The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Archive/File: imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-10/tgmwc-10-92.09
Last-Modified: 1999/12/16

THE PRESIDENT Dr. Horn, the Tribunal will rule upon the
admissibility of these passages from Lord Rothermere's book
when they have had the translation submitted to them. In the
meantime, will you go on presenting your documents in the
way that I suggested, and not stopping to detail any of them
except those that you particularly want to.

DR. HORN: May I explain very briefly that the suppression of
German racial groups in the border territories of
Czechoslovakia led to the formation of the

                                                  [Page 119]

Sudeten German Party, and the co-operation and consultation
of the latter with official German establishments. The
defendant von Ribbentrop in his capacity of Reich Foreign
Minister, and within the scope of the directives he
received, held conferences with leaders of the national
groups. A number of documents have already been submitted in
evidence by the prosecution; and I shall refer to them
later. In this connection may I ask to have a correction
made in Document 2788-PS, where, on Page 2, approximately in
the middle, it says "through the extent and gradual" - there
is an error in translation here. Our document says
"provocation," whereas the original says "specification
(Praezisierung) of the demands in order to avoid entering
the government." I request the correction of this error, as
it distorts the meaning.

In the course of the prosecution's presentation von
Ribbentrop was said to have supported the high-handed
conduct of the Sudeten German leaders. As evidence to the
contrary I refer to a part of Document 3060-PS which has not
yet been read and from which the contrary can be gathered,
namely, that the then foreign minister von Ribbentrop took
measures against the high-handedness of the Sudeten German
Leaders with the help of his Ambassador in Prague.

As evidence of this, may I quote the first and second
paragraph of this document. I quote:

  "Frank's dismissal" - Frank was the leader of the Sudeten
  German Party at that time - "has had a salutary effect. I
  have come to a separate understanding with Henlein, who
  had evaded me recently, and with Frank, and have received
  the following promises:
  1. The policy and tactics of the Sudeten German Party
  must be decided exclusively by the direction of German
  foreign policy as transmitted through the German
  Legation. My directives must be obeyed implicitly.
  These directives are in accordance with the general
  policy, which had as its aim the avoidance of direct
  interference in Czech affairs or in the policy of the
  Sudeten German Party."

Regarding the details of the activity of the German
Government and of the Foreign Office in their relations with
the Sudeten German Party, I shall question von Ribbentrop
when he is called as a

I now pass on to Ribbentrop Exhibit 46, which I submit to
the Tribunal for judicial notice. This document is a report
from the embassy of the Czechoslovak Republic in Paris. It
is concerned with the meaning and purpose of Lord Runciman's
mission to Prague. It shows that that mission was entrusted
to him by England for the purpose of gaining time for
rearmament. May I read the document?

  "Paris, 5th August, 1938. Secret.
  Massigli considers the sending of Lord Runciman to Prague
  a good thing. Anthony Eden said, during a conversation
  with Ambassador Corbin - the French Ambassador to London
  - that on careful reflection the sending of Lord Runciman
  to Prague was a step in the right direction, as he is
  said to be going to engage England more directly with
  Central Europe than has been the case up to now.
  Massigli says that the English know that there will be
  war, and that they are trying every means to delay it. He
  is perfectly aware that Lord Runciman's mission in Prague
  for the purpose of settling that dispute is a danger to
  Czechoslovakia; for Lord Runciman might - for the alleged
  purpose of gaining time - propose something which could
  be tremendously damaging to Czechoslovakia.
  To this view of Massigli's I add further information
  which is extremely significant. During the recent grain
  conference held in London, the British, the Dominions,
  the United States and France conducted separate
  discussions. The French delegate had a discussion with
  Minister Elliot (British Minister
                                                  [Page 120]
  of Health) and Morrison (British Minister for
  Agriculture) as well as with the distinguished expert,
  Sir Arthur Street, who was in the Ministry of Agriculture
  and who had been entrusted with a leading post in the Air
  Ministry. From the speeches, conduct and negotiations of
  the British Delegation, the French delegate gathered the
  positive impression that the British were interested in
  organising grain supplies not so much to prevent as to
  win the conflict. The ministers Elliot and Morrison are
  both supposed to believe in the possibility of a
  conflict. Sir Arthur Street said that in six months' time
  he would have put British aviation on its feet.
  Consequently, much importance is attached to the gaining
  of time in England. I mention this information at this
  point in connection with Lord Runciman's mission to
  Prague, because, as I said already, the question of
  gaining time plays an important if not decisive role in
  the sending of Lord Runciman to Paris.
  With best greetings, yours sincerely,

On 29th September, 1938, the Munich pact was concluded, in
which von Ribbentrop also participated. Just how far he did
this I shall demonstrate when he is examined in the witness-
box regarding his policy.

