The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Q. One last question: During your activities, in regard to
foreign policy, did you see any possibility of realising
prospects of revision which had been conceded to Germany but
which had not materialised?

A. That was precisely the great problem out of which, in the
final analysis, this war developed. As Adolf Hitler often
told me, he wanted to build up an ideal social State in
Europe after the solution of the problems which we
considered vital. He wanted to erect buildings, etc.; that
was his aim. Now, the realisation of these "vital" aims of
the Fuehrer was greatly hampered by the

                                                  [Page 206]

rigid political system, which had been established in Europe
and the world in general.

We both - the Fuehrer, and then I myself at his order - so I
believe I am the chief witness - always tried to solve these
problems through diplomatic and peaceful channels. I brooded
day and night over paragraph 19 of the Statute of the League
of Nations, but the difficulty was that the Fuehrer was not
in a position to obtain results through diplomatic channels,
or was convinced that it was simply impossible at least,
without having strong armed forces to back him up. The
mistake was, I believe, that although paragraph 19 was a
very good paragraph of the Statute of the League of Nations,
and one which we all would have been very willing to sign
and follow, or, rather, one which we did sign and would have
followed, no means of putting it into practice existed. That
created a situation where the powers who wanted to retain
this state of petrifaction, as I might call it, or status
quo, naturally opposed any steps taken by Germany. This, of
course, caused reaction on the part of the Fuehrer, until
finally it reached the point, the very tragic point, where
this great war began over a question like Danzig and the
Corridor, a question which could have been solved relatively

DR. HORN: I have no more questions.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Horn, I do not think it would be possible
to go any further with the examination of the witness to-
day, but the. Tribunal would welcome your assistance and the
assistance of the prosecution with reference to your
documents, if you could tell us what the position is, and if
the prosecution could tell us how far they have been able to
see these documents since they have been translated, and how
far they have been able to make up their minds as to what
documents they wish to object to and what documents they are
prepared to admit as being offered in evidence before us.
Could you tell us what the position is with reference to
these documents - how many of your documents have been

DR. HORN: A member of the British Prosecution told me this
morning that the English document book will be ready on
Monday and that I can discuss with him the question of
relevant documents then. He also told me that the British
Prosecution would arrange everything with the other
delegations of the prosecution, so that on Tuesday I should
be in a position to submit the remaining documents and, I
believe, this could be done in two or three hours. I want to
submit these documents in groups and do not wish to read too
many of them, but only to explain to the Tribunal the reason
for my putting these documents in evidence.

THE PRESIDENT: You said, did you not, it would take you no
longer than two or three hours to explain the documents
after you had come to the arrangement with the prosecution?


THE PRESIDENT: Have you any other witnesses to call besides
the defendant?

DR. HORN: No. I would only like to submit an affidavit by a
witness requested by me - Legationsrat Gottfriedsen -
dealing with the personal financial circumstances of the
defendant Ribbentrop, former minister for Foreign Affairs.
Gottfriedsen was the Foreign Office official who looked
after the official income of the Foreign Minister and was
also very well acquainted with his private financial
affairs. He can give information about the personal and
official estates belonging to the Foreign Minister and the
Foreign Ministry. I have embodied this information in the
form of a few questions in an affidavit. If the prosecution
has no objection to this affidavit, I could dispense with
the calling of the witness Gottfriedsen. However, if the
prosecution wants him to appear, then I would question on
the contents of the affidavit.

I have no other witnesses for the defendant von Ribbentrop,
so all my documents have now been presented; and the case
for the defence is now concluded.

THE PRESIDENT: Would the prosecution tell us their view on

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, as far as the British
Prosecution is concerned, we have now had six documents
books, I think, taking us up to 214,

[Page 207]

roughly two-thirds of the documents which Dr. Horn wishes to
tender, and we have been able to go through up to No. 191. I
made out a list - I could hand one to the Tribunal and give
Dr. Horn, one of those documents that we object to which are
very briefly set out. I should think we object to something
like seventy or eighty, between Nos. 45 and 191, maybe a
little more. The Soviet delegation are, I think, in a
position to tender their objections, which are practically
entirely in accord with ours, though they were prepared
separately. M. Champetier de Ribes has at least two batches
of documents to which he wishes to make objections. I think
I may say that Mr. Dodd is more or less leaving this point
to me and will act in accordance with the British
Delegation's view on the point. So that is the position. It
probably would be convenient if I handed in a very outlined
list of objections which I have up to date.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal would like to know, Sir David,
what the position of the prosecution is about the
translation of the documents. You remember that the Tribunal
did make an order that the prosecution should object to
documents, if possible, before they were translated, so as
to avoid unnecessary translations, and in the event of any
disagreement between the prosecution and the defence any
matter should be referred to the Tribunal. It was thought
that there were a great number of documents on which
agreement could be achieved in that way and the labour and
time taken up in translating would be obviated.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: Yes. The difficulty we have been in
over these documents is that we did our best to try and
formulate our view on the index, but it is a very difficult
matter to do this when you get a short description of only a
line and a half about a document. But it might be that that
would be the most practical way of doing it, despite its
difficulty. If the prosecution were given an index with as
good a description as possible of the document and then were
to formulate their objections on that index, and the
Tribunal were to hear any out-standing differences before
the documents were translated, I should think - I am afraid
I can only put it tentatively - it would be worth a trial.
Otherwise, you would get a terrible blockage of the
translation department of the Tribunal by a vast number of
documents, such as we have had in this case, to which
ultimately we are going to make full and numerous
objections, and that would hold up the translation of all
the documents belonging to the subsequent proceedings. So I
should be prepared - and I think my colleagues would support
me - in making a trial, if the Tribunal thought it could be
done, to hand in an objection on a list of documents and see
if we could in that way arrive at the results which would
obviate the necessity of translating them all.

