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I think I can now leave that interview. Nothing more was added and I
turn to the next document, 119-M, which becomes Exhibit GB 272, and
which is the report of the interview of the 15th of May, the third and
last interview with Mr. Kirkpatrick. I quote from the third paragraph:
there was some mention of Iraq at the beginning of the interview and
then Mr. Kirkpatrick writes:

     "I then threw a fly over him about Ireland. He said that in all
     his talks with Hitler, the subject of Ireland had never been
     mentioned except incidentally. Ireland had done nothing for
     Germany in this war and it was therefore to be supposed that
     Hitler would not concern himself in Anglo-Irish relations. We had
     some little conversation about the difficulty of reconciling the
     wishes of the South and North and from this we pass to American
     interest in Ireland, and so to America.
     On the subject of America, Hess took the following line. The
     Germans reckoned with American intervention and were not afraid
     of it. They knew all about American aircraft production and the
     quality of the aircraft. Germany could outbuild England and
     America combined.
     Germany had no designs on America. The so-called German peril was
     a ludicrous figment of imagination. Hitler's interests were
     If we made peace now, America would be furious. America really
     wanted to inherit the British Empire.
     Hess concluded by saying that Hitler really wanted a permanent
     understanding with us on a basis which preserved the Empire
     intact. His own flight was intended to give us a chance of
     opening conversations without loss of prestige. If we reject this
     chance, it would be clear proof that we desired no understanding
     with Germany and Hitler would be entitled, in fact it would be
     his duty, to destroy us utterly and to keep us after the war in a
     state of permanent subjection."
My Lord, those reports show the substance, and indeed the whole
substance, of the visit. His humanitarian reasons for coming, which
sounded so well on the 10th or between the 10th and 15th May, took on
quite a different light when barely a little more than a month later
Germany attacked the Soviet Union.

One cannot help remembering an exact parallel between this business
and that which took place before Germany attacked Poland, when every
effort was made to keep England out of the war and so let her fight
her battle on one front only. Here the same thing appears to be
happening, and what is more, we have it

                                                            [Page 163]

from Hess himself, that at that time, Germany had no intention at all
of attacking Russia immediately. But that must be untrue, because it
will be remembered, and the evidence is set out in the trial brief,
that as far back as November, 1940, plans were being made, initial
plans, for the invasion of Russia.

On 18th December, 1940, a directive ordered preparations to be
completed by 15th May, 1941. On 3rd April, 1941, orders were given
delaying the Barbarossa action for five weeks, and on 30th April,
1941, 10 days before he arrived in England, D-day for the invasion of
Russia was actually fixed for 22nd June.

Well, now, in my submission, nobody who held the position that this
defendant did at that time, in charge of the Foreign Organisation,
Deputy to the Fuehrer, having been made designate successor No. 2 a
year ago -- never in that position could he have been kept in
ignorance of those preparations and of those plans.

My Lord, my submission, therefore, is that the only reason he came to
England was not humanitarian at all, but purely, as I say, to allow
Germany to fight her battle against Russia on one front only.

There is -- and I hesitate to refer the Tribunal to any other document
-- but there is one document, which is a document of extreme interest
from many points of view and has only just come to light. I did ask
that it should be put in at the back of the Tribunal's document book,
but if it has not been I have some spare copies which perhaps the
Clerk may now hand out.

It is Document 1866-PS, which becomes Exhibit GB 273, and it is an
account of conversations between Ribbentrop, Mussolini and Ciano on
13th May, 1941, signed by Schmidt.

It carries the question very little further, but of course the
question has existed, and still does exist -- the question, of course,
as to whether or not the flight to England was undertaken with the
knowledge and approval of Hitler or any other members of the
Government, or on his own initiative and in complete secrecy. He
himself has always maintained that he did it secretly. On the other
hand, it is difficult to see how he could have been planning it and
practicing it for months previously and have tried three times before
without anybody knowing.

