The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1999/12/16

Q. Why in the world should they be afraid to advise the
Foreign Office of these atrocities? Had the Foreign Office
ever done anything to discourage them?

A. In all matters which were violations of International Law
we attempted to bring the case to the attention of the Red
Cross in one way or another. We did this particularly in all
matters relating to prisoners of war and if anything
appeared to be wrong we drew the attention of the Swiss
delegation to it on our own initiative: "Go to this place,"
we said, "and see what is going on." And in this case too,
if I had gone to the Swiss and told them in confidence that
this and that had occurred in the concentration camps,
Switzerland and the Red Cross would probably have
interfered, which could ultimately have led to unpleasant

THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Amen, I think, we ought to have an
adjournment for ten minutes.

COLONEL AMEN: I have only a few more questions.

(A recess was taken.)


Q. So far as you know, after Ribbentrop had received this
desk-full of complaints from the Vatican, which he neither
read nor acknowledged, did he take any steps or do anything
to find out whether those complaints were justified and
true, or did he not?

A. Regarding the complaints made before my time, I have no

Q. I am asking you about any complaints that were received
from the Vatican that ever came to your attention, with
particular reference, of course, to the desk-full to which
Ribbentrop himself has testified. Do you know of any steps
that were ever taken by Ribbentrop in connection with
complaints received from the Vatican about the atrocities
taking place in concentration camps? Please try to answer
"yes" or "no."

A. So far as I recall he probably submitted complaints of
this sort to Hitler, when he had the opportunity, and then
waited for Hitler's order.

Q. All right. And when Hitler told him to pay no attention
whatsoever to these complaints, he, as usual, did exactly
what the Fuehrer told him to do, namely, nothing. Is that
correct, so far as you know?

A. Yes, he obeyed Hitler's orders.

Q. And did nothing?

A. If that is how the order read, he did nothing, yes.

Q. Well, did you tell the Tribunal that is what the
directive from the Fuehrer was, to pay no attention to these
complaints? Yes or no, please.

A. Yes.

Q. And so, I say, Ribbentrop, as usual, did nothing about
any of these complaints after the Fuehrer instructed him to
disregard them. Is that right?

A. I could not quite understand that question.

Q. I say after Ribbentrop received instructions from the
Fuehrer to disregard these complaints from the Vatican,
Ribbentrop, as usual, did what he was directed, namely,

A. I assume so, except in those cases where he nevertheless
tried again and then received the same answer. I also know
that he once appealed to Himmler and requested on principle
that the actions against the Jews should not be carried out,
and he proposed that Jewish children and women should, I
believe, be put at the disposal of England and America.

Q. And you also know what reply he received to that
suggestion, do you not?

A. I do not know the answer.

                                                  [Page 104]

Q. Well, you are certainly familiar with the fact that no
such thing was ever done, are you not?

A. That it was never carried out? I did not understand the

Q. The suggestion which you claim that Ribbentrop made to
Himmler. That suggestion was never carried out, was it?

A. I do not understand; in what way not carried out? So far
as I know Ribbentrop appealed directly to the foreign
countries at that time. I do not know what answer he
received at that time, at least not in detail.

Q. Well, so far as you know, nothing ever came of that
suggestion, correct?

A. No, nothing came of it.

Q. And, as a matter of fact, you know that Ribbentrop and
Himmler were not on good terms anyway, do you not?

A. Yes.

Q. That was a matter of common knowledge to everybody, was
it not?

A. Yes, the enmity became greater in the course of time.

Q. So far as you know, did Ribbentrop take bromides every

A. That I do not know. He -

Q. You never saw him taking any?

A. It is possible, I do not know.

Q. Well, did you ever see him taking any, or did he ever say
that he was taking them?

A. Yes, I remember now that he took some sort of red
substance, but I did not pay particular attention to it.

THE PRESIDENT: Is it any concern of ours - whether he took
bromides or not?

COLONEL AMEN: Yes, your Lordship, it is, because in his
interrogations he claims that his memory as to many of these
events has been obscured or removed by the over-use of such



Q. Now, witness, were you incarcerated at one time at a
place known as "Ash Can"?

A. In Mulleimer?

Q. Outside Luxembourg.

A. I cannot remember it.

Q. Near Luxembourg.

A. In Mulleimer? No, I do not remember being incarcerated

Q. After you were taken prisoner, where were you

A. Mondorf.

Q. For how long a period of time?

A. In Mondorf altogether eleven weeks.

Q. And at that time were numerous of the defendants in this
case also incarcerated there?

A. Yes.

Q. And while you were there you were free to have
conversations with some of the inmates?

A. Yes.

Q. And you did, from time to time, have such conversations?

A. Yes. I was not together with them all the time, because I
was in another camp.

Q. Now, in the course of your conversations with one or
another of the inmates there, did you make the statement
which I am about to read to you, either in exact words or in
substance? Do you understand the question? "Ribbentrop is
lacking in any notion of decency and truth. The conception
does not exist for him." Please answer "yes" or "no." Did
you say that, witness, did you say that?

A. I should be grateful if I could hear again exactly what I
am supposed to have said.

                                                  [Page 105]

Q. Now remember, I am asking you whether you said it either
in the exact words or in substance. Do you understand that?

A. I did not precisely understand the German translation of
your question.

Q. Do you now understand it?

A. I do not understand. I did not exactly understand the
German translation.

Q. Yes, but do you understand my question, namely, that you
are to say whether you used these exact words or some other
similar words? I will now read it to you again. Do you

A. Yes, I would be grateful if you would read it again.

Q. "Ribbentrop is lacking in any notion of decency and
truth. The conception does not exist for him."

A. I cannot recall that I ever made such a statement. I
would have to know to whom I am supposed to have said it.

Q. Do you deny having made that statement, or is it simply
that you cannot remember whether you did or not?

A. I cannot remember having said that.

Q. Is it possible that you did?

A. It is possible that I made such a statement, in some

COLONEL AMEN: Very good.

THE PRESIDENT: Do the other prosecutors wish to ask any

MAJOR-GENERAL ZORYA: To save time, I shall restrict myself
to a few questions only. In so far as I can understand the
translation of your testimony, which you submitted
yesterday, you testified to the fact that besides the
Ministry for Foreign Affairs, many individuals and
organisations had influenced Germany's foreign policy.

A. Yes.

Q. Tell me, which of the defendants in the present trials
whom you see in the dock, attempted to influence and did, to
a certain extent, influence Germany's foreign policy?

A. Foreign policy was, of course, after the beginning of the
War -

Q. I must ask you here and now, not to make any declaration
on Germany's foreign policy, but to indicate precisely, in
the form of a reply to my question, who of the defendants in
the present trials attempted to influence, and did
influence, Germany's foreign policy?

A. The basic lines of foreign policy were determined solely
by Hitler. The fact that we had occupied many countries and
in these various countries occupied the most varied
positions -

Q. We know all about that. I ask you to indicate by name,
who of the defendants in the present trials attempted to
influence and did influence Germany's foreign policy. Is my
question clear to you?

Q. Foreign policy, as I stated yesterday, was by and large
determined by Hitler alone; but those people who were
appointed to special agencies naturally exercised some
influence in one respect or another. For example - someone
who had a special assignment concerning the police carried
out police measures; someone who had to take care of labour
problems conducted labour affairs. The same is true of other

Q. You still do not answer my question. I request you to
indicate, irrespective of the form and extent of his
influence, who of the defendants in the current trials
attempted to influence and did influence in one form or
another, Germany's foreign policy, and this apart from
representatives of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

A. I assume that you are asking this question in relation to
Russia; as the Foreign Office no longer had jurisdiction
after the entrance of German troops into Russia -

Q. I request you to understand my question thoroughly and to
answer who of the defendants, and in what form, irrespective
of concrete facts of foreign policy,

                                                  [Page 106]

attempted to influence this foreign policy of Germany and
did, in effect, so influence it?

A. As regards Russia, the Eastern ministry was competent for
these questions.

Q. No, not in connection with Russia.

A. In Norway Terboven laid down the policy. Quite naturally
he influenced Hitler in his attitude toward Norway and
Norwegian problems. In the same way the individual chiefs of
the administrations in the individual countries exerted
influence according to how close they could come to Hitler
with their reports.

THE PRESIDENT: We do not want you to make speeches; we want
you to answer the question. You were not asked who
influenced foreign policy, but who of the defendants
influenced foreign policy. You may say none, or you may say
some. It is a question that you must be able to answer.

A. I would assume that Rosenberg had something to say
regarding Russia. Frank had something to say regarding
Poland, Seyss-Inquart had something to say regarding
Holland. Other matters touched only special sectors.
Naturally the S.S. had something to say; the Wehrmacht had
something to say, also the various other offices, and they
naturally all exerted a certain influence but only a certain
influence. However, the basic policy was conducted solely by


Q. Do you not wish in this connection to name the defendant

A. Goering carried on the Four-Year Plan and in this
capacity he naturally also exercised a certain influence on

Q. What did this influence consist of?

A. There again I must say that I and the foreign office had
nothing to do with Russia and that we were strictly
forbidden to intervene in Russian affairs. In the sphere of
propaganda and the Press we were in no way permitted to
become active. For this reason I am especially badly
informed on Russian affairs.

Q. Did the defendant Goering have any influence in other
questions besides the Russian question?

A. I do not understand the question in the German.

Q. In addition to the Russian question, did the defendant
Goering exercise any influence on other questions in the
sphere of foreign policy?

A. I would say that until the year 1938 he certainly had
influence over Hitler in matters of foreign policy.

Q. You have stated in your testimony that in July 1944 the
Ministry for Foreign Affairs participated in preparations
for the anti-Jewish Congress which, it was assumed, would be
held in Cracow. Will you please answer this question briefly
- yes or no.

A. Yes.

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