe that that
possibility exists at all, for these "Documents of German
Politics" - just to use the point at issue - are available
only in one copy, at the disposal of all defence attorneys;
I cannot take these books away, if they wish to continue
working with them, in order to submit them to the Tribunal
as evidence. I would not receive them. I receive these books
only to use them, and make excerpts from them, and then I
have to return them.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, but you are putting in evidence now a
certain extract from the book, and all the Tribunal wants is
that that extract be certified, either by you or by some
other person who can be trusted, as a correct extract from
the book, and that that document, so signed, can be
produced. It may be difficult to produce it at the moment
because you have handed it in to some official or to
somebody in the Translation Department, and therefore you
cannot produce it, but it could be arranged that it should
be produced in the future. I do not mean this particular
one, but in the future other defendants' counsel can produce
their documents certified by themselves or by some other
person of authority.

DR. HORN: That has already been done, Mr. President. Five
document books of the same type, signed by me, were handed
to the Tribunal.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes. Well, the rule of the Tribunal happens
to be that they should be handed in in this court at the
time that they are being used, as well as their being handed
in to somebody for the purpose of translation. That is the

But now perhaps we had better get on as we are taking up too
much time over this.

DR. HORN: I have just heard that the German documents which
I signed are being procured from the General Secretary, so I
will be able to submit them to the Tribunal with signature,
in the German.


DR. HORN: I should like to continue, and explain the
aforementioned opinion of the legal consequences of the pact
made between France and Russia in 1936, and I  refer to Page
3, that is, Page 8 of the document book. I quote:

"Consequently, the only question is whether France by
accepting these treaty obligations has kept within those
limits, as regards Germany, which have been laid on it by
the Rhine Pact.

This, however, the German Government must deny.

The Rhine Pact was supposed to achieve the goal of securing
peace in Western Europe by having Germany on the one hand,
and France and Belgium on the other, renounce for all time
the employment of military force in their relations to each
other. If, in the conclusion of the pact, certain
reservations to this renunciation of war, going beyond the
right of self-defence were permitted, the political basis
was, as is generally known, solely the fact that France had
already taken on certain pact obligations towards Poland and
                                                   [Page 74]
  Czechoslovakia which she did not want to sacrifice to the
  idea of absolute peace security in the West.
  Germany at that time resigned herself, with a clear
  conscience, to these restrictions of the renunciation of
  war. She did not object to the treaties with Poland and
  Czechoslovakia, put on the table of Locarno by the
  representative of France, only because of the self-
  understood supposition that these treaties adapt
  themselves to the structure of the Rhine Pact and do not
  contain any provisions on the execution of Article 16 of
  the Statute of the League of Nations, as are provided for
  in the new French-Soviet agreements. This was true also
  of the contents of these special agreements, which came
  to the knowledge of the German Government at that time.
  The exceptions permitted in the Rhine Pact were not
  expressly orientated towards Poland and Czechoslovakia,
  but were formulated abstractly. But it was the sense of
  all negotiations concerning this matter to find a balance
  between the German-French renunciation of war and the
  desire of France to maintain its already existent pact
  obligations. If, therefore, France now uses the abstract
  formulation of war possibilities, allowed for in the
  Rhine treaty, in order to conclude a new pact against
  Germany, with a highly armed State, if it thus in such a
  decisive manner limits the application of the
  renunciation of war, agreed upon by it with Germany, and
  if, as set forth above, it does not even observe the
  fixed formal juridical limits, then it has created
  thereby a completely new situation and has destroyed the
  political system of the Rhine Pact both in theory and

I will omit the next paragraph and will quote from Page 9 of
the document book as follows:

  "The German Government has always emphasised during the
  negotiations of the last years that it would maintain and
  carry out all obligations of the Rhine Pact so long as
  the other partners to the treaty also were willing on
  their part to adhere to this pact. This natural
  supposition cannot any longer be regarded as fulfilled by
  France. France has replied to the friendly offers and
  friendly assurances, made again and again by Germany,
  with a violation of the Rhine Pact by a military pact
  with the Soviet Union, directed exclusively against
  Germany. Therefore the Rhine Pact of Locarno has lost its
  inner meaning and has ceased to exist in any practical
  sense. For that reason Germany also on her side does not
  consider herself bound any longer by this pact which has
  rendered void."

In consideration of the Franco-Russian pact and the
intentions of the French General Staff, Hitler had the
defendant von Ribbentrop come to him in order to question
him on the presumable attitude of England to a possible
German reoccupation.

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