The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: imt/tgmwc//tgmwc-10/tgmwc-10-96.02


Archive/File: imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-10/tgmwc-10-96.02
Last-Modified: 1999/12/20

MR. DODD: May it please the Tribunal, as far as I
understand, there is some slight danger of the witness Gauss
being removed from Nuremberg. I would like to state at this
time that we would like to have him retained here for long
enough time for possible cross-examination.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well.

Do any other members of the defendants' counsel want to ask
questions?

BY DR. NELTE (Counsel for Keitel):

Q. The defendant Keitel states that in the autumn of 1940,
when the idea of a war with Russia was mentioned by Hitler,
he went to Fuschl in order to talk to you about this
question. He believed that you too had misgivings about it.
Do you recall that Keitel at the end of August or at the
beginning of September was in Fuschl?

A. Yes, that is correct. He did visit me at that time.

Q. Do you recall that Keitel at that time stated to you his
opinion about the possible threat of war?

A. Yes, that is correct. He spoke of that at the time. I
believe he said that the Fuehrer had discussed it with him.

Q. What I am driving at is this: Keitel states that he spoke
with you about a memorandum he intended to submit to Hitler
which referred to the considerations which were to be taken
into account in case of war with Soviet Russia.

A. That is correct. Keitel told me at that time that he
intended to submit a memorandum to Hitler, and he expressed
his misgivings concerning a possible conflict between the
Soviet Union and Germany,

Q. Did you have the impression that Field Marshal Keitel was
opposed to the war at that time?

A. Yes, that is correct. I definitely had that impression.

Q. Is it true that he, as a result of this discussion, asked
you to support his point of view with Hitler?

A. Yes, that is correct, and I told him at that time that I
would do so, that I would speak to Hitler, and that he ought
to do the same.

Q. Another question regarding the escape of the French
General Giraud. Is it true that Keitel, when the French
General Giraud escaped from Koenigstein, asked you to take
steps with the French Government to bring about the
General's voluntary return?

A. Yes, that is right. At the time he asked me whether it
would not be possible, by way of negotiations with the
French Government, to induce Giraud to return to
imprisonment in some way or other.

                                                  [Page 215]

Q. Did a meeting then take place with General Giraud in
occupied France through the intervention of Ambassador
Abetz?

A. Yes, such a meeting took place. I believe Ambassador
Abetz met Giraud, who, as I recall, appeared in the company
of Laval. The ambassador did everything he could in order to
induce the General to return, but finally did not succeed.
The General was promised safe conduct for this meeting and
upon its conclusion the General and Laval left.

Q. The prosecution has submitted an order, the subject of
which was the branding of Soviet prisoners of war. The
defendant Keitel is held responsible for this order. He
states that he spoke with you about this question at
headquarters, located at that time in Vinnitza; that he had
to do it because all questions pertaining to prisoners of
war also concerned the Department for International Law of
the Foreign Office.

Do you recall that in this connection Keitel asked you
whether there were any objections from the point of view of
International Law to this branding which Hitler wished.

A. The situation was this: I heard about the intention of
marking prisoners of war and went to Headquarters to speak
with Keitel about this matter, because it was my opinion
that the marking of prisoners in such a way was out of the
question. Keitel shared my opinion and, so far as I recall,
I believe, he gave later orders that this intended form of
marking was not to be used.

DR. NELTE: I have no further question.

BY DR. KRANZBUEHLER (Counsel for the defendant Donitz):

Q. Witness, when did you make the acquaintance of Admiral
Donitz?

A. I made his acquaintance after he was appointed Commander-
in-Chief of the Navy.

Q. That was in 1943?

A. I believe so.

Q. Did Donitz before or after this time exert or try to
exert any influence on German foreign policy?

A. I have never heard that Donitz tried to exert any
influence on German foreign policy.

Q. Do you recall Marshal Antonescu's visit to the Fuehrer's
Headquarters on the 27th February, 1944?

A. I do recall the visit but not the date. Marshal Antonescu
used to visit the Fuehrer frequently - I should say every
six months or so; I believe you said at the beginning of
1944?

Q. Yes, on 27th February, 1944.

A. Yes, I think it is correct that he visited the Fuehrer at
the beginning of 1944.

Q. Do you recall whether Antonescu, at that time, attended
the discussion of the military situation as a guest?

A. I am quite certain, because this was usually the case
when Antonescu came to see the Fuehrer. The Fuehrer always
explained the military situation to him, that is, he invited
him to the so-called noon discussion of the military
situation. I do not recall exactly now, but there can be no
doubt that Marshal Antonescu attended the discussion of the
military situation in February.

Q. Besides the military discussions were there also
political discussions with Antonescu?

A. Yes, every visit of Marshal Antonescu began by the
Fuehrer's withdrawing either with the Marshal alone or
sometimes also with me, but mostly with the Marshal alone,
because he was the Supreme Head of a State; a long detailed
political discussion would ensue, to which I was generally
called in later.

Q. Did Admiral Donitz take part in these political
discussions?

A. Certainly not, because the Fuehrer seldom invited
military leaders to these political discussions with Marshal
Antonescu. Later, however, he did occasion-

                                                  [Page 216]

ally, but I do not recall that Admiral Donitz ever took part
in a discussion with Antonescu.

DR. KRANZBUEHLER: I have no further questions.

BY DR. SIEMERS (Counsel for the defendant Raeder):

Q. Witness, the prosecution have submitted a document
concerning a discussion between you and the Japanese Foreign
Minister Matsuoka on 29th March, 1942. The document carries
the number 1877-PS, and is Exhibit USA 152. A part of this
document was read into the record by the prosecution, and on
Page 1007 of the German transcript can be found among other
things the following passage, which concerns Raeder:

  "The Reich Foreign Minister returned once more to the
  question of Singapore. In view of the Japanese fears of
  submarine attacks from the Philippines and the
  interference of the English Mediterranean and Home
  Fleets, he spoke once more with Admiral Raeder. Raeder
  said to him that the British fleets in this year would be
  so busy in British home waters and in the Mediterranean
  that they would not be able to spare one single ship for
  the Far East. The American submarines Admiral Raeder
  described as so bad that Japan would not have to worry
  about them."

Witness, as the defendant Raeder clearly remembers, you, as
Foreign Minister, never spoke with him about strategic
matters regarding Japan, or even about the worth or
worthlessness of American submarines. I should be obliged to
you if you could clarify this point, whether there might be
some confusion as to the person involved in this discussion.

A. That is altogether possible. I do not recall that I ever
spoke with Admiral Raeder about German-Japanese strategy.
The fact was, that we had only very loose connections with
Japan in these questions. If at that time I said to Matsuoka
what you have written there, it is quite possible that I
quoted the Fuehrer as having said it to me. Naturally I
could not have said it on my own initiative, because I did
not know about it. I know that the Fuehrer spoke to me
frequently about such points, particularly with regard to
Japan. It is possible therefore that this did not originate
with Admiral Raeder but the Fuehrer. I do not know who made
this note. Is it a ....

Q. The document is entitled "Notes on the conference between
the Reich Foreign Minister and the Japanese Foreign
Minister, Matsuoka ..."

A. I have seen that here. It is possible that the Fuehrer
said that to me. In fact, I consider that probable. It is
possible that some mistake was made in the note, that I do
not know.

Q. Witness, did you inform the defendant Raeder of such
political discussions as you had with Matsuoka or Oshima?

A. No, that was not the case.

Q. Did you ever speak with Raeder about other political
questions or arrange for him to be present at political
negotiations?

A. No, that was not our practice. Generally, the Fi1hrer
kept military and political matters strictly separate so
that I, as Foreign Minister, never had an opportunity to
discuss military or strategic matters at my office; but when
questions of foreign policy were to be discussed, this took
place at the Fuehrer's Headquarters, though as I have seen
from documents which I read for the first time here, matters
were kept separate even there. In other words, if such
discussions took place at all, a fact which I cannot recall
at the moment, it could only have been at the Fuehrer's
Headquarters.

DR. SIEMERS: Thank you.

