The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2000/01/22

Q. You heard that terrible story of two and a half to three
million murders of which he told from the witness stand,
very largely of Jewish people?

A. Yes.

Q. Although it wasn't brought out here, you can take it from
me as being so. If you care to dispute it, you may, and we
will establish it later. You know that he was a reader of
your book and of your speeches, this man Hoess?

A. I do not know whether he read my books. Anti-Jewish books
have existed for the last 2,000 years.

Q. Now, you offered to resign in October, 1944, from your
position as Reich Minister for the occupied Eastern
Territories.

A. October, 1944.

Q. You didn't have very much to resign from on that date,
did you? The Germans were practically out of Russia, isn't
that a fact? On October 12, 1944, the German Army was
practically out of Russia. It was on the retreat, isn't that
so?

A. Yes. It was the question of my further tasks for the
political and psychological treatment of several millions of
Eastern workers in Germany; it was furthermore a question of
refugees who came from the Eastern Territories and from the
Ukraine to Germany, and of the settlement of economic
problems, and above all I still had the hope even at that
hour that a military change also might still occur in the
East.

Q. And everybody, pretty nearly everybody who was informed
at all in Germany knew that the war was lost in October,
1944, isn't that so? You knew that the war was lost in
October, 1944.

A. No, I didn't know that.

Q. You didn't know that?

A. No, I did not know that.

MR. DODD: I will accept that answer. That is all. I have no
further
questions.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Thoma, do you wish to re-examine? General
Rudenko, have you got some additional questions you want to
ask?

GENERAL RUDENKO: I have some questions to ask in connection
with the defendant's activities in the Eastern Territories.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well, General.

BY GENERAL RUDENKO:

Q. Defendant Rosenberg, at what time did you begin,
personally and directly, to participate in preparations for
an attack on the Soviet Union?

A. Not at all.

                                                   [Page 71]

Q. Was not your appointment of 20 April, 1941, to the post
of Fuehrer's Deputy in the central control of all questions
relating to the Eastern European Territories directly
connected with Germany's attack on the Soviet Union?

A. That was no planning in which I took part, but it was the
consequence of a decision which had already been made and
about which my advice had not been asked. I was notified
that a decision had been made and military orders had been
given. Therefore I have ...

If I have to answer the questions as much as possible with
yes or no, I would have to answer this, on the basis of the
wording, with no.

Q. You do not deny the fact that this appointment took place
in April, 1941?

A. No, of course not. That is evident.

Q. With this nomination Hitler gave you very wide powers.
You collaborated with the highest authorities of the Reich,
received information from them and summoned the Reich
authorities to meetings. In particular you collaborated with
Goering, with the Minister of National Economy and with
Keitel. Do you confirm this? Please reply briefly.

A. There are, again, three questions. As to the first
question, whether I received wide powers, plenipotentiary
powers, I had not received plenipotentiary powers at all.
The answer would be no.

To the second question, whether I had conferences, the
answer is yes. Of course, I conferred with the highest
authorities of the Reich who were concerned with the East,
as was my duty in connection with my task.

Q. Please reply briefly to the following question:
Immediately after your appointment of 20 April, 1941, did
you hold a conference with the Chief of the O.K.W.?

A. Yes, I visited Field Marshal Keitel.

Q. Did you have a conversation with Brauchitsch and Raeder
in connection with your appointment, regarding the solution
of the Eastern problems?

A. According to my recollection I did not speak to
Brauchitsch, and I also have no recollection of having had
any conversation at this time with Raeder.

Q. Did you have a conference with the defendant Funk? He
appointed Dr. Schlotterer as his permanent representative?

A . The then Reich Minister Funk, of course, was informed of
this task given to me and he named Dr. Schlotterer for
purposes of liaison.

Q. You had several conversations with General Thomas, State
Secretary Koerner and State Secretary Backer, regarding the
economic exploitation of the Eastern Territories?

A. I do not believe that I spoke to Thomas, and I met the
other gentlemen at intervals, one by one. Later I attached
Riecke as liaison man to the Eastern Economic Staff in the
ministry. I must have met Backe also later at some time, as
is natural in the course of time. I don't know at all
whether I ever met General Thomas personally, maybe I met
him in passing.

Q. Then I shall have to produce documents where you yourself
speak about it. You were negotiating with the Minister for
Foreign Affairs and, as a result, the defendant Ribbentrop
appointed Grosskopf to act as permanent liaison officer with
your organisation, and placed Dr. Braeutigam in charge of
the political section. Is that correct?

A. Yes, that is correct, because the Foreign Minister was
informed and appointed the then Consul General Grosskopf as
ambassador -

Q. You received responsible representatives such as:
Fritzsche, Schmidt, Glasmeier and others?

A. Yes, that may have been so. I met most of these gentlemen
for the first time then, and it is to be taken for granted
that I had to inform myself about that task.

Q. You negotiated with the Chief of Staff of the S.A. and
requested him to place at your disposal the most experienced
of the S.A. leaders.

                                                   [Page 72]

A. Of course I also spoke to the Chief of Staff of the S.A.
about possible capable assistants in the event of an
occupation of the Eastern Territories.

Q. In this connection, therefore, you will not deny that a
co-ordinating centre did actually exist for preparing
measures of attack against the USSR.

A. Not in that form, because all the assignments concerning
the conflict with the Soviet Union were divided up from a
military point of view. They were assigned to Goering in the
field of economical planning, and, as became evident later
on, clearly delegated to the police. I had been given a
political liaison office in order to discuss the political
problems of the East, and to give the different offices
ideas about the eventual political administration and the
direction of the policy. I did that practically on the lines
laid down in my speech of 20 June.

Q. Very well. One and a half months before the treacherous
attack by Germany on the Soviet Union, you drafted a
directive for all Reich Commissars in the occupied Eastern
Territories. You do not deny that?

A. I already mentioned that yesterday. In the course of
duty, some provisional drafts were worked out by myself and
my assistants. These drafts which we have here, or which
have been shown to me up to now were not sent out in the
form shown.

Q. I shall return to this question later.

In the report which you submitted to Hitler on 28 June,
1941, regarding the preliminary work on questions connected
with the Eastern Territories, you stated that you had had a
talk with Admiral Canaris, during which you asked Canaris,
in the interests of counter-intelligence work, to choose
certain persons who, while working on counter-intelligence,
would also be able to pose as political workers. Do you
confirm this statement?

A. No, that is not correct. But I heard that Admiral Canaris
had organised a certain group of, I believe, Ukrainians and
other nationals for sabotage and allied purposes. He visited
me once and I asked him not to mix in the political work,
that is, in the political preparatory work, and he assured
me he wouldn't.

Q. You do not deny your meeting Canaris?

A. The meeting - no.

Q. During the conversation you asked him, in the interests
of Intelligence, to select certain people to help you. Do
you deny that?

A. No-yes, I deny that. However, I do not deny the fact
that, of course, if Canaris had an interesting political
report it would be proper of him to inform me about it. I
had no counter-intelligence organisation or espionage
organisation. During these years I never

Q. We are going to submit this document to you.

GENERAL RUDENKO: Mr. President, perhaps we can declare a
recess now, because I still have a series of questions to
ask.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well.

(A recess was taken.)

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn the hearing of this
case at 4 o'clock in order to hear supplementary
applications for witnesses and documents. The Tribunal
hopes, therefore, that we may be able to conclude the case
of the defendant Rosenberg before that - I mean, to conclude
the case of the defendant Rosenberg, including examination
of his only other witness.

BY GENERAL RUDENKO:

Q. Defendant Rosenberg, you replied to me that the
conversation with Admiral Canaris did not take place.

A. On the contrary, I said that such a conference with
Admiral Canaris did take place.

Q. Then maybe this was wrongly translated.

A. Probably.

                                                   [Page 73]

Q. I asked you whether you asked Canaris in the course of
your conversation, in the interests of the counter-
intelligence service, to choose men who, while working as
counter-intelligence agents, would be able to work
simultaneously as political workers. Do you remember my
question?

A. Yes.

Q. Was that the main subject of your conversation?

A. That is not correct. Admiral Canaris had -

Q. Let us not go into that in detail.

I will show you a document, and I will read this passage
into the record in order to speed up the interrogation. Show
this document to the defendant.

GENERAL RUDENKO: I mean, gentlemen of the Tribunal, Document
1039-PS, on Page 2; the part is underlined. I will read this
passage.

Q. (Continuing) This is your report on the preliminary work
concerning the organisation of the Territory of Eastern
Europe. I read:-

  "A conference took place with Admiral Canaris to the
  effect that under the existing confidential circumstances
  my office could in no way deal with any representatives
  of the peoples of Eastern Europe. I asked him to do this
  in so far as counter-espionage work required it, and then
  to name persons to me who, over and above counter-
  espionage service, might count as political
  personalities, in order to determine their possible
  utilisation later. Admiral Canaris said that of course he
  would take into consideration my request not to recognise
  any political groups among the emigrants, and that he
  intended to act in line with my statements."

A. That is in accord with what I said.

THE PRESIDENT: General, I think you are going a little too
fast.

Q. All right, Mr. President. I ask you, do you confirm this
quotation?

A. Yes, in the German version but not in the Russian
translation. I understand Russian also and can assert that
the translation is not entirely correct. For it says here
that I, under the existing confidential circumstances
naturally could not negotiate with other countries for
eventual collaboration in a civil administration; that is
the first point. And point two is that, since Admiral
Canaris had to do with various groups of Ukrainians,
Russians and other people, I was asking him, apart from
counter-intelligence that is, not to do espionage work for
me or ask me to do espionage work, but that he should point
out to me people of other nationalities whom I could use
later, under given conditions, in civil administration. That
was the meaning; and secondly, at the end it is quite
correct that he agreed not to carry on political work
himself.

Q. Defendant Rosenberg, this absolutely follows the Russian
text. What you just told us now means exactly the same in
Russian.

A. According to the German translated into Russian it must
have been that. I can only recognise the text that I have in
front of me, not the Russian translation which is not in
accord with this meaning. You interpret this text as though
I were trying to carry on espionage work. I only asked
Canaris, since I could not carry on political negotiations
with representatives of the Eastern people, to tell me from
his own knowledge, apart from his official capacity, what
people of the Eastern regions, under certain circumstances,
might later work in the civil administration for me. That is
the meaning. The translation is, therefore, not entirely
correct.

Q. Very well; but you confirm the German text?

A. Yes.

Q. It means you were connected with counter-espionage?

A. No, that is not correct. I only received Admiral Canaris
and told him that, in his official capacity which he had to
carry out, he should not deal with political plans, because
I was now being given that task.

Q. You heard the warning of the President of the Tribunal to
answer briefly, and I beg you to do so.

                                                   [Page 74]

A. I would answer more briefly if the questions were put to
me factually.

Q. I will put to you several questions concerning the aims
of the war against the Soviet Union. Do you admit that Nazi
Germany, having prepared and pursued war against the Soviet
Union, aimed at plundering its economic riches, the
extermination and enslavement of its people, and its
dismemberment?

Answer briefly. Do you admit this or not?

A. Five questions are being put to me again and if ...

Q. I ask you: Please answer briefly. Do you admit the aims
of the aggressions as I have put them to you? You will be
able to give your explanation later.

THE PRESIDENT: You can answer that question "yes" or "no."

A. I must answer "no" to all four questions.


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