The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: imt/tgmwc//tgmwc-10/tgmwc-10-97.02

Archive/File: imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-10/tgmwc-10-97.02
Last-Modified: 1999/12/22

Q. I would like to show you Document EC 265, which I wish to
submit as Exhibit RF 1504. It is a telegram from Abetz dated
1st October, 1940, I will merely read the first and last

  "The solution of the Jewish problem in the occupied
  territory of France requires, besides other measures, a
  regulation as soon as possible of the citizenship status
  of the Reich German Jews who were living here at the
  beginning of the war."

And the last sentence:
  "The measures proposed above are to be considered as
  merely the first
                                                  [Page 265]
  step towards the solution of the entire problem. I
  reserve the right to make other proposals."

A. May I have time to read the telegram first?

THE PRESIDENT: That is a little too fast.

M. FAURE: Yes.

A. (continuing): So far as I can see, this telegram
apparently deals with the fact that Austrian and German Jews
are to be repatriated to Austria and Germany from France. I
do not know. This is the first time I have seen this
telegram, and I can give no information about it. It
probably represents one of the routine measures adopted by
the Foreign Office in the course of the day's work, and it
was not submitted to me; and apart from that, these matters
were individually dealt with by other departments, not by

Q. If you will look on the left-hand side of the telegram,
you will see the distribution list. There were nineteen,
including yourself, were there not? You were number 2.

A. I should like to inform the French Prosecutor that every
day four, five, six or eight hundred such documents and
telegrams reached my office, of which only one or two per
cent. were submitted to me.

Q. Apart from the question ...

A. In any case I know nothing about this telegram.

Q. Apart from the question of Jews of Austrian and German
origin, your colleagues and subordinates in the Embassy also
dealt with the question of the French Jews?

Now, before asking you this question, I should like to read
out to you two sentences from a document which was submitted
to the Tribunal as Exhibit RF-1207. It is a report from
Dannecker, who was responsible for solving the Jewish
problem in France. Dannecker concluded his report as

  "In this connection, I cannot speak of this matter
  without mentioning the genuinely friendly support which
  our work received from the German Ambassador Abetz, his
  representative, the attache Schleier, and S.S.-
  Sturmfuehrer and Embassy Councillor Dr. Zeitschel. I
  should like to add that the Embassy in Paris has, on its
  own initiative, placed large sums at the disposal of the
  lawyer in charge of the Jewish question, for the
  financing of the anti-Jewish Institute, and that it will
  continue to do so in future."

Therefore, according to these documents, Abetz, Schleier and
Zeitschel worked together.

THE PRESIDENT: M. Faure, we do not know where you are
reading from.

M. FAURE: Mr. President, this document was not given to you
in this folder because it has already been submitted to the
Tribunal. I merely wished to read two sentences from it.



Q. It is evident, therefore, from this document, that three
officials of the German Embassy, Abetz, Schleier and
Zeitschel, collaborated with Dannecker in the settlement of
Jewish affairs. That is shown by the document, is it not?

A. Am I supposed to answer that? Is it a question?

Q. It is a question.

A. To that question I must answer "naturally." They
certainly collaborated to some extent in the Jewish question
in France, that is perfectly clear. But I can also add that
the French prosecution must definitely have been informed to
the effect that Ambassador Abetz was not only instructed by
me, but also acted on his own initiative in an attempt to
reach some kind of conciliatory settlement. It goes without
saying that the Embassy was involved, one way or the other,
in this sphere of action. And it also goes without saying
that I must accept responsibility

                                                  [Page 266]

for anything done by the gentlemen in the Embassy, and I
should like to repeat that my instructions and the
activities of Ambassador Abetz invariably ran diametrically
counter to each other. It is quite clear that, with the
radically anti-Semitic tendency spread over all the
departments and naturally, in any sphere - I mean, every
Government office - somehow or other came into contact with
these matters. Our task in the Foreign Office - which could
be proved in thousands of cases if we had the files here -
was to act as an intermediary in this sphere. I might say,
we often had to do things in accordance with this anti-
Semitic policy, but we always endeavoured to prevent these
measures and to reach some kind of conciliatory settlement.
In fact, the German Embassy was not responsible for any anti-
Semitic measures of any description in France.

Q. I would like to draw your attention to another document,
Exhibit RF-1210, a French document which is a second report
from Dannecker of the 22nd of February, 1942. I should like
to refer to Page 3 of the document, Page 2 of the German

A. I should like to say here and now that I do not even know
who Dannecker is. Perhaps you can give me some information
on that subject.