On 30th September there was a mutual declaration, which I
submit to the Tribunal as Ribbentrop Exhibit 47. That
declaration by the Fuehrer and the British Prime Minister
Chamberlain dated 30th September, 1938, was planned to serve
the purpose of removing all the remaining outstanding
differences between Germany and England.

The reaction to this agreement differed in Germany and in
England. As evidence for the British reaction I refer to
Ribbentrop Exhibit 48, which I am offering to the Tribunal
with the request for judicial notice. This is an extract
from the speech of the British Prime Minister Chamberlain in
the House of Commons on 3rd October, 1938. May I quote the
following from its first paragraph:

  " ... If there is a lesson we can learn from the
  experiences of these last weeks it is the fact that
  lasting peace cannot be attained by sitting still and
  waiting for it. Active and positive efforts are required
  to attain this peace.
  We, in this country, have already been busy for a long
  time with a rearmament programme whose speed and extent
  increases constantly. Nobody should believe that -
  because of the signing of the Munich agreement by the
  four powers - we can at present afford to reduce our
  regarding this programme ..."

As evidence that this re-armament programme, which
Chamberlain himself said was constantly growing in speed and
size, I should like to prove this assertion by reference to
Ribbentrop Exhibit 49. This is a speech of the British
Secretary of State for War, Hore Belisha, at the Mansion
House, in London, given on 10th October, 1938, and I request
the Tribunal to take judicial notice of this speech also,
from the extracts which I am submitting. May I quote a few
words from them?

  "More still, however, is to be done to give full force
  and opportunity to the territorial army as a whole."

I am now omitting a paragraph and read the following one,
paragraph 5, which says:

  "As regards the organization of formations, infantry
  brigades will in future have three battalions, as in the
  Regular Army, instead of four. Employing the material
  that we have, we find that we can form nine complete
  divisions on the Regular Army model ... We have provided
  also a considerable number of modern corps and Army
  Units, such as Army Field and Survey regiments. R.A. and
  Signal Corps will be ready to take their place in such

                                                  [Page 121]
  formations should war eventuate. This is also in
  accordance with Regular Army organisation."

So far, the quotation is from the speech of the Secretary of
State for War. In Ribbentrop Exhibit 50, further stress is
laid on armament. It concerns a speech of Winston
Churchill's of 16th October, 1938, and I beg the Tribunal to
take judicial notice of this speech in connection with
extracts from it as a document. I am quoting only a few
sentences from it.

  "We must arm.... We shall no doubt arm.
  Britain, casting away the habits of centuries, will
  decree national service upon her citizens. The British
  people will stand erect and will face whatever may be
  coming. But arms - instrumentalities - as President
  Wilson called them - are not sufficient by themselves. We
  must add to them the power of ideas.
  People say we ought not to allow ourselves to be drawn
  into a theoretical antagonism between Nazidom and
  democracy, but the antagonism is here now."

I prove the fact that England was arming energetically in
the air far beyond the normal needs of defence, by
Ribbentrop Exhibit 51, which I am offering to the Tribunal
with the request for judicial notice. This is a declaration
of the British Secretary of State for Air in the House of
Commons, dated 16th November, 1938 -

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Horn, I thought you understood what the
Tribunal wanted you to do, which was to put in these
documents altogether. I think I have said from 44 - was not
that the document to which you had got? - to 300 and
something, that you could put them in altogether. But now
you have gone through 46, 47,48,49, 50 and 51, and you seem
to be going through each one in detail, doing exactly what I
asked you not to do. Did you not understand what I said?

DR. HORN: The way I understood you, Mr. President, was that
I may read important parts from them. That is what I did. It
concerns only important extracts.

THE PRESIDENT: Are you going to find an important passage in
each of the three hundred documents?

DR. HORN: No, Mr. President, certainly not; but if I cannot
read these documents, these extracts, then I would like to
ask the Tribunal to accept my whole document book as
evidence, so that I can refer to it later.

THE PRESIDENT: That is what we intended to do. What we want
you to do is to offer in evidence now, stating that you
offer from Exhibit 44 up to 300 and whatever the number is,
and we will allow you, of course, to refer to them at a
later stage when you make your speech; and if there is any
passage which the prosecution object to they can inform you
about it  beforehand and the matter can then be argued. But
what we do not desire you to do is to take up the time of
the Tribunal by either offering each of these documents by
its number individually, 44, 45 and so on, or by reading
anything except passages which are of especial importance at
this moment. After all, you are not putting forward your
whole case now; you are only introducing your evidence.

DR. HORN: Mr. President, I had ...

