The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2000/01/07

Q. Very well; and how do you explain the fact that Keitel
was signing directives or orders like this one concerning
general governmental matters of the Reich and not military
matters in particular? How do you explain this? Why should
it be signed by Hitler, Keitel and Lammers?

A. This was a Fuehrer decree; and Fuehrer decrees were
attested by myself and also signed by Keitel, as Chief of
the O.K.W., if the Wehrmacht was in any way interested. They
might also be signed by Bormann as a third member if Party
interests were involved. That caused Bormann's signature ...

Q. Bormann's signature is not here. It is signed by Hitler,
Keitel and Lammers. Is that right?

A. It was signed first by Keitel because it dealt with the
occupied regions in the East.

Q. In other words, Keitel was responsible for all
legislation in occupied territories; is that so? Do you hear
my question? Was the defendant Keitel responsible for all
legal measures in occupied territories? Do you hear my

A. The signature does not involve any responsibility ...

Q. Then why his signature and what was the purpose of his
signature? Just for decorative purposes?

A. Since he was interested or concerned in the matter, he
attested that, along with us, but to speak of responsibility

Q. You should know better than anybody else about it - all
the more since it is not quite clear why there was any
necessity to have his signature on the document; and his
signature is right above your signature. What is the matter?

A. It was probably assumed that this decree would affect
Wehrmacht interests. Field Marshal Keitel must know better
than I do why he also signed it.

Q. You read this document and you can see very well for
yourself that the Armed Forces are not affected by it. I
have two more questions for you. You testified today that
Seyss-Inquart received S.S. rank and uniform but he did not
have the rights of a commander of the S.S. Is that correct?

A. Yes, that is correct.

Q. Well, then, should one conclude after this that the title
of policeman and the police uniform was really an honorary
distinction in the Reich? Was it not?

A. Seyss-Inquart did not belong to the police but to the
general S.S.

Q. But the S.S. was actually being used for police measures,
wasn't that so?

A. No, the general S.S. had no police assignments. That is
not correct. And the S.S. uniform was a special distinction
in the Reich.

Q. And the uniform of the S.S. was really quite a
distinction in the Reich, wasn't it? He received his uniform
as a sort of reward for certain work he had done?

A. Yes.

Q. Now, I want to ask you one last question.

A. It was not always a reward for exceptional service, but
certain leading personages in the Reich received

                                                  [Page 185]

Q. I am satisfied with your answer and I don't need any
further details. Now, I want to ask you one last question.
On 17th January, the defendant Keitel sent an application to
the Tribunal to have you brought in as a witness. He stated
in his application that you could testify here before the
Tribunal that he, Keitel, as the head of the Armed Forces,
along with the military agencies under his charge in the
occupied territories, were acting in opposition to
Rosenberg's plunder squads and that their arrest was
ordered. You, as a matter of fact, were called before the
Tribunal to answer that question and for some unknown reason
that was the only question not asked you. I would like you
to answer this question now. What do you know about the
struggle of Keitel and the Armed Forces against Rosenberg's
looting squads, as Keitel calls them?

A. I know only that Rosenberg was commissioned to buy up art
treasures and that he was also commissioned to obtain
furnishings in the occupied territories of the West which
were needed for the offices in the East. He received this
assignment in his capacity of Minister of the Reich.

Q. Witness, evidently you misunderstood me. Wait a moment.
Now, we are not talking about Rosenberg; but I am asking you
what you know about the Armed Forces, in regard to Keitel's
application, and about their fight against Rosenberg's
looting squads. Do you understand my question? Do you know
anything at all about this or do you know nothing?

A. No, I know nothing about that.

Q. All right, I am quite satisfied.

COLONEL POKROVSKY: I have no further questions to ask the

THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Pokrovsky, in order to be accurate I
understood you to say with reference to that document that
you were putting to the witness just now, of 2nd June, 1941,
that this document had no reference to military authority.
But paragraph 2 of it says:

  "To achieve this end he (that is Goering) may give direct
  orders to the respective military authorities in the
  occupied territories."

Therefore, it is not accurate to say that the document does
not refer to the military authority at all.

COLONEL POKROVSKY: I suppose that the Tribunal remembers the
testimony which was given here in regard to the
circumstances under which Keitel signed general directives
and general laws. He explained it by saying that all these
orders and directives were of an operational staff

In this particular case, the question concerns governmental
significance of the document and has really no bearing on
military matters.

THE PRESIDENT: I do not want to argue with you. I only want
to point out it was not accurate to say that the document
did not refer to military matters at all.

Dr. Nelte, do you want to re-examine?

DR. NELTE: Mr. President, I should be grateful if the Soviet
Prosecutor would make clear his last question to the
witness. He has stated that the defendant Keitel called
Lammers as a witness to the fact that he, Keitel, had
opposed the efforts made by Rosenberg's special staff in the
Eastern territories. Did I understand him correctly? Perhaps
the translation from German into Russian was not very good.

THE PRESIDENT: I am not sure that I understood the question
but I understood the. witness was not able to answer it, but
I do not think it can be of very great importance. The
witness was not able to answer the question.

DR. NELTE: No, I thought that the Soviet Prosecutor meant
that Dr. Lammers had been called as a witness to give
certain evidence and I did not ask the witness any such
question. I only want to make it clear that this is not the
case; otherwise I have no query on the matter, nor have I
personally any further questions to put to the witness on
behalf of the defendant Keitel.

THE PRESIDENT: I do not think the Tribunal thinks that it is
necessary for you to

                                                  [Page 186]

go into that. You have covered the ground fully in your
examination-in-chief. Then, Dr. Nelte, have you any other
witnesses to call?

DR. NELTE: I can finish in half an hour to-morrow morning. I
have no further witnesses to examine.


Q. I would like to ask you two or three questions about the
Reich Cabinet.

You said the first meeting was on 30th January, 1933, and
the last was in November, 1937. Were there any other
meetings in 1937?

A. No, the Cabinet meetings were not replaced by any other

Q. I did not ask you that. Would you listen?

You said there was a meeting in November, 1937. Were there
any other meetings in the year 1937?

A. Yes, there were some before that. There were some Cabinet
meetings but not very many. There were comparatively few in

Q. How many would you say in 1937?

A. How many? There might have been five or six Cabinet
meetings. I don't think there were more.

Q. Do you know how many there were in -

A. There may not have been so many.

Q. Do you know how many there were in 1936?

A. There were rather more Cabinet meetings then, but not so
many as at the beginning in 1933 and 1934.

Q. That is enough, thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, Dr. Laternser?

DR. LATERNSER (counsel for the High Command): Mr. President,
I have no questions to put to the witness but I simply
wanted to interpose a few remarks on the following matter.

My colleague, Dr. Nelte, has dispensed with the examination
of further witnesses. By so doing he has dispensed with
General Halder, among others; and, of course, he is entitled
to do so, although in dispensing with the examination of the
witness Halder, he is encroaching on my rights. The Tribunal
will recall that when a written statement by the witness
Halder was submitted, the Tribunal ...

THE PRESIDENT: Doctor, if Dr. Nelte does not call General
Halder then you can apply to call him yourself and the
matter will be considered. Presumably you have already asked
for him and you have been referred to the fact that he has
been specified by Dr. Nelte. Now, Dr. Nelte has not called
him. You can renew your application, if you want to, in

DR. LATERNSER: Mr. President, I do not believe that that
point of view is quite correct. When the written statement
was presented by the Soviet Prosecution it was stated, upon
objection by the defence, that the witness Halder should be
called for cross-examination and, in agreement with my other
colleagues, I changed this so that Halder would be heard
during the proceedings for the defendant Keitel. Dispensing
with this witness will encroach upon my rights. I believe,
consequently, that I have a right to ask that the witness be
put at my disposal for interrogation.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Laternser, we will consider the matter of
General Halder and let you know in the morning. It is five
o'clock now.


DR. SEIDL (counsel for the defendant Frank): Mr. President,
I should have liked to ask the witness some questions which
have been made necessary by the cross-examination and which
touch on certain questions ...

THE PRESIDENT: You cannot do it tonight at any rate. We will
consider it and let you know tomorrow morning but you cannot
do it tonight.

DR. SEIDL: I simply wanted to bring it up so that the
witness would still be at hand tomorrow.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well, he shall be at hand.

                                                  [Page 187]

MR. DODD: Your Lordship, if I may have one minute of the
Tribunal's time, Justice Jackson asked me to bring to the
attention of the Tribunal for its information these facts
apropos of the discussion of this morning.

We have received from Colonel Dostert the original
transcript which was handed to him by Dr. Thoma, and it
shows that there was a red line drawn in the margin beside
the passage which was translated and mimeographed and
included in the document book. Dr. Thoma this morning felt
that he had not underlined it and he also felt that there
was undoubtedly a mistake in the translation, and Colonel
Dostert tells us that there is no mistake in the translation
and that it was underlined.

THE PRESIDENT: Well now, Dr. Nelte, we should like to know
what your position is about General Westhoff, and, I think
it is, Obergruppenfuehrer Wielen, or some such name. You
were given the opportunity of calling those witnesses and we
understand you do not desire to do so.

DR. NELTE: Gentlemen of the Tribunal, I think that the cross-
examination has made it clear that the prosecution has
abandoned the original charge against Keitel, namely that he
issued an order - or transmitted an order from Hitler - to
the effect that the fifty Royal Air Force officers should be

Sir David Maxwell Fyfe confronted the defendant with the
four points on which he based his charge against the
defendant Keitel in connection with this case; and the
defendant admitted these four points.

Since I named General Westhoff as a witness only to testify
that Keitel did not issue the order and he did not pass it
on, and as Westhoff was not present at the conference at the
Obersalzberg and has no first-hand knowledge, there is no
further need for me to call this witness.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Nelte, you, of course, are to decide
whether you call him or not. But unless Sir David Maxwell
Fyfe says that he has withdrawn any charge against Keitel I
do not think that you ought to refrain from calling him on
the ground that a charge has been abandoned. There has not
been any express abandonment of any charge. Subject to
anything that Sir David Maxwell Fyfe says I should not have
thought that that would be a good reason for not calling
him, but it is entirely a matter for you.

Yes, Sir David.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, there is no abandonment of
any charge. In fact, the prosecution stands by what is
stated by General Westhoff in his statement which I put to
the defendant Keitel. That is the evidence for the
prosecution and the prosecution stands by that as it is put

DR. NELTE: May I ask whether the prosecution wishes to
assert that General Westhoff has testified that Keitel did
issue this order or transmit it?

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Nelte, you have seen the document which
contains an excerpt of the statement by General Westhoff.
You therefore know what he says in that statement. The
Tribunal, subject to what counsel desires to address to it
on the subject, proposes to call General Westhoff itself in
order to hear him testify to the statement and whether he
adheres to his statement. And also Wielen. Wielen's
evidence, of course, is principally against the, defendant

DR. NELTE: Then may I also ask the prosecution to submit to
the Tribunal the affidavit deposed by General Westhoff with
regard to this matter, so as to make clear ...

THE PRESIDENT: When you say affidavit, do you mean the

DR. NELTE: No. I mean the affidavit, not an unsworn
statement. So far, the prosecution has dealt only with
statements not made under oath. In addition to these,
however, Colonel Williams required and received an affidavit
from the witness Westhoff, and this affidavit contains a
precise statement from Westhoff to the effect that he does
not wish to say and never has said that Keitel ever issued
or transmitted any such order.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: I have no affidavit. I have checked
with Mr. Roberts

                                                  [Page 188]

and we have not got one. There were two interrogations, if
my recollection is correct, one which was early and one on
2nd November. There were two interrogations, one of which I
put in. They are in Dr. Nelte's document book. I have no
affidavit. If I had, of course I should produce it at once.
I don't know where Dr. Nelte got the information, but
certainly no affidavit has ever been brought to my

THE PRESIDENT: The only thing the Tribunal has got is a
statement made by General Westhoff and a certain gentleman
whose name I have forgotten. Oh yes, Brigadier Shapcott. The
course which the Tribunal proposes to take is to call
General Westhoff and to ask him whether his statement made
in that document is accurate and also true.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFF: The prosecution has not the
slightest objection to that.
THE PRESIDENT: The Marshal will have General Westhoff and
also Wielen - they will be here tomorrow morning at 10.00


THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will now adjourn.

(The Tribunal adjourned until 10th April, 1946, at 10.00 hours.)

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