The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1999/12/16

THE PRESIDENT: You are reading from the document, are you
not, Dr. Horn? You began to tell us something about Hitler.

DR. HORN: Yes, I interrupted at the phrase "as bound by this
pact which has been rendered void," in order to bring in the
role of Ribbentrop briefly. On the basis of this pact and of
the intentions of the French General Staff, Hitler then had
the defendant von Ribbentrop ...

THE PRESIDENT: We shall hear that from von Ribbentrop, shall
we not?

DR. HORN: Mr. President, we are permitted to add a few
connecting words to the documents. I can now explain ...

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, Colonel Pokrovsky.

COLONEL POKROVSKY: As far as I can understand, the Tribunal
has already explained to the defence counsel, Dr. Horn, that
the defence has already submitted documents. Although Dr.
Horn does not consider it necessary to state when he
deviates from the documents and when he quotes from them, I
have had the opportunity of noting that in the document he
has just quoted, numbered

                                                   [Page 75]

"Ribbentrop-1 " there is a complete absence of any reference
to the plans of the French General Staff. Among the
documents in the Document Book submitted by Ribbentrop's
defence counsel I could not find any copies of the plans of
the French General Staff. It is therefore quite
incomprehensible to me how Dr. Horn happens to be informed
in connection with the plans of the French General Staff,
and on what grounds he refers to these plans in Ribbentrop's
case, since they appear to be completely absent among the
documents to which he refers?

DR. HORN: Mr. President ...

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Horn, what you appeared to the Tribunal
to be doing then was not anything explanatory of the
document, but telling us what Hitler did and what the
defendant Ribbentrop did in consequence of what Hitler did.
That is not in evidence. You cannot tell us what is not in
evidence. You can only give us explanatory remarks to make
the document itself intelligible.

DR. HORN: Mr. President, the defendant von Ribbentrop is
accused on account of the administering of the entire
foreign policy. The prosecution has presented the foreign
political activity as they see it and we have been
permitted, not to give a speech but, in connection with the
documents submitted, to present our opposing view, as the
defence see it. In order to do that, I must refer to certain
facts, documents and quotations. I can never give a complete
picture if I may just submit a document without giving a
large frame to this matter, a certain development in the
entire policy.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, Dr. Horn, the Tribunal is not expecting
you to give a complete picture at this stage. All you are
doing at the present moment is introducing the evidence. You
are going to give the complete picture when you make your
final speech. It is intelligible, this document. It is a
document which is well known; it is perfectly intelligible
without telling us what Hitler or what the defendant
Ribbentrop did.

DR. HORN: Regarding these questions raised by the Russian
Prosecutor, I have already asked for the defendant von
Neurath as a witness. I can interrogate him on this point
only after the defendant von Neurath is in the witness box.
But I can still refer now to these facts that are counter-

THE PRESIDENT: But, you see, that would be his function. If
you are going to tell us what you think the defendant von
Neurath is going to say in answer to questions which you put
to him, that would be making an opening statement. Well,
that has not been provided for by the Charter. We must wait
until you call von Neurath or until you question von

DR. HORN: Then I will read from this document just
mentioned, Ribbentrop Exhibit 1, on page ten of the document

  "The German Government is now forced to face the new
  situation created by this alliance, a situation which is
  made more critical by the fact that the Franco-Soviet
  pact has found its supplement in a pact of exactly
  parallel nature, between Czechoslovakia and the Soviet
  Union. In the interest of the elementary right of a
  nation to safeguard its borders and to guarantee its
  defensive capacities, the German Government has therefore
  re-established the full and unrestricted sovereignty of
  the Reich in the demilitarised zone of the Rhineland,
  effective today."

I ask the Tribunal to accept the entire document as
evidence. Through this step of the German Government certain
articles of the Treaty of Versailles which were concerned
with the demilitarisation of the Rhineland zone, had become
obsolete. Since this morning, by decision of the Tribunal,
the taking of a position on the Versailles Treaty is not
permitted, I will omit the corresponding material from the
document book of the defendant von Ribbentrop, and turn now
to the document Ribbentrop Exhibit 8, which is on page
twenty-one of the document book.

May I put another question first, Mr. President?