THE PRESIDENT: Would it be of assistance to the prosecution,
if the defendant's counsel were to give them the entire
documents in German with also a full index in English, and
then the prosecution - or some member of it who is familiar
with German - could go through the documents in German and
the prosecution could then make up their minds in that way?
Would that be of assistance to the prosecution?

They would have not only the index to inform them as to what
was the nature of the documents but they would also have the
documents in German.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: I think that would be a great help,
especially if he underlined the more material passages.

THE PRESIDENT: Then, with the co-operation of the
defendant's counsel, some measure of agreement might be
arrived at as to what were the necessary documents to lay
before the Tribunal.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: Yes, I think that could be done, my

THE PRESIDENT: Well, then, Sir David, with reference to the
immediate future, on Monday, of course, some of the
defendant's counsel may wish to ask questions of the
defendant Ribbentrop and then the prosecution may wish to
cross-examine him, and that, I suppose, might possibly take
all Monday.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: I think that is highly probable, my

                                                  [Page 208]

THE PRESIDENT: Under those circumstances, if the scheme
which Dr. Horn has outlined is carried out, there would not
necessarily be any delay at all, because by Tuesday morning
his documents would have been all examined by the
prosecution and the objections to them would have been put
in, and he could then go through, as he says, in two or
three hours, the documents which remain for the
consideration of the Tribunal.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: I respectfully agree, my Lord.

THE PRESIDENT: Then the Tribunal would like to know what the
position is with reference to the next defendant. It may be
that on Tuesday, after the midday adjournment, the case of
defendant Keitel would come on. Now, are his documents in
order? As far as I remember, most of his documents are
documents which have already been put in evidence.


THE PRESIDENT: Is that not so?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: Perhaps Dr. Nelte could help us.

THE PRESIDENT: If he would, yes.

DR. NELTE: Mr. President, I am ready to begin at any time.
The documents have been presented and affidavits were
presented to the prosecution last week. I am only waiting
for the prosecution to decide as to the relevancy of those
documents, which the defendant has submitted as his own
statements, and which are to be submitted in order to
shorten the examination.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE - I have not had the chance of going
through them myself, but, as a matter of principle, we have
always been quite prepared that a statement should be read
so long as the witness is there to be cross-examined. If the
Tribunal has no objection, there will be none from the
prosecution on that procedure.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, the Tribunal has no objection at all to
that method of presenting written documents, provided the
prosecution does not object to them, and, therefore, no
cross-examination is necessary. Could Dr. Nelte tell us
whether the documents which he wishes to present in so far
as they have not already been put in evidence, have been
translated yet?

DR. NELTE: They were sent to the translation office, the
last two documents three days ago. I assume, therefore, that
the delegations of the prosecution have, in the meantime,
received the translations.

THE PRESIDENT: Have you received them, Sir David?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: No, my Lord, we have not received

DR. NELTE: Perhaps they have not been distributed yet.
Several, or about two-thirds of the documents were
translated into French and English about two weeks ago and
are ready. I subsequently also sent these documents to the
Russian delegation so that they could be translated into

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: I am told, my Lord, by General
Mitchell, that the documents are translated. They have not
yet been distributed.

THE PRESIDENT: Then there ought to be no cause for delay in
connection with the defendant Keitel's case.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, I do not think so.


THE PRESIDENT: Then, does the same apply to the defendant
Kaltenbrunner, who is the next one? Dr. Kaufmann, are your
documents yet translated?

DR. KAUFMANN: Mr. President, I have only a very few
affidavits and there is no doubt that they will be in the
hands of the prosecution in due course.

THE PRESIDENT: One moment. So that you will be quite ready
to go on then?

DR. KAUFMANN: After Keitel, Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, after Keitel. Very well, Sir David, then
you will present to us the  objections which you are making
to Dr. Horn's documents, and the Soviet Prosecutor will
present his objections?

                                                  [Page 209]

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: Yes, I. shall hand them in as far as
I have gone, if may, at once.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, and M. Champetier de Ribes, so far as he
has any.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: If your Lordship pleases, yes.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well, the Tribunal will adjourn.

(The Tribunal adjourned until 1 April, 1946, at 10.00 hours.)

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