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                                                   [Page 52]


WEDNESDAY, 17th JULY, 1946

DR. SIEMERS (for the defendant Raeder): Yesterday I dealt
with the events, before the outbreak of war. Now I shall
turn to the events which occurred during the war.

I think I have shown that the Navy had an extremely
insignificant part in all events prior to the war, and that
the transactions in which the Navy was authoritatively
involved were carried out on a peace basis, namely, on the
basis of the Naval Treaty with England.

When the war ultimately broke out involving England on the
3rd September, 1939, a regrettable incident occurred at the
outset, on the first day, namely the sinking of the Athenia,
from which the prosecution attempts, in exaggerated terms,
to construe a ponderous moral accusation against Raeder, not
so much indeed on the basis of its actual military aspect,
that is, the sinking, which my colleague Dr. Kranzbuehler
has already discussed, as on account of an article published
in the Volkischer Beobachter of 23rd October, 1939, entitled
"Churchill Sinks the Athenia." Were the statement of facts
brought forward by the prosecution correct, the moral
accusations against Raeder and the Navy would be justified,
even though, of course, an untruthful newspaper article is
no crime. Consequently, the accusation brought by the
prosecution is only made for the purpose of depreciating
Raeder's personality in contradiction to the life-long
esteem which Raeder has enjoyed in the whole world and
especially abroad.

I think the evidence has sufficiently revealed that the
statement of facts presented by the prosecution is not
correct. Surely this must be our conclusion if, at first,
the prosecution believed that the odious article in the
Volkischer Beobachter could not have appeared without the
knowledge of the Naval Command. The prosecution believed
this because, in view of their conspiracy bias, they think
in every case that there were constant discussions and close
co-operation between the various departments. The course of
the Trial has shown how far from correct this assumption is.
The contact between the individual departments, and
especially between the Navy and Propaganda Ministry, between
Raeder and Goebbels, was far less than the contact between
individual departments in a democratic State. In addition,
the testimonies of the witnesses Raeder, Schulte-Monting,
Weizsaecker and Fritzsche, together with the documents,
establish the following facts absolutely clearly

1. In early September, 1939, Raeder himself firmly believed
that the sinking was not imputable to a German U-boat
because it was revealed by the reports that the nearest
German U-boat was at least 75 nautical miles away from the
spot of the sinking.

2. Accordingly, Raeder, as stated in Document D-912,
published a bona fide denial, and issued declarations to
this effect to the American Naval Attache and to the German
State Secretary Baron Weizsaecker.

3. Raeder did not realize the mistake until after the return
of the U-30 on 27th September, 1939.

4. Hitler insisted, as evidenced by witnesses Raeder and
Schulte-Monting, that no rectification of the facts should
be made to any other German or foreign department, that is
to say, that the sinking should not be acknowledged as

                                                   [Page 53]

by a German U-boat. He apparently let himself be guided by
political considerations and wished to avoid complications
with the USA over an incident which could not be remedied,
however regrettable it was. Hitler's order was so strict
that the few officers who knew were put under oath to keep
it secret.

5. Fritzsche disclosed that after the first investigation by
the Navy in early September, 1939, he made no further
investigation and that the Volkischer Beobachter article
appeared as a consequence of an agreement between Hitler and
Goