The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2000/07/21

Q. (continuing): It is only the first two sentences, defendant:

  "The Fuehrer stated initially that the subject matter of
  today's conference was of such importance that its
  detailed discussion would certainly, in other States,
  take place before the Cabinet in full session. However,
  he, the Fuehrer had decided not to discuss this matter in
  the larger circle of the Reich Cabinet because of its
  importance."

Then, if you will look at the people who were there: There
is the Fuehrer; the Minister for War; the three Commanders-
in-Chief; and the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Now, defendant, supposing that in February or March, 1938,
Hitler had wanted to discuss Austria before the same
Council, the same limited number of people. Just let us see
who would have taken the places of the people who were
there. Instead of von Blomberg and von Fritsch, you would
have had the defendant Keitel as Chief of the OKW, and von
Brauchitsch as Commander-in-Chief, would you not?

A. Yes, I believe so.

Q. As a matter of fact, Raeder and Goering maintained their
positions; the defendant von Ribbentrop had taken yours; and
you were President of the Secret Cabinet Council. Lammers
was Secretary of the Cabinet, and Goebbels had become more
important as Minister of Propaganda.

Well, now, I would just like you to look and see who the
people were that formed the Secret Cabinet Council.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: Your Lordship will find that on Page
8 of Document Book 12; and it is Page 7 of the German
Document Book.

Q. Now, do you see who they are? There are the defendant von
Ribbentrop, the defendant Goering the Fuehrer's deputy,
Hess, Dr. Goebbels and the Chief of the Reich Treasury,
Lammers, von Brauchitsch, Raeder, and Keitel. You are
saying, if I understand you, that this Secret Cabinet
Council had no real existence at all. Is that your case?

A. Yes.

Q. Why were you receiving special funds for getting
diplomatic information as President of the Secret Cabinet
Council?

A. I did not receive any. I should like to know -

Q. Oh, did you not?

                                                  [Page 182]


A. No.

Q. Well, let us just have a look at this. Would you look at
Document 3945-PS?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, it is 129 in Document Book
12-A. It will be Exhibit GB 518.

Q. If you will look at the letter of 28th August, 1939 from
Lammers to you:

  "In conformity with your request, I have had the sum of
  RM 10,000, which had been placed at your disposal for
  special expenses in connection with the obtaining of
  diplomatic information, handed to Amtsrat Koppen.
  
  I enclose the draft of a certificate showing how the
  money was used, with the request to send me the
  certificate duly signed at the latest by the end of the
  financial year."

And if you will turn to the next page, 131, you will see
that at the end of March, which was toward the end of the
financial year, you signed a certificate saying:

  "I have received ten thousand Reichsmark from the Reich
  Chancellery for special expenses entailed in obtaining
  diplomatic information."

Now, will you tell us why you were getting special expenses
for obtaining diplomatic information?

A. Yes, I can tell you that. That is an expression used at
the request of Lammers who had the Treasury of the Reich
Chancellery under him, so that I could meet the expenses of
my office; that is, for one typist and for one secretary.
And in order to justify this to ... I do not know which
authority, what this authority is called, to the Finance
Ministry - I had no special budget - Herr Lammers asked me
to use this expression. That can be seen from a certificate
which is also in there.

Q. That is all right. I am going to refer to the other
letters. But why was it necessary that the expenses of your
one secretary and one typist should not be audited? As it
shows on pages -

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, the pages are 134 and 135.

THE WITNESS: I just said that ...

BY SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE:

Q. On Page 143 you will see there is a letter from you to
Lammers:

  "In my bureau there is a need to incur special expenses,
  to audit which it does not appear to me advisable."

Why was it not advisable to audit the expenses of your
typist and secretary?

A. I can no longer tell you that just now. But at any rate,
I did not use any more money for diplomatic information; but
these are merely office expenses which I figured in there.
And so at the end of this letter which you have submitted to
me there is

Q. Well, now -

A. Please let me finish my statement.

Q. Certainly.

A. There is a report here to me, from my - from this
secretary, in which he says - No, this is not the letter I
thought it was.

Q. Well, now, if you are finished, I anticipated you might
say it was office expenses. Would you look at Document
3958-PS?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, that will be Exhibit GB
519.

BY SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE:

Q. I submit that shows you your office expenses were carried
on the ordinary budget - the letter of 8th April, 1942, to
you.

THE PRESIDENT: Is that in the book?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, yes; I am so sorry. It is
140. I beg your Lordship's pardon.

                                                  [Page 183]

BY SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE:

Q. That is a letter to you which says:

   "The Reich Minister for Finance has agreed that the
   budgetary needs announced by you for the financial year
   1942 be shown in Single Plan I. I therefore have no
   objections to having the necessary expenditure granted -
   even before the establishment of Single Plan I - within
   the limits of these amounts, namely:
   
   for personal administrative expenditures up to RM 28,500
   for official administrative expenditures up to RM 25,500
   
   Total RM 54,000."

That was providing for your office and personal expenditures
during the same period for which you were getting these
additional sums. So I am suggesting to you that if these
sums of 10,000 marks which you got every now and then were
not for office expenditures, I would like you to tell the
Tribunal what they really were for.

A. Yes, I would be very pleased if I were also told about
this, for I no longer know.

Q. Well, they are your letters, and you got the money.
Cannot you tell the Tribunal what you got it for?

A. No, I cannot at this moment. Perhaps I can tell you
afterwards.

Q. Possibly it was for obtaining diplomatic information, it
says -

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord. Dr. von Ludinghausen makes
the point that the letter I put was in 1939. Of course,
there were other letters. I have not troubled the Tribunal
with each one, but there is another letter in which there is
a reference to a payment on 9th May, 1941, and another
reference to a payment on 30th June, 1943.

My Lord, these are Pages 133 and 134. I am sorry; I did not
give the details. Perhaps I ought to have indicated that.

THE PRESIDENT: The letter on Page 137, which may have some
bearing, is a letter from the man signed "K," from the man
who made the previous applications?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: Yes.

BY SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE:

Q. Perhaps you would like to look at that, defendant? It is
No. 3945-PS, a letter of 14th July, 1943, signed "K":

  "When I went into the matter of the Special Fund, the
  competent people in the Reich Chancellery showed an
  entirely understanding attitude in this matter and asked
  for a written application from your Excellency. When I
  replied that I did not wish to produce such an
  application before success was guaranteed, they asked for
  a little longer for a further exchange of views. After a
  few days I was told that I could produce the application
  without hesitation, upon which I handed over the letter
  which I had previously withheld. The amount requested has
  been handed to me today and I have duly entered this sum
  in my special cash-book as a credit."

A. Yes, but in spite of this -

Q. Well, now, does that help you? Can you tell the Tribunal
what were the outlays, the special outlays for the obtaining
of diplomatic information for which you received this money?

A. I am very sorry; I absolutely cannot ... I can no longer
recall this matter at all. And the remarkable part is that
this letter is dated 14th July, 1943, when I had no activity
whatsoever any more, when I had left altogether. At this
moment, I do not know.

Q. That is very strange, you know. In a further letter, in
Document 3958-PS, on 8th January, 1943, and in succeeding
letters on 4th March and 20th April, the end of your
occupation of the premises of 23 Rheinbaben Allee is
explained, and

                                                  [Page 184]

how your expenses ceased when you went to live in the
country. I was just going to ask you about that - a little
about that house. If you will just look at the affidavit of
Mr. Geist, the American consul - my Lord, that is Document
1759-PS, Exhibit USA 420 - I referred to this, this morning
- and the passage that I want you to tell us about is in the
middle of a paragraph - my Lord, it is at the foot of Page
11 of the affidavit in the English version.

THE PRESIDENT: Do you have the separate document?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: Yes, my Lord, it is at the foot of
Page 11. The paragraph begins: "Another instance of the same
nature occurred with regard to my landlord ...."

THE PRESIDENT: Yes.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: If your Lordship goes on another ten
lines - after explaining about his landlord having to give
up his house to the SS, he says:

  "I know that on many occasions where it was thought
  necessary to increase the pressure, a prospective
  purchaser or his agent would appear accompanied by a
  uniformed SA or SS man. Because I lived in the immediate
  neighbourhood and knew the individuals concerned, I know
  that Baron von Neurath, one time Foreign Minister of
  Germany, got his house from a Jew in this manner. Indeed,
  he was my next-door neighbour in Dahlem. Von Neurath's
  house was worth approximately 250,000 dollars."

BY SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE:

Was that 23 Rheinbaben Allee?

A. Yes, yes -

Q. Who acquired it for you, so that as President of the
non-existent Secret Cabinet Council, you could have it as an
official residence? Who acquired it?

A. I did not understand that. Who did what?

Q. Who acquired 23 Rheinbaben Allee? Who got it?

A. I can tell you about that. In the year 1937, when Hitler
was erecting the large buildings for his Reich Chancellery,
he told me one day that I would have to move from my
apartment, which was behind the Foreign Office, because he
wanted the garden for his Reich Chancellery, and the house
would be torn down.

He said that he had given instructions to the Reich Building
Administration to find other living-quarters for me. The
Reich Building Administration expropriated Jewish residences
to me. But I refused them. But now I had to look for a house
myself, and my personal physician, to whom I happened to
mention this matter, told me that he knew of a place in
Dahlem, that was No. 23 Rheinbaben Allee, where he was house
physician to the owner. This owner was Lieutenant-Colonel
Glotz, who was the brother of a close friend of mine. I
informed the Reich Building Administration about this and
told them that they should get in touch with this gentleman.
In the course of the negotiations, which were conducted by
the Reich Building Administration, a contract of sale was
drawn up for the price quoted by Mr. Geist, and the price
was in marks, not in dollars. This sum, at the request of
Lieutenant-Colonel Glotz, was paid to him in cash, and on
his wish I persuaded the Finance Minister to have this money
transferred to Switzerland.