Q. I informed you that Dannecker was the person responsible
for Jewish affairs in France. As a matter of fact, these
documents were submitted a long time ago to the Tribunal and
communicated to the defence.

At Page 3 of the document - which is Page 2 Of the German -
there is a paragraph entitled, "Action," from which I read
one sentence: "Up to the present, three important operations
have been undertaken against the Jews in Paris."

Now, if you will look at the last page of the document, the
last paragraph but one, we read as follows: "Since the
middle of 1941 there has been a conference every Tuesday,
one, two and three, military commands, administrative,
police and economic sections; four, German Embassy Paris;
five, Einsatzstab Westen of Reichsleiter Rosenberg.

The result of the conference is that with very few
exceptions, the anti-Jewish policy is to be carried out
without modification in the occupied territories."

This document clearly shows, does it not, that your
collaborators were in agreement with the anti-Jewish policy
in the occupied territories and that this policy included
the arrest of Jews?

A. May I reply to this statement that the Offices mentioned
here would, naturally, have included themselves in this

Q. I ask that you be shown Exhibit RF-1220, which is a
letter from the German Embassy of the 27th of June,
addressed to the Head of the Security Police and the S.D. in
France; and before asking you a question I would like to
read with you the first two paragraphs of this letter:

  "Following my interview with Hauptsturmfuehrer Dannecker
  on the date of the 27th of June, during which he
  indicated that he required that 50,000 Jews from the
  unoccupied zone be deported to the East as soon as
  possible, and that on the basis of notes sent by the
  Commissar General for Jewish questions, Darquier de
  Pellepoix, we simply had to do something for the latter,
  I reported the matter to Ambassador Abetz and Embassy
  Counsellor Hahn immediately after the discussion. The
  latter is to confer with Laval this afternoon, and he has
  promised me that he will speak to him at once about the
  handing over of these 50,000 Jews; also he will insist
  that Darquier de Pellepoix be given complete freedom of
  action according to the laws already promulgated, and
  that the credits which have been promised to him be
  handed to him immediately."

Now, I should like to ask you a question. I ask you to
answer as briefly as possible.

                                                  [Page 267]

Were you aware of this demarche for the handing over of
these 50,000 Jews?

A. No, I was not, I heard about it here for the first time,
when this document was, I believe, read out once before.

Q. If your collaborators Abetz, Hahn, and Schleier took such
action on this subject without informing you, was it not
because they thought they were acting in accordance with
your general directives?

A. No, I do not think so; they worked very independently in
Paris, but I should like to repeat once again that I am
assuming responsibility for everything that these gentlemen
have done. I make a point of emphasising this fact.

I did not, however, know anything about the proposed measure
against the 50,000 Jews. And I do not even know whether it
was ever put into effect, and in what manner these gentlemen
had implicated themselves in the matter. The letter does not
make it clear. I only know one thing and that is that my
general instructions were to tread cautiously in such
matters and, if possible, to bridge difficulties according
to my own original concepts and not to do anything to force
matters but, on the contrary, to smooth them over. I can say
no more on the subject.

Q. During the interrogation of your witness Steengracht, the
British Prosecution produced a document 3319-PS, Exhibit GB
287. I should like to refer to this document for one
question only.

In this document there is an account of a meeting, or a
congress, at which were present all the reporters on Jewish
questions from the various diplomatic missions in Europe.
This congress was held on the 3rd and 4th of April, 1944, in
Krummhuebel. It was organised by Schleier. This was read the
other day.

You knew about this congress, I suppose?

A. No. This is the first time I have heard about it. What
congress was that? I have never heard that such a congress
ever took place. What kind of congress was it supposed to

Q. This document has already been submitted; it was a
congress held -

A. I only know about one congress, which I asked the Fuehrer
not to hold. That I do know. But I know nothing at all about
a congress which did take place. Please give more detailed
information on the subject.

Q. The document was handed over to the Tribunal, and I would
like to ask you one question. You testified that you were
unaware of this meeting at which were present thirty-one
persons who nearly all belonged to the diplomatic service. I
will inform you that during this meeting Embassy Counsellor
Von Tadden made a declaration which was reported in the
following terms:

"The speaker explained the reasons why the Zionist solution
of Palestine and similar alternative solutions must be
rejected and why the Jews must be deported into the Eastern

I suggest that this declaration made by an Embassy
Counsellor in the presence of 31 people belonging to your
service voiced your own attitude on these matters.