BY DR. LATERNSER (Counsel for the General Staff and the
OKW.):

Q. Witness, the State Secretary of the Foreign Office,
Steengracht, who was heard here as a witness, answered my
question as to whether the high military leaders were
regularly informed by him about current political matters in
the

                                                  [Page 217]

negative. Now I ask whether you, as Foreign Minister,
informed high military leaders about political matters?

A. No. I must answer this question in the same way as I
answered the previous question. That was not our practice.
All political and military matters were exclusively dealt
with by the Fuehrer. The Fuehrer told me what to do in the
diplomatic and political field, and the military men what
they had to do in their field. I was occasionally, but very
seldom, informed about military matters by the Fuehrer, and
whatever the military men had to know about political
matters they never learned from me; but if they learned it
at all, it was from the Fuehrer.

DR. LATERNSER: I have no further questions.

BY DR. BOEHM (Counsel for the SA):

Q. Witness, did you have an order or an instruction
according to which you were to inform the SA leaders of the
development and treatment of foreign political matters?

A. The SA? There was no such order.

Q. Did the SA leadership have any influence on foreign
policy at all?

A. No.

Q. And now I should like to ask a question for my colleague
Dr. Sauter, who is ill.

Were you in 1943 witness to a conversation between Hitler
and Himmler, in which the question was discussed as to
whether von Schirach, who was then Reichsleiter, should be
summoned before the Volksgerich (People's Court)?

A. Yes, that is correct.

Q. What consequence would such a trial before the
Volksgericht have had for Schirach?

A. I cannot say exactly, of course. I do not know the
details of this matter. I only know that Himmler, in my
presence, made the suggestion to the Fuehrer that Schirach
should be brought and tried before the Volksgericht for some
reason or other ... I do not know the details. I was not
interested in them. I said to the Fuehrer that this, in my
opinion, would make a very bad impression from the point of
view of foreign policy, and I know that Himmler received no
answer from the Fuehrer; at any rate, the order was not
given. What consequences there would have been I cannot say,
but when such suggestions came from Himmler, the
consequences were very serious.

Q. How is it that you were witness to this conversation and
how did you react to it?

A. It was purely accidental; I have just said that I told
the Fuehrer as well as Himmler that it would make a very bad
impression.

DR. BOEHM: I have no further questions.

THE PRESIDENT: Are there any other questions on behalf of
the defendants' counsel?

(No reply.)

CROSS-EXAMINATION.

BY SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE:

Q. Witness, when you began to advise Hitler on matters of
foreign policy in 1933, were you familiar with the League of
Nations' declaration of 1927?

A. I do not know which declaration you mean.

Q. Do you not remember the League of Nations' declaration of
1927?

A. The League of Nations has made many declarations. Please
tell me which one you mean?

Q. It made a rather important one about aggressive war in
1927, did it not?

A. I do not know this declaration in detail, but it is clear
that the League of Nations, like everyone else, was against
an aggressive war, and at that time Germany was a member of
the League.

Q. Germany was a member, and the preamble of the declaration
was:

                                                  [Page 218]

  "Being convinced that a war of aggression would never
  serve as a means of settling international disputes, and
  is in consequence an international crime ... "

Were you familiar with that when you ...

A. Not in detail, no.

Q. It was rather an important matter to be familiar with if
you were going to advise Hitler, who was then Chancellor, on
foreign policy, was it not?

A. This declaration was certainly important, and
corresponded exactly with my attitude at that time. But
subsequent events have proved that the League of Nations was
not in a position to save Germany from chaos.

Q. Did you continue to hold that as your own view.

A. I did not understand the question.

Q. Did you continue to hold the expression of opinion I have
quoted to you from the preamble as your own view?

A. That was as such my fundamental attitude, but, on the
other hand, I was of the opinion that Germany should be
given help in some way.

Q. So I gathered. Now, apart from that, if you were not
familiar in detail with that resolution, were you familiar
in detail with the Briand-Kellogg Pact?

A. Yes, I was familiar with it.

Q. Did you agree with the view expressed in the preamble and
in the pact that there should be a renunciation of war as an
instrument of national policy?

A. Yes.


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