I might remark that I was still Foreign Minister at the
time. Afterwards, I remained in this house for the simple
reason that I did not find another one, and Herr von
Ribbentrop, my successor, moved into the old Presidential
Palace.

Then, in the year 1943, this house was destroyed. At the
moment, therefore, I still cannot explain what these moneys
were for and whether they were official payments made by the
Reich Chancellery. With the best intentions, I cannot tell
you. But the statements made by Mr. Geist here are
completely wrong as I have just stated. I did not buy or
have this house taken over from a Jew, but from the
Christian, Lieutenant-Colonel Glotz.

Q. You tell us that you passed the money on to Switzerland
on his account?

                                                  [Page 185]

A. I? Yes. Because Herr - Herr Glotz went to Switzerland. I
believe, indeed, his wife was non-Aryan.

Q. I see. I would just like to put the next sentence and
then I will leave this document: "I know, too, that Alfred
Rosenberg, who lived in the same street with me, acquired a
house from a Jew in a similar fashion." Do you know anything
of that?

A. I do not know how Herr Rosenberg acquired his house.

Q. Now, defendant, I want you to come now to March, 1938.
Perhaps I can take this shortly if I have understood you
correctly. You know that the prosecution complained about
your reply to the British Ambassador with regard to the
Anschluss. As I understand you, you are not now suggesting
that your reply was accurate but you are saying that that
was the best of your information at the time; is that right?

A. Yes, that is quite correct. It is true. That was an
incorrect statement, but I made it in good faith, because I
did not know any better.

Q. You say that neither Hitler nor Goering told you a word
about these ultimatums which were given first to Herr von
Schuschnigg and secondly to President Miklas; you were told
nothing about that? Is that what you are saying?

A. No, at that time - at that time I knew nothing. I heard
about them later

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, I am going to leave that. I
am not going into that incident in detail - we have been
over it several times - in view of the way that the
defendant is not contesting the accuracy.

THE PRESIDENT: I should like to know when he heard of the
true facts.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: I am much obliged.

BY SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE:

Q. When did you hear of the true facts of the Anschluss?

A. I heard the details for the very first time here, when
this report of Legation Counsellor Hewel was submitted to
me. Prior to this time I probably heard that there had been
pressure exerted on Herr Schuschnigg, but nothing else. I
actually learned the exact details for the first time here
in Nuremberg.

Q. I only want to get it quite clear. You say that between
11th March and your coming to Nuremberg, you never heard
anything about the threat of marching into Austria, which
had been made by the defendant Goering or Keppler or General
Muff, on his behalf? You never heard anything about that?

A. No, I heard nothing of that sort.

Q. Well, then I do want to ask you about the assurance that
you gave to Mr. Mastny, the Czechoslovak Minister in Berlin.
I would like you to look at Document 122 which you will find
in Document Book 12, Page 122 of Document Book 12. The
passage that I want to ask you about is in the sixth
paragraph. After dealing with the conversation with the
defendant Goering about the Czechoslovak mobilization, it
goes on:

  "Mr. Mastny was in a position to give him definite and
  binding assurances on this subject" - that is, the
  Czechoslovak mobilization - "and today" - that is, 12th
  March - "spoke with Baron von Neurath, who, among other
  things, assured him on behalf of Herr Hitler that Germany
  still considered herself bound by the German-Czechoslovak
  Arbitration Convention concluded at Locarno in October,
  1925."

Now, you have told the Tribunal - we have had the evidence
of Baroness von Ritter - that the meeting on 5th November
had this very disturbing effect on you and in fact produced
a bad heart attack. One of the matters that was discussed at
that meeting was attack, not only on Austria, but also on
Czechoslovakia to protect the German flank. Why did you
think, on 12th March, that Hitler would ever consider
himself bound by the German-Czechoslovak Arbitration Treaty,
which meant that he had to refer any dispute with
Czechoslovakia to the Council of the League of Nations or
the International Court of Justice? Why on earth

                                                  [Page 186]

did you think that that was even possible, that Hitler would
submit a dispute with Czechoslovakia to either of these
bodies?

A. I can tell you that quite exactly. I testified yesterday
that Hitler had me summoned to him on the 11th for reasons
that I cannot explain even to this day, and told me that the
march into Austria was to take place during the night. In
reply to my question, or rather to my remark that that would
cause great uneasiness in Czechoslovakia, he said that he
had no intentions of any kind at this time against
Czechoslovakia and that he was ... he even hoped that
relations with Czechoslovakia would be considerably improved
by that step.

From this sentence and from his promise that nothing would
happen, I concluded that matters would remain as they were
and that, of course, we were still bound by this treaty of
1925. Therefore, I was able to assure M. Mastny of this with
an absolutely clear conscience.


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