A. Yes, but I do not know in the very least what you mean.
May I to begin with, please have some information on the
matter with which we are dealing. I do not understand it at
all. I have told you once before that I know nothing about
any congress except the one which I countermanded. That was
an international congress which we were supposed to have
held. I know nothing of a congress of diplomats. Would you
kindly place the document in question at my disposal in
order that I may make my reply.

Q. I do not intend to show you this document. I read one
sentence contained in this document, and I am merely asking
you if this phrase represents your opinion or not. Answer
"yes" or "no."

A. Then I must request you to repeat the sentences. I wish
to confirm again, however, that no congress took place; it
is not true.

DR. HORN: Mr. President, I object to that question, if the
opportunity is not afforded the defendant to give a truthful

                                                  [Page 268]

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal thinks the question was proper.

Q. I ask you whether this phrase which I have read out to
you corresponded to your opinion.

A. May I ask you to repeat the sentence. I did not
understand it correctly.

Q. The speaker explained the reasons why the zionist
solution of Palestine and similar alternative solutions must
be rejected and why the Jews must be deported to the eastern

Was that your thesis?

A. No, it was not.

Q. Was your attention drawn to the fact that the Italian
authorities in France protected the Jews against persecution
by Germans?

A. Yes. I recollect that there was something of the kind,
but I no longer remember exactly.

Q. Did you approach the Italian Government on this subject?

A. I recollect that on one occasion I spoke either to
Mussolini or to Count Ciano about certain acts of sabotage,
espionage or something of that kind which had occurred in
France, and against which one would have to be on the alert,
and in this connection, I believe, the Jewish problem was
also discussed.

Q. I ask that you be shown Document D-734, which I would
like to submit as Exhibit RF 1501. This note is headed:

"Account of a conference between the Reich Foreign Minister
and the Duce in the Palazzo Venezia in the presence of Von
Mackensen, Alfieri and the State Secretary Bastianini, on
the 25th of February, 1943." I would like to read with you
the second paragraph on this page:

  "Further, the Reich Foreign Minister dealt with the
  Jewish question. The Duce was aware that Germany had
  taken up a radical position with regard to the treatment
  of the Jews. As a result of the development of the war in
  Russia it had gained even greater clarity. All Jews had
  been transported from Germany and from the territories
  occupied by her to reservations in the East. He, the
  Reich Foreign Minister, knew that this measure was
  described as cruel, particularly by enemies, but it was
  necessary in order to be able to carry the war through to
  a successful conclusion."

I shall not read the following paragraph, but the fourth:

  "France also had taken measures against the Jews, which
  were extremely useful. They were only temporary, because
  here, too, the final solution would be in the deportation
  of the Jews to the East. He, the Reich Foreign Minister,
  knew that in Italian military circles - and occasionally
  among German military people, too - the Jewish problem
  was not sufficiently appreciated. It was only in this way
  that he could understand an order of the Kommando
  Supremo, which had in the Italian occupation zone of
  France cancelled measures taken against the Jews by the
  French authorities acting under German influence. The
  Duce contested the accuracy of this report and traced it
  back to the French tactics of causing dissension between
  Germany and Italy."

Now I shall ask you a question: A short while ago you told
us that you wanted to make all the Jews emigrate to
Madagascar. Is Madagascar in the Eastern reservations
mentioned in the document?

A. About what? I have not understood.

Q. You were talking in this document of deporting Jews to
the reservations in the Eastern territories, and a short
while ago you spoke to us of settling the Jews in
Madagascar. Is Madagascar meant here?

A. No, that was the Fuehrer's plan. This document refers to
the fact that a large scale espionage system had been
discovered, I believe, in France. The Fuehrer sent me while
I was on a journey to Italy and told me to speak to
Mussolini and see to it that in cases of Jews involved in
these acts of sabotage and espionage,

                                                  [Page 269]

the Italian Government or the Italian Army did not intervene
in order to prevent this measure. Also I should like to
state definitely that I knew, and I knew too that it was the
Fuehrer's plan, that the European Jews were to be re-
settled, on a large scale, either in Madagascar, North
Africa or in reservations in the East. This was generally
known in Germany. That is all that we are concerned with
here: and I also knew that a great many unpleasant things
had occurred at that time and that the Fuehrer was convinced
that all of them could be attributed to Jewish
organisations, in the South of France, I believe. I now
recollect that at the time I discussed the matter in great
detail with Mussolini and begged him to adopt suitable
measures since these Jews were furnishing all the
information to the English and American Intelligence
Services. At least - that was the information
which the Fuehrer was constantly receiving.

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.