                                                   [Page 76]


DR. HORN: Is it permitted to submit the official documents
oh the Treaty of Versailles that were exchanged between
governments before the conclusion of the Treaty? These are
purely government documents and not any arguments on the
Treaty itself. May these documents be submitted after the
decision today of the Tribunal?

THE PRESIDENT: Which are they, the one on page twenty-one?

DR. HORN: This is in regard to the Ribbentrop Exhibit 3.

THE PRESIDENT: Where is that?

DR. HORN: It is on page fourteen of the document book.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Horn, the Tribunal would like to know
what issue in this trial this document is relevant to.

DR. HORN: I wanted to explain with it the German opinion of
the Treaty of Versailles. Ribbentrop Exhibit 2 deals with
the note of Germany to the United States that contains the
offer for an armistice and conclusion of peace. And I wanted
further to show in the next note again that this offer was
one based on the Wilsonian Fourteen Points. Further, with
Ribbentrop Exhibit 4, I wanted to submit evidence that the
peace and the armistice were to be concluded on the basis of
the Fourteen Points with two exceptions. I also wanted to
show through Ribbentrop Exhibit ...

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, I tried not to interrupt,
but really this is the issue that the Tribunal ruled on a
fortnight ago when the defendant Goering, I think, applied
for documents on exactly this issue: and that also, as I
understand, the Tribunal ruled on again this morning. The
issue is perfectly clear; the only issue to which this can
be directed is whether the Treaty of Versailles was in
accordance with the Fourteen Points and if not, was
therefore an unjust treaty which comes directly within the
Tribunal's ruling of an hour ago.

DR. HORN: May I add something more?

As far as I and my colleagues have understood the ruling of
the Tribunal today, the only prohibition is against making
before this Tribunal statements on the injustice of the
Treaty and on the fact that it purportedly was concluded
under duress. We have not understood the decision in any
other way.

THE PRESIDENT: That was why I asked you to what issue this
was relevant, and you said that it was relevant to showing
what the German opinion on the Treaty was. Well, these are
documents of the period before the Treaty was made, and they
seem to be only relevant upon the question of whether or not
the Treaty was a just treaty or not a just treaty.

DR. HORN: I personally did not want to demonstrate through
this document either that it was a just or an unjust treaty,
but only that it was a treaty which had many legal
inadequacies, since the main treaty was not in line with the
agreements of the preliminary treaty.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, if the main treaty was not in
accordance with the preliminary treaty then the main treaty
would, according to that argument, be an unfair treaty. That
is the very point upon which the Tribunal has ruled.

DR. HORN: For that reason, Mr. President, I have just
omitted these documents also and said that I will not refer
to them in view of this ruling. I will now turn to document
No. 8.

THE PRESIDENT: As you are going through a lot of documents
we might break off for ten minutes.

(A recess was taken.)

MR. DODD: I do not want to take much of the Tribunal's time,
but in view of the statement of Dr. Horn concerning the
condition of the defendant von Ribbentrop, I think it is
required that we inform the Tribunal of the situation as we
understand it, which is something quite different from the
understanding of Dr. Horn.

I have talked with Colonel Andrus and with one of the Army
doctors in atten-

                                                   [Page 77]

dance. Colonel Andrus has talked with both of them. And our
understanding is that Ribbentrop is not ill and is able to
take the witness-stand; that he is nervous, and appears to
be frightened, but he is not disabled in any sense and is
capable of testifying.

DR. HORN: I come now to page twenty-one of the document book
and ask the Tribunal to take judicial notice of the document
appearing under Ribbentrop Exhibit 8. It is a copy, again
from the "Documents of German Politics," volume 4, which I
turned over, signed, to the Court. It is the speech of
Ambassador von Ribbentrop at the ninety-first session of the
League of Nations Council in London, regarding the Soviet
Pact, the Locarno Pact and the German Peace Plan. The speech
was delivered on 19th March, 1936. I refer to page three of
the speech and begin my quotation at No. 5. I quote:

  "According to this alliance, France and Russia appoint
  themselves the judge in their own affairs by
  independently determining the aggressor if occasion
  arises, without a resolution or a recommendation on the
  part of the League of Nations, and thereby are able to go
  to war against Germany according to their own judgement.
  This strict obligation of the two countries is clearly
  and unequivocally evident from paragraph 1 of the signed
  protocol to the Treaty of Alliance, which states: In a
  given case France can decide, with its own judgement,
  whether Germany or Soviet Russia is the aggressor. It
  only reserves the right in this, not to have itself
  exposed through its military action based on such an
  individual decision to sanctions on the part of the
  powers guaranteeing the Rhine Pact, namely, England and
  From a legal and 'real political' point of view, this
  reservation is meaningless.
  In terms of law: How will France be able to foresee, when
  determining the aggressor itself, what attitude the
  guarantors of the Locarno Pact will afterwards assume
  towards this determining on its part? The answer to the
  question of whether France would have to fear sanctions
  in such a case depends in practice not only on the
  faithful adherence to the pact by the guarantors - about
  which the German Government does not wish to raise doubts
  in any way - but also on the most various prerequisites
  of a purely factual nature, the probability or
  improbability of which is not to be perceived in advance.
  In addition, however, the evaluation of the relationship
  between the new treaty of alliance and the Rhine Pact
  cannot be made dependent on the treaty relationship
  between France and Germany on the one hand and the
  guaranteeing powers on the other, but only on the
  immediate treaty relationship between France and Germany
  itself. otherwise one would have to demand of Germany
  that it tolerate silently every possible violation of the
  Rhine Pact by France, in confidence that the guarantors
  would have to provide for its security. That certainly
  was not the purpose of the Rhine Pact.
  In terms of real politics: When a country is attacked by
  such a superior military coalition as a consequence of a
  decision, incorrect because taken in advance in some
  party's own interests, it is an inconsequential
  consolation to obtain its right in subsequent sanctions
  against the aggressors condemned by the League of Nations
  Council. For what sanctions could actually touch such a
  gigantic coalition reaching from East Asia to the
  Channel? These two countries are such powerful and
  important members, and especially militarily strong
  factors of the League of Nations, that, according to all
  practical considerations, sanctions would be unthinkable
  from the outset.
  Therefore this second restriction dealing with the
  consideration of eventual sanctions is wholly
  inconsequential from a real political point of view.
  I now ask the members of this Council to bear in mind not
  only the legal and practical political scope of this
  obligation, on the part of France, to act
                                                   [Page 78]
  independently, but to ask yourselves above all whether
  the opinion can be advocated that the German Government
  of that time, which signed the Locarno Pact, would ever
  have taken upon itself the obligations of this Pact, had
  it contained such one-sided stipulations as have now
  later developed."

I now go to page twenty-six of the document book, and the
same document, and to clarify the German point of view, I
add the following:

  "But the Franco-Soviet Russian alliance means, beyond
  that-in the German Government's view of history - a
  complete elimination of the hitherto existing European
  balance and, consequently, of the fundamental political
  and legal conditions under which the Locarno Pact was
  concluded at that time."

With this Germany had expressed the legal basis of its
attitude toward the Locarno Pact and the Versailles
stipulations regarding the demilitarisation of the
Rhineland. In order to prove its will to disarm, there is in
the same document on page seven, that is, page twenty-seven
of the document book, an exhaustive and detailed disarmament

I ask the Tribunal to accept in evidence the document just
cited, so that I may later refer to it.

With this exposition I conclude my presentation on Germany's
reasons for re-occupying the Rhineland. Regarding the role
of the defendant von Ribbentrop in the occupation of the
Rhineland - I shall enter upon that when I call the
defendant to the witness-stand.

After the occupation of the Rhineland, the defendant von
Ribbentrop returned to London, where he was appointed then
as ambassador. On 4th February, 1938, he was appointed
Foreign Minister, and from that time on conducted the
foreign policy along the lines laid down by Hitler. In proof
of this statement I refer to Ribbentrop Exhibit 10, to be
found in the document book. This is a very short document
that I submit to the Tribunal for judicial notice. It is an
excerpt from the speech of the Fuehrer before the German
Reichstag in the Kroll Opera House in Berlin on 19th July,
1940. I quote:

  "I cannot conclude this appraisal without finally
  thanking the man who for years has carried out my foreign
  political directions in loyal, tireless, selfless
  The name of Party Member von Ribbentrop will always be
  recognised as that of the Reich Foreign Minister at the
  time of the political uprising of the German Nation."

I submit this quotation to the Tribunal to show according to
what principles the defendant von Ribbentrop conducted the
foreign policy.

I should like now to ask the Tribunal to hear the witness
State Secretary von Steengracht.

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