The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: imt/tgmwc//tgmwc-10/tgmwc-10-97.03

Archive/File: imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-10/tgmwc-10-97.03
Last-Modified: 1999/12/22

Q. You said, did you not, that all Jews were to be deported
to the Eastern reservations? Is that correct? Please reply
"yes" or "no."

A. Whether I was in favour of it?

Q. Germany deported all the Jews from German territory and
territories occupied by her to Eastern reservations. That is
true, is it not?

A. I do not know the contents of the document in detail. I
do not know what I myself said in detail. But at any rate I
knew that here - that the Fuehrer had ordered that the Jews
of the occupied territories in Europe were to be transported
to reservations in the East and resettled there. That I did
know. The carrying out of these measures, however, was not
my task as Minister for Foreign Affairs, nor was it the task
of the Foreign Office, but I did know that it was the
Fuehrer's wish. In this connection, I remember that I
received an order from him to discuss the matter with the
Italian Government so that they, too, would introduce
corresponding measures regarding the Jewish problem. That
applied to other countries as well, where we had to send
telegrams quite frequently, so that these countries should
solve the Jewish question.

THE PRESIDENT: M. Faure, did you read to the witness the
second paragraph beginning "Further, the Reich Foreign
Minister dealt with the Jewish question"?

M. FAURE: Yes, Mr. President, the second paragraph. That is
the paragraph which I have just been reading.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, you read the third one, but I did not
know you read the second one, too. You read the second one,
too, did you? Very well.

M. FAURE: Yes, I read it as well, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: The document is a new document, is it not?

M. FAURE: Yes, Mr. President, it is a document which I would
like to submit as Exhibit RF 1501, It belongs to the D-
series; it is D-734 of the British Document Books.

THE PRESIDENT: Has the defendant said whether he admits that
it is a substantially accurate account of the conversation?

THE WITNESS: I can no longer say for certain, Mr. President;
what I did say at the time, I only know and gather, from
this document, from these words, that the Jews were
spreading British and American intelligence. I can remember
that. at that time a large espionage and sabotage
organisation was in existence, and that this organisation
was causing a great deal of trouble in France, and that the
Fuehrer ordered me to discuss the matter with Mussolini,
since the Italians were opposing certain measures we had
introduced in France. I spoke to Mussolini and told him that
the Fuehrer was of the opinion that, where this question was
concerned, we should have to come to a definite

THE PRESIDENT: I think, defendant, you have already told us
that. The question that I asked was whether you agreed that
it was a substantially accurate account of the conversation.

THE WITNESS: I consider that in certain points the report is
incorrect, but fundamentally the position was as I have just
explained it.

                                                  [Page 270]


Q. Now, you also spoke about this question with Horthy, did
you not?

A. Yes. I had to confer several times with the Hungarian
Government so as to persuade it to do something about the
Jewish problem. The Fuehrer was extremely insistent on this
point. I therefore discussed the question repeatedly with
the Hungarian Ambassador and the question was primarily to
centralise the Jews somehow or other in some part of
Budapest, I think it was slightly outside Budapest or in -
as a matter of fact, I do not know Budapest very well - in
any case, it was somewhere in Budapest itself. That was the
first point. And the second point dealt with the removal of
the Jews from influential Government posts, since it had
been proved that Jewish influence, in these departments, was
sufficiently authoritative to bring Hungary to a separate

Q. The document relating to your conversation or one of the
conversations which you had with Horthy has already been
produced. It was that of the 17th of April, 1943. It is
Document D-736, which was submitted as Exhibit GB 283.
During the interrogation of your witness Schmidt, the
British prosecutor asked this witness if he admitted having
compiled this account, and this was confirmed by Schmidt.
This note bears the following remark at the bottom of the
first paragraph:

  "The Foreign Minister, declared that the Jews were either
  to be exterminated or sent to concentration camps. There
  was no other solution."

You did say that, did you not?

A. I definitely did not say it in those words. But I would
like to reply as follows:

It was, apparently, an account prepared by Ambassador
Schmidt, as was his habit, some days after a long discussion
between the Fuehrer and Horthy. I have already said that the
Fuehrer had repeatedly charged me to talk to Horthy, to the
Hungarian Government, to the Ambassador, in order to reach a
solution of the Jewish question. At the time when Horthy
visited the Fuehrer, the Fuehrer emphasised the question to
him in a very irritable manner, and I remember perfectly
that subsequent to this discussion I talked the matter over
with Ambassador Schmidt, saying that I, strictly speaking,
had not quite understood the Fuehrer.