This account of the conversations with the Italians casts little
further light on it, but it does show, anyway, what Ribbentrop is
saying to the Italians, their allies, three days later. I would ask
the Tribunal to look at and read the first page of this document, and
the paragraph of the next page:

     "To begin with, the Reich Foreign Minister conveyed the Fuehrer's
     greetings to the Duce.
     He would shortly propose to the Duce a date for the planned
     meeting, which he would like to take place as soon as possible.
     As the place for the meeting he would probably prefer the
     Brenner. At the present moment he was, as the Duce could well
     understand, still busy with the Hess affair and with a few
     military matters.
     The Duce replied that he would agree with all the Fuehrer's
     proposals," -- and so on.
     "The Reich Foreign Minister then said that the Fuehrer had sent
     him to the Duce in order to inform him about the Hess affair and
     the conversation with Admiral Darlan about the Hess affair. He
     remarked that the Fuehrer had been completely taken aback by
     Hess's action, and that it had been the action of a lunatic.
     Hess had been suffering for a long time from a bilious complaint
     and had fallen into the hands of magnetists and nature-cure
     doctors who allowed his state of health to become worse.
                                                            [Page 164]
     All these matters were being investigated at the moment as well
     as the responsibility of the aides-de-camp who had known about
     Hess's forbidden flights. Hess had for weeks carried out secret
     practice flights in an ME-110. Naturally he had acted only from
     idealistic motives. His being unfaithful to the Fuehrer was
     utterly out of the question. His conduct had to be explained by a
     kind of mysticism and a state of mind caused by his illness."
And it goes on, and the gist of it really is that Ribbentrop is
emphasising again that it was done without the authority of Hitler or
without the knowledge of anybody else in Germany. I say he does not

THE PRESIDENT: Can you not read the beginning of the next paragraph?


     "Being sympathetically inclined towards England, Hess had
     conceived the crazy idea of using Great Britain's Fascist circles
     to persuade the British to give in. He had explained all this in
     a long and confused letter to the Fuehrer. When this letter
     reached the Fuehrer, Hess was already in England. It was hoped in
     Germany that he would perhaps have an accident on the way, but he
     was now really in England and had tried to contact the former
     Marquis of Clydesdale, the present Duke of Hamilton. Hess quite
     wrongly considered him as a great friend of Germany and had flown
     to the neighborhood of his castle in Scotland."
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much.

LIEUTENANT-COLONEL GRIFFITH-JONES: That is what Ribbentrop is saying
to Mussolini. Ribbentrop, we know, is a liar, and indeed what he said
later on in an interview proves it, and I would refer to Page 5 -- or
rather to the bottom of Page 4 -- if the Tribunal would bear with me
while I read that, because it would have been put in previously during
this trial had this document been known of. And as I am putting it in
now, perhaps I might be allowed to read this one paragraph which
really concerns the defendant Ribbentrop:

     "The Duce returned to his remark concerning the united front of
     Europe against England and the two countries, Spain and Russia,
     that were absent from it, with the remark that to him it seemed
     that it would be advantageous if a policy of collaboration with
     Russia could be carried out. He asked the Reich Foreign Minister
     whether Germany excluded such a possibility, that is,
     collaboration with Russia. The Reich Foreign Minister replied
     that Germany had treaties with Russia, and that the relations
     between the two countries were in other respects correct. He
     personally did not believe that Stalin would undertake anything
     against Germany, but should he do so, or should he follow a
     policy that was intolerable to Germany, then he would be
     destroyed within three months. The Duce agreed to this. The
     Fuehrer would certainly not look for any quarrel, but he had
     nevertheless taken precautions" -- this is again, I think,
     Ribbentrop speaking -- "the Fuehrer would certainly not look for
     any quarrel, but he had nevertheless taken precautions for all
     eventualities. He had in no way come to any decision, but as a
     result of certain occurrences and want of clearness on the part
     of the Russians, he had become suspicious. Thus, for example, the
     Russians had strengthened their forces along their Western
     frontier, which, of course, caused Germany to reinforce her
     troops too, but only after the Russians started it."
It really must have been a remarkable position in the German
Government if undoubtedly the Fuehrer and the foreign secretary knew,
on 13th May, 1941, that Germany was going to attack Russia a month

My Lord, that is the evidence which I have to present to the Tribunal
on this matter. I regret that this should have taken so long. I am
grateful to your Honours for your patience.

  (The Tribunal adjourned until 8th February, 1946, at 10.00 hours.)

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