THE PRESIDENT: I am reminded that of these last few exhibits
to which you have been referring, you have referred to about
six, all of them upon British rearmament. That is obviously
cumulative, is it not? Therefore, it cannot be that all
those are all particularly important to you.

We only desire to get on, and we desire you, as I have said,
to put in these documents, if I may use the phrase, in bulk;
and we do not desire you to refer to any of them beyond

DR. HORN: In that case I am offering No. 51 -

COLONEL POKROVSKY (interposing): If I understand rightly,
Dr. Horn up to now has not drawn any conclusions from those
directions which were given him time and again by the

                                                  [Page 122]

I had an opportunity, that is, as far as I could, to
actually acquaint myself with those translations that are
gradually coming to me, and, by the way, Dr. Horn turned
over these documents, not three weeks ago, as he said, but
considerably later. I have a whole series of objections.

Most of the documents in general are altogether irrelevant
to the matter, and in particular, absolutely irrelevant to
the case of Ribbentrop.

THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Pokrovsky, we have already indicated
that we do not want to deal with questions of admissibility
at the moment, because the documents are not before us. I do
not understand the purpose of your objections. We have not
got the documents here. How can we tell whether they are
admissible or not?

COLONEL POKROVSKY: I have an objection in principle. Part of
the documents - I will not quote their contents but merely
for illustration will name two or three numbers - part of
them are direct filthy and slanderous attacks by private
persons against such statesmen as Mr. Roosevelt, the late
President of the United States. I have in mind Documents
290/4, 290/3, 290/1. Some of them are just provocative
forged documents. I have in mind also Document 286.

There is a whole series of documents which fall directly
under the terms of those directions that were given to Dr.
Horn by the Tribunal, and it seems to me that if Dr. Horn
will continue reading those documents into the record -

THE PRESIDENT (interposing): Colonel Pokrovsky, as I have
said, we have not got these documents before us. You say
Documents 291, 293, 294, and 286

I do not know even what the documents are. I have never seen

I think the best way would be for the Chief Prosecutors to
submit their objections in writing, and then they will be
considered by the Tribunal. The documents are not here. We
cannot do anything until we see what the documents are. In
order to try and get on with this case, we are allowing Dr.
Horn to put in the documents in bulk. But your objections
now are really simply taking up time and doing no good at
all. If you would put in your objections in writing, saying
that you object on certain grounds to these documents, that
matter would be considered, but we can't consider it without

COLONEL POKROVSKY: My objection was dictated by the wish to
save time, and is of a very practical nature.

From the moment when a certain document - well, at least the
contents of it - from the moment even a brief account of it
is recorded in the transcript this material becomes the
property of the Press; and it seems to me that it is not in
our interests to have a document which is a known
falsification, and the fate of which has not been determined
by the Tribunal, that such a document should be turned over
to certain circles and that it should be made public.

Meanwhile, among the documents which have been presented by
Dr. Horn, there are such documents. It is not quite clear to
me why these particular documents were delayed in
translation, why these documents were presented later than
others. On the basis of this consideration I thought it my
duty to address the Tribunal, and I think that the Tribunal
will consider the reason for my objections.

THE PRESIDENT: I follow what you mean now with reference to
documents being communicated to the Press, and steps ought
to be taken on that. The Tribunal will rule now that
documents, upon the admissibility of which the Tribunal has
not ruled, are not to be given to the Press. I believe there
have been some infractions of that in the past, but that is
the Tribunal's ruling, that documents should not be given to
the Press until they have been admitted in evidence before
this Tribunal.


THE PRESIDENT: I ought perhaps to add that the Tribunal are
not in complete control of this matter. It is for the
prosecution to see, and also possibly for the defence, that
documents should not be given to the Press until they have
been admitted in evidence here.

COLONEL, POKROVSKY: Up to now the order has been that if the

                                                  [Page 123]

mentioned in Court are recorded in the transcript, then they
become public property.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: Your Honour: I wonder if I could
help on that practical point. Because it is one which has
given us a little concern.

As your Lordship knows, the practice has been that the
documents have been given some 24 hours before they are
produced in Court, on the understanding, which has been
almost completely complied with, that the Press would not
publish until the document is put in evidence. And, my Lord,
I am sure that if the Tribunal expressed the wish that where
any objection is taken to a document and the Tribunal
reserves the question of admissibility, the Press would, in
the spirit with which they have complied with the previous
practice, comply at once with the Tribunal's desire and not
publish it in these circumstances. I think that in practice
that would solve the difficulty which your Lordship has just

THE PRESIDENT: The only thing is, of course, that we are now
dealing with a very large number of documents which Dr. Horn
wants to submit, and, as you have heard, for purposes of
trying to save time we have asked him to submit those
documents in bulk.


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