The remark mentioned was definitely not made in this way.
Horthy had apparently said that he could not, after all,
beat the Jews to death. It is possible, since there would
have been no question of that in any case, that in this
connection I did endeavour to persuade Horthy to do
something or other at once about the Jewish question in
Budapest, namely, that he should undertake the
centralisation which the Fuehrer had already wished to carry
out for a very long time. My objection or my interpolation
may have referred to this question.

I must add that the situation, at that time, was as follows:
we had been receiving repeated indications from Himmler, to
the effect that Himmler wished to handle the Jewish
situation in Hungary himself. I did not want this, since,
one way or another, it would probably have created political
difficulties abroad.

Consequently, acting on the wish of the Fuehrer, who was
extremely obstinate on this subject, I - as is known -
repeatedly attempted to smooth matters over and, at the same
time, pin the Hungarians down to do something about it in
any case. Therefore, if - from a long conversation - some
remark has been extracted and summarised in brief, and
contains some such statement, it certainly does not mean
that I wished all the Jews to be beaten to. death. It was
one hundred per cent. contrary to my personal convictions.

Q. I do not understand whether you answered my question or
not. I will have to ask you again. Is the report correct, or
is it not correct?

A. No, in this form it cannot be correct. These are minutes.
I, personally, have never seen these minutes before,
otherwise I should have said at once that

                                                  [Page 271]

this is nonsense and liable to misconstruction. I did not
see these minutes before I saw them for the first time in

I can only say one thing which may possibly have occurred. I
might have said ... well yes, "The Jews cannot be beaten to
death, so, please do something in order that the Fuehrer may
be satisfied at long last, and centralise the Jews."

That was our aim, at that time at any rate. We did not want
to render the situation more acute, we were trying to do
something in Hungary so that no other department could take
the matter in hand, thereby creating political difficulties
abroad for the Foreign Office.

Q. You knew at that time that many Jews had been deported.
That may be gathered from your explanations.

THE PRESIDENT: Just one moment, please. Are you passing from
this document?

M. FAURE: I was continuing to speak of it in more general

THE PRESIDENT: You are passing from it, did you say?

M. FAURE: Yes.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, defendant, the Tribunal would like to
know whether you did say to the Regent Horthy that Jews
ought to be taken to concentration camps.

THE WITNESS: I consider it possible that such may have been
the case, for we had, at that time, received an order that a
concentration camp was to be installed near Budapest or else
that the Jews should be centralised there, and the Fuehrer
had instructed me a long time before to discuss with the
Hungarians a possible solution of the Jewish question. This
solution should consist of two points: one was the removal
of the Jews from important Government positions and the
other - since there were so many Jews in Budapest already -
to centralise the Jews in certain quarters of Budapest.

THE PRESIDENT: I understand your suggestion to be that this
document is inaccurate.

THE WITNESS: Yes, it is not accurate. The way I should like
to put it, Mr. President, is that when reading the document,
it would appear - from this document - that I considered it
possible or desirable to beat the Jews to death. That is
perfectly untrue, but what I did say here, and what I
emphasised later on, could only be understood to mean what I
wished to be done in Hungary to solve the Jewish problem, so
that other departments should not interfere in the matter.
For the Fuehrer often spoke to me about it, very seriously
indeed, too, saying that the Jewish problem in Hungary must
be solved ...

THE PRESIDENT (Interposing): You have told us that, I think,
already. What I wanted to ask you was this: Are you
suggesting that Schmidt, who drew up this memorandum,
invented the last few sentences, beginning with the words:

  "If the Jews there did not want to work they were shot.
  If they could not work they had to succumb. They had to
  be treated like tuberculosis bacilli with which a healthy
  body may become infected. This was not cruel if one
  remembered that innocent creatures of nature, such as
  hares or deers, have to be killed so that no harm is
  caused by them. Why should the beasts who wanted to bring
  us Bolshevism be spared more? Nations which did not rid
  themselves of Jews perished. One of the most famous
  examples of this was the downfall of a people who once
  were so proud, the Persians, who now lead a pitiful
  existence as Armenians."

Are you suggesting that Schmidt invented those sentences or
imagined them?

THE WITNESS: Mr. President, I should like to add that I
myself was very grieved by these words of the Fuehrer, and I
did not quite understand them. But perhaps this attitude can
only be understood if we remember that the Fuehrer believed
that the Jews had caused this war, and that he had gradually
developed a very fanatical hatred for them. I remember, too,
that later on, after this conference, I discussed with the

                                                  [Page 272]

interpreter, Schmidt, and the two gentlemen the fact that
this was the first time the Fuehrer had used expressions in
connection with the Jewish problem which I could no longer
understand. These words were certainly not invented by
Schmidt. The Fuehrer did express himself in some such way at
that time. That is true.



It appears from this document that you thought there were
concentration camps in Hungary and yet you said yesterday
that you did not know there were any in Germany. Is that not

A. I did not know that there were any concentration camps in
Hungary, but I did say that the Fuehrer had instructed me to
ask Horthy, to ask the Hungarian Government to concentrate
the Jews in Budapest, in certain parts of the city of
Budapest. As to concentration camps in Germany, I already
spoke yesterday about my knowledge of that subject.

Q. You admitted that you knew Hitler's policy to deport all
Jews and you admitted that insofar as you were competent as
Minister for Foreign Affairs, you assisted this policy, did
you not? That is right, is it not?

A. As his faithful follower I adhered to the Fuehrer's
orders even in this field, but I always did my utmost to
alleviate the situation as far as possible. This can be
stated and proved by many witnesses. Even in 1943 I
submitted a comprehensive memorandum to the Fuehrer in which
I urged him to alter the Jewish policy completely. I could
also quote many other examples.

Q. If I understand your testimony rightly, you were morally
opposed to this persecution of Jews, but you did help to
carry them out, is that not so?

A. I repeatedly said at the very beginning of my examination
that in that sense I have never been anti-Semitic. But I was
a faithful follower of Adolf Hitler.

Q. Apart from the Jewish question, you dealt with arrests of
French people, did you not?

A. The arrests of Frenchmen ...

Q. Yes. Did you or did you not give orders to arrest

A. It is quite possible that this was so. Quite possible.

Q. Can you be more precise on that subject?

A. No, I cannot, for the moment, remember any details. In
any case I know that Frenchmen were arrested. just how far
this depended on us, at that time, I do not know. It was, I
think, in 1944, shortly before the invasion, that the
Fuehrer issued an order to the effect that a large number of
important French members of the Resistance Movement were to
be arrested, on the spot, and I believe that we were advised
accordingly. It is also possible that we co-operated in this
action to a certain extent, but I cannot remember any

It was a question of arresting those elements who would
kindle the flame of the Resistance Movement in the event of
an invasion, and would attack the German armies in the rear.
But I cannot give you any more particulars now.

Q. I ask that you be shown a document which will be
submitted as Exhibit RF-1506. It is an affidavit by Dr.
Knocken. I shall read some passages from this document.

  "At the end of 1943 - it must have been in December -
  there was a conference at the Foreign Office on the
  measures to be taken in France. As I was in Berlin I was
  also summoned to it. Present at this conference were:
  The Foreign Minister von Ribbentrop,
  the Secretary of State von Steengracht,
  Ambassador Abetz,
  another member of the Foreign Office, whose name I do not
  the chief of the Sipo and the S.D., Dr. Kaltenbrunner,
  the Higher S.S.- and Police Fuehrer in France, Oberg,
                                                  [Page 273]
  and representing the Military Commander in chief was his
  Chief of Staff,
  Colonel Kossmann,
  if my memory serves me right.
  The Minister stated the following:
  The Fuehrer expects in future that in France more
  attention shall be paid than hitherto. The enemy forces
  must not be allowed to increase. All German service
  establishments will have to carry out their duties more

I omit the next paragraph. Then we read the following:

  "He sees arising a danger, in event of invasion, of those
  prominent Frenchmen who do not wish to collaborate with
  Germany, but who are secretly active against her. They
  might constitute a danger to the forces. These dangerous
  elements should be sought out in business circles,
  University centres, in certain military and political
  circles and all classes of society connected with them.
  He believes that it will be necessary to strike an
  immediate blow against these people. He suggests that
  they number easily 2,000 people or more. At a moment when
  it is necessary to defend Europe against her enemy, there
  is no reason why we should shrink from taking preventive
  measures of this kind in France. As to the practical
  means of putting this into effect, Ambassador Abetz will
  have to take up this matter immediately and draw up a
  list, in collaboration with the German service
  establishments, in order to take account of all the
  questions that arise out of this matter."

I end the quotation here. Do you admit the accuracy of this

A. Yes, I distinctly remember that discussion. This was a
Fuehrer Order to the effect that immediate action be taken -
I have just spoken about this - in view of the pending
invasion, to arrest all potentially dangerous elements who
could fan the flame of resistance in the rear of the German
armies. I consider this a perfectly comprehensible measure
which any Government, with the welfare of the troops at
heart, would have made.

I then held this conference. I expected that there would be
a far greater wave of arrests, but, as a matter of fact, and
to the best of my belief, we arrested only a comparatively
small number.

Subsequently we had comparatively little to do with the
actual arrests; they were carried out by the Police.

But it is perfectly clear that this conference did take
place at the time indicated, and that we did what had to be
done at the moment, as proposed, namely - the arrest of
elements who might have been dangerous in case of an
invasion. That is quite true.

M. FAURE: I have no further questions.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn.

(A recess was taken.)

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.