The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1999/12/16

THE PRESIDENT: What do the words that follow the passage you
have just read on Page 27 mean? "Bucharest, October 17, 1941
(Signature illegible)," and below "To be discussed with Vice
Minister President Antonescu. Confidential, Bucharest,
October 16, 1943"?

COLONEL PHILLIMORE: My Lord, it is badly typed. "Bucharaest,
October 17, 1943" and then follows the next letter. The
previous part is a note on the file.


COLONEL PHILLIMORE: It is a note on the German Legation file
on Bucharest.


COLONEL PHILLIMORE: I have not troubled the Tribunal with
the following letters. They deal with the expulsion of Jews
from firms owned by citizens of the German Reich.


Q. Now would you look at Page 31 of the German, Page 20 of
the English translation. You will see there a document sent
to -

THE PRESIDENT: When you stated that document you did not
give the date in full. The year there appears to be 1944,
does it not?

COLONEL PHILLIMORE: It is 1942, I think, my Lord.

THE PRESIDENT: It should be April 28th, 1942? Is the date at
the head of the document?

COLONEL PHILLIMORE: My Lord, the letter I read was dated
March 42, and marked with a Foreign Office stamp "Received
13th of March" -

THE PRESIDENT: I am speaking of the whole document, Page 1
of the document.

COLONEL PHILLIMORE: My Lord, it is a file, one of those
rather inconvenient documents, a file, and it starts with
the earliest date at the bottom and then works up to 1944.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes. Then the part you read first -


THE PRESIDENT: Very well. What page are you going to now?

COLONEL PHILLIMORE: I am going to Page 20 now, my Lord.

Q. Now, this is a communication from von Thadden who was, as
you have told us, assistant in the Department Inland II, to
the German Legation in Bucharest. It is dated 12th October,
1943, and it is stamped as received on 18th October. He
encloses a letter signed by Muller in the
Reichssicherheitshauptamt, to all German police authorities
abroad. You will see that it goes to the Commander of the
Security Police in Prague, The Hague, Paris, Brussels, Metz,
Strasbourg, Luxembourg, Cracow, Kiev, Smolensk and so on.
October, 1943. That is after you had become Secretary of
State, is it not?

A. Yes.

Q. You were appointed in April?

A. Yes.

Q. Turning to the substance of the letter - the subject of
the letter is treatment of Jews with foreign citizenship in
the sphere of German power.

  "In agreement with the Foreign Office, all Jews who
  remain in the sphere of German power after the end of the
  so-called home-bringing action, and who have the
  citizenship of the following countries, may now be
  included in the evacuation measures: Italy, Switzerland,
  Spain, Portugal, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Hungary,
  Roumania, Turkey.
  Since the evacuation of these Jews to the East cannot yet
  take place at the present time, a temporary stay is
  provided in concentration camp Buchenwald for male Jews
  over fourteen years of age, and in the concentration camp
  Ravensbrueck for Jewesses as well as children. The
  necessary measures are to be carried out on the following
                                                   [Page 96]
     (a) for Jews with Italian citizenship, immediately;
     (b) for Jews with Turkish citizenship, on 20th October,
     (c) for Jews with citizenship of other countries
     mentioned above, on 10th October, 1943.
  A special application for protective custody is not
  required for the transfer to the concentration camp, but
  the concentration camp headquarters are to be notified
  that the transfer to the concentration camp is taking
  place in keeping with the evacuation measures."

Then there are arrangements about baggage. And if you look
at 31-E, you will see at the foot of Page 22, on the
English, that it had been signed by Miller and then was
signed again by a clerk of Himmler's office. Then on the
next page of the English, still on 31-E of the German,
Himmler's office sends it to the Foreign Office, to von
Thadden, on 2nd October.

Now, did you not see that document when it got to the
Foreign Office?

A. No, I see this document today for the first time.

Q. You were the Secretary of State?

A. Yes. This obviously concerns a measure which was ordered
by another office within the German Reich. The Foreign
Office had no executive powers at all and consequently -

Q. No executive powers, but it was sent to you for

A. It was sent to us - an account of it - solely for our
information, and it was not given to me.

Q. You had a departmental liaison with the S.S., von
Thadden. Was he not a competent official?

A. The exact content of this affair I do not know, even
today, because I have not read it through fully. I can only
imagine the following in reference to this whole matter: The
question, whether the Jews who were in Germany could be
returned to their home countries, was discussed for a long
time. This, I think, is what we are concerned with here?

Q. I do not think we are interested in your imagination.
Either you know or you do not know. I asked you whether von
Thadden was a competent official.

A. I have not seen this document.

Q. You are not answering the question. Was von Thadden a
competent official?

A. Von Thadden was a man from the Foreign Office who knew
his job.

Q. Yes, knew his job. And do you not think that as Secretary
of State he ought to have shown you this document?

A. He should have done that, certainly, if this matter was
not arranged in another office, but I was completely
excluded from any anti-Jewish action. Also, instructions
about anti-Jewish actions abroad never went through my
office. I pointed out yesterday, at the beginning of my
statement, that many matters were arranged directly on the
highest level and that the Foreign Office was not even
notified afterwards about orders in these matters -

Q. This is a document you were informed about?

A. Muller sent it to the Foreign Office.

Q. And you sent it to your legation at Bucharest?

A. He ought certainly to have put that before me, but I
never saw it.

Q. If you just look again at the letter, you will notice how
Muller's instructions start. He begins,

  "In agreement with the Foreign Office - "

A. Where does it say so? Unfortunately I have not found it.

Q. At the start of the letter. " Subject: Treatment of Jews
of foreign citizenship in the sphere of German power." And
then he begins,

  "In agreement with the Foreign Office."

Does that just mean in agreement with von Thadden?

                                                   [Page 97]

A. I assume that this type of thing went to the competent
experts, and since this concerns a basic matter it was put
directly before von Ribbentrop. May I ask to be allowed to
ask Herr von Ribbentrop whether he knows of this matter or
not? I never saw it.

Q. This is a matter of such importance that it could not
have been agreed with the Foreign Office without Ribbentrop
being consulted, is not that the case?

A. In my opinion, I would never have decided alone on this
matter if it had been put before me. I am of the opinion
that it was an affair which would have to be put before von

Q. Good. And, of course, von Ribbentrop was one of the most
ruthless persecutors of Jews of any, was he not?

A. That is not correct.

Q. I am going to just read you a short passage from a
conference between the Fuehrer, Ribbentrop and the Hungarian
Regent, Horthy. This is D-736, which was put in as Exhibit
GB 283, by Sir David Maxwell Fyfe, to the defendant Goering.
This was a meeting at Kleesheim Castle on the morning of
17th April, 1943, and you see the minutes are signed by

A. Yes.

Q. The question of Jews was raised. "The Fuehrer replied
that it was the fault of the Jews who considered hoarding
and profiteering as their main sphere of activity, even
during a world war; in exactly the same way as in England
sentences for rationing offences and the like now chiefly
concern Jews. To Horthy's counter-question as to what he
should do with the Jews, now that he had deprived them of
almost all possibilities of livelihood - he could not kill
them off - the Reich Foreign Minister declared that the Jews
must either be exterminated or taken to concentration camps.
There was no other possibility."

And then you see the Fuehrer goes on to describe them as
tuberculosis bacilli. Now, in the face of that document, do
you still say that the defendant Ribbentrop was against the
policy of persecution and extermination of the Jews?

A. I said yesterday that von Ribbentrop, when he was with
Hitler, -

Q. Never mind what you said yesterday. I am putting it to
you now, today. You have now seen that document. Do you
still say that Ribbentrop was against the policy of
persecution and extermination of the Jews?

A. Here, too, I should like to make a distinction between
the real instincts of von Ribbentrop and what he said when
he was under Hitler's influence. I said yesterday that he
was completely hypnotised by Hitler and then became his

Q. Yes, became his tool. And from then on, he was prepared
to do anything that Hitler wanted and was as violent a Nazi
as anyone, is that not right?

A. He followed blindly the orders given by Hitler.

Q. Yes. To the extent of conniving at any and every
atrocity, is not that right?

A. Since he had no executive powers he personally did not
commit these cruelties.

(Colonel Phillimore withdrew from the lectern.)

THE PRESIDENT: Do any of the other Chief Prosecutors want to

BY COLONEL JOHN HARLAN AMEN (for the United States):

Q. You testified yesterday that you did not consider
Ribbentrop to be a typical Nazi, is that correct?

A. Yes.

Q. Do you consider Goering to be a typical Nazi?

A. Goering made speeches before every type of meeting and
fought for the seizure of power, and accordingly he had a
completely different basis in the party than Ribbentrop.

Q. I think you can answer my question "yes" or "no." We are
trying to save time as much as

A. Yes, certainly.

                                                   [Page 98]

Q. Do you consider Goering to be a typical Nazi according to
the same standards that you were using with Ribbentrop, yes
or no?

A. This question one cannot answer in that way with yes or
no. I am trying every -

Q. You answered it that way with respect to Ribbentrop, did
you not?

A. Goering was a peculiar type of person. I cannot class him
with the ordinary Nazis, as one usually understands the

Q. In other words, you do not know whether you think he is a
typical Nazi or not, is that what you want the Tribunal to

A. By a typical Nazi one understands the "average" Nazi.
Goering is a unique person and one cannot compare his manner
of living with the other National Socialists.

Q. Well, are you acquainted with all of the gentlemen in the
box there in front of you?

A. Yes.

Q. Now, will you tell me which of those individuals you
consider to be a typical Nazi, according to the standards
which you applied yesterday to Ribbentrop?

THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Amen, I do not want to interrupt your
cross-examination, but I want to say that there is too much
laughter and noise in court, and I cannot have it.

Go on, Colonel, with your cross-examination.

Q. Do you understand my last question? Please name those of
the defendants in the box whom you consider to be typical
Nazis, on the same standard by which you judged Ribbentrop.

DR. HORN: Mr. President, I am convinced that here the
witness is making a decision which in my opinion should be
made by the Tribunal at the end of the proceedings. That is
an evaluation which the witness cannot make.

COLONEL AMEN: This is the subject that was brought up by
this very counsel yesterday with respect to Ribbentrop.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal thinks it a perfectly proper
question. They understand that the phrase "a typical Nazi"
was used by the witness himself.

Q. Please just give us the names and not a long explanation,
if you can.

A. I said yesterday that by typical Nazis I meant people who
are familiar with the dogma and doctrine. I want to add
today that by typical Nazi I mean further those people who
during the time of struggle represented National Socialist
ideology and were propagandists of National Socialism.
Rosenberg's book is known, Frank, as President of the
Academy for German Law, is known, Hess, of course, too, and
these are people whom I want to put into the foreground very
particularly because through their writings and so forth and
through their speeches they became known. No one ever heard
Ribbentrop make an election speech.

Q. But you are not answering my question. Am I to assume
from what you have said that in your opinion Rosenberg,
Frank and Hess are the only persons whom you could
characterise as being typical Nazis, according to your

A. Well, shall I go through the ranks of the defendants and
give an opinion on each one?

Q. Precisely. Just give me the names. No, I do not want your
opinion. I want to know under your standards which of them
you consider to be typical Nazis.

A. I have already stated the standard. It can be proved by
whether the people unreservedly represented the National
Socialist ideology in words or at meetings and in this
respect I named the prominent ones.

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