The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: imt/tgmwc//tgmwc-10/tgmwc-10-97.05

Archive/File: imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-10/tgmwc-10-97.05
Last-Modified: 1999/12/22

Q. All right. Now see if you recall having made these

  "Before decisions, I always told the Fuehrer openly my
  view if he wanted to hear it, but if the Fuehrer once had
  decided, I, according to my attitude toward the Fuehrer,
  blindly carried out his orders and acted in the sense of
  his decision. In a few decisive foreign political points,
  I have tried to give my opinion in a more impressive
  manner. This was in the Polish crisis and also in the
  Russian question, because I considered this absolutely
  important and necessary, but since 1941 I had but very
  little weight and it was difficult to carry an opinion
  through with the Fuehrer."

Do you recall having made those statements? Yes, or no,

A. That is more or less true. Yes, I practically remember

THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Amen, the Tribunal has already heard
a very long cross-examination of the defendant, and it
thinks that this is not adding very much to what it has
already heard. The defendant has given very similar evidence

COLONEL AMEN: Very good, sir. I will pass to another


Q. You have testified that there was a sharp line of
demarcation between the political and the military
situations, correct?

A. Between - I did not understand that.

Q. You have testified that there was always a sharp line of
demarcation between the political and the military elements.

A. Yes. The Fuehrer always differentiated fairly strongly
between these two elements, that is correct.

Q. And that information belonging to the military was kept
exclusively for the military and not made available to your
office, for example? Is that correct?

A. I heard little of military matters and plans; yes, that
is correct.

Q. And that the contrary was also true, that the information
which you obtained was not made available to the military,
is that correct?

A. That I am in no position to judge, but I would assume so,
since I do not know what information the military received
from the Fuehrer.

Q. Well, you told us that the Fuehrer's entire plan was to
keep those political and military channels separate, each
from the other, correct?

A. Yes, in general he kept them very severely apart - I have
already said so several times. That is why I have only just
now had cognisance of many military documents for the first
time. That was perfectly in keeping with the Fuehrer's
decrees on secrecy, that no one department should know more
than was absolutely essential.

Q. Now, as a matter of fact that was not true at all, was
it, Ribbentrop?

A. I have already given you my answer.

                                                  [Page 278]

Q. As a matter of fact you had secret agents out who were
working jointly in foreign countries for your office, for
the Army and for the Navy, is that not true?

A. No, that is incorrect.

Q. You are quite sure of that?

A. Yes, I am certain of that.

Q. And you are swearing to that?

A. You mean agents who did something, who -

Q. Who were out obtaining information for your office, for
the Army and for the Navy at the same time, jointly?

A. I consider that highly improbable. It is, of course,
possible that somehow or other, some one man may have worked
for different departments, but this was definitely not done
on an organised scale. The organisation - we maintained a
very small intelligence service abroad - and the
intelligence services of the other departments of the Reich
generally worked - as far as I was informed - completely
apart from ours. It is possible that here and there some
person or other would work for other, for different
departments. That is quite conceivable. For instance, some
person or other, in our Embassies, as was customary at the
English, American, Russian and other Embassies, who had dug
themselves in as Consular Assistants or some other kind of
assistants, and carried out intelligence work for some
organisation or other.

Q. So you want to change the answer you made a moment ago,
is that right?

A. No, I do not wish to change it at all. Fundamentally, as
an organised routine matter, I never introduced any of the
secret agents who worked for the different departments
abroad. It is, however, conceivable, that the department of
the Foreign Office, dealing with such matters may have
appointed somebody. It was, however, a fairly insignificant
affair. Today I say "unfortunately." it is quite possible
that other agents from this department, working for other
departments, for Counter-Intelligence and the S.D. were
correlated. Later on we even ... I should like to add the
following: I had pronounced differences of opinion over the
intelligence services abroad with Himmler, and it was only
through the good offices of the defendant Kaltenbrunner that
I obtained an agreement to the effect that certain items of
information would be placed at my disposal. But later this
agreement was not honoured, I think it was practically
ineffective because it was too late. That, I believe, was in

Q. Will you look at Document 3817-PS, please? Will you first
tell the Tribunal who Albrecht Haushofer was, please?

A. Albrecht Haushofer was a former collaborator of mine and
was a man who - yes - who dealt with German minority
(Volkstum) questions. Could I perhaps read the letter first?
Is it a letter from Haushofer? It is not signed.

Q. Yes, it is.

Have you finished reading?

A. No, not quite, not yet. Shall I read the others too, or
only the first letter?

Q. We will get to the other letters in a moment. I am trying
to make this as short as we possibly can.

Does that letter refresh your memory that Haushofer was out
in the Orient investigating various matters and making
reports to you as early as 1937?

A. At the moment I cannot recall that Haushofer was in Tokyo
but it is conceivable, it is possible that such was the

Q. Well, the letter is addressed to you and it encloses a
report, does it not?

A. Is this not a letter from Count Duerkheim? Is there not
some misunderstanding? But if you say this was written by
Haushofer, then it is conceivable that he was in Tokyo; it
is possible. I am not acquainted with the details. I sent
Count Duerkheim to Tokyo at that time, but it is possible
that Haushofer was there, too. To be candid, I have, at
present, forgotten all about it.

DR. HORN (counsel for the defendant Ribbentrop): Mr.
President, I have just seen that this letter is not fully
dated and is unsigned, but I hear from Colonel

                                                  [Page 279]

Amen it was allegedly written in 1937. In 1937 Ribbentrop
was not yet Foreign Minister. He was only appointed Foreign
Minister in 1938.

COLONEL AMEN: It has the date on it - 3rd October - and it
was captured with Haushofer's documents.

A. But I consider it quite probable that this letter is from
Haushofer, although, to be quite candid, I no longer
remember exactly that he had been to Tokyo in 1937.

Q. Well, now -

A. He was a collaborator who worked with us in the early
years, but later dealt more with German minority questions,
so that I lost track of him in recent years.

Q. I will just pass along through this document. You will
find the next document is dated 15th April, 1937, requesting
reimbursement and funds for this trip.

A. Yes.

Q. And then passing to the next document, you will find a
letter to the Deputy of the Fuehrer, Hess, saying:

  "I am using the courier to send you also personally a
  short report which is going to Ribbentrop at the same
  time. It contains as briefly as possible a summary of
  what I could observe and hear over here in four weeks."

Do you see that?

A. Yes, I see the letter.

Q. Then you will pass on to the next letter dated 1st
September, 1937, addressed to yourself.

A. Yes.

Q. Enclosing a report covering the first four weeks.

A. Yes, I have it before me.

Q. Now, we will pass the report over just, for the moment
and you will come to a letter dated 17th December, 1937.

THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Amen, the Tribunal thinks this is
very far from the matters which it has really got to

COLONEL AMEN: Very good, sir. It seems to me that this
indicates very clearly that copies of the same report which
is included here were being sent simultaneously to the Army,
to the Navy - that went to Raeder - and to Ribbentrop.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, it is true that the witness's first
answer was that they did not have joint agents, but he
subsequently qualified that and said they might sometimes
have had joint agents.

COLONEL AMEN: That is right, sir. If you think he has
conceded that point -

I should like to put this in as Exhibit USA 790.

THE WITNESS: Yes, but may I be allowed to say that we are
not, in this case, dealing with an agent. Haushofer was a
free collaborator of ours, interested in politics in
general, and in the question of the German minorities in
particular. If he were in Tokyo at that time, and he
doubtless was there - although it has slipped my memory -
then I must have told him to speak to several persons over
there and report to me. He apparently - as I have only just
gathered from this letter - either because he was busy or
for some other reason unknown to me, or because he knew the
other gentlemen, placed these reports at the disposal of
these other gentlemen on his own initiative. But he
certainly was no agent sent out by different departments. I
think the only person who knew him better was Rudolf Hess,
otherwise, I believe, he knew nobody at all. I fear I am not
giving you quite the right idea; he was a private tourist,
who submitted his impressions.

Q. Now, I believe you have told the Tribunal that you were
not very close to, Himmler, is that right?

A. I have always said that my relations with Himmler were
good during the first few years, but I regret to say that in
the latter years I was not on good terms with him. I
naturally - it was not very noticeable to the outside world,
but I do,

                                                  [Page 280]

not wish to discuss this matter in detail. Many things have
already been said about it and there were serious and
violent divergencies - due to many reasons ....

Q. I do not care what the divergencies were. In what years
did you get along closely with him?

A. I did not understand your question.

Q. In what years were you close to him?

A. The first divergencies between Himmler and myself arose,
I believe, in 1941, over Roumania and difficulties in
Roumania. The divergencies were smoothed over and naturally,
to all outward appearances, we worked together as before,
and we often exchanged letters on our respective birthdays
and on other occasions. But later on relations were not very
good. The final break came in 1941. Formerly I had been on
good terms with him and also shared his opinion for the
creation of a Leadership Class, at which he was aiming.

Q. And you had at least fifty social appointments with
Himmler in 1940 and 1941?

A. How many?

Q. Fifty?

A. Fifty? No, that certainly could not have been the case.
Perhaps, or thereabouts, I cannot say for certain. But after
'41 relations between us were more strained, and later they
were not very good. Others, I believe, have already
testified to that effect.

Q. Well, I do not want to take any more time, except ...

THE PRESIDENT: Are you dealing with social appointments
between Ribbentrop, or something else?


THE PRESIDENT: Is that a matter which the Tribunal has to go

COLONEL AMEN: Well, I expect, sir, that any person that has
as many appointments as are indicated by these books,
certainly has discussed with Himmler the matter of
concentration camps and the entire matters which Himmler was
exclusively handling. He has told the Tribunal that he had
never heard anything about concentration camps from Himmler.

THE WITNESS: I wish to repeat my statement that at no time
did Himmler discuss this matter with me. As for our 50
meetings, I do not know, we may have met frequently, despite
everything, but I cannot remember 50 meetings. Possibly 5 or
10, I do not know. I do not believe it to be of vital
importance since it is not a decisive factor. Of course, we
had to work together on many theories and this collaboration
was mostly very difficult.

Q. Well, there were many business appointments which you had
with him also, were there not? Just take a look at this
sheet of entries from Himmler's appointment book and tell me
whether that conforms to your -

THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Amen, the Tribunal does not want this
matter gone into any further.

COLONEL AMEN: Very good, sir, but these were business
appointments as distinguished from social. There are no
further questions.


Q. Defendant Ribbentrop, during the last few sessions of the
Tribunal you explained in great detail the bases of German
foreign policy. I should like to ask you a few comprehensive
questions and request you to answer these questions
laconically in terms of "yes" or "no." Do you consider the
Anschluss as an act of German aggression? Please answer

A. Austria?

Q. Yes.

A. No, it was no aggression. It was the accomplishment of a

Q. I must request you ...

A. But I presume I can say a few sentences at least, after
saying "yes," or must I never say anything else but "yes"
and "no"?

                                                  [Page 281]

Q. I must beg you to answer my questions. You have replied
far too extensively. I would like you to summarise your
replies, precisely by saying "yes" or "no."

A. That depends on my state of health. I must ask you to
forgive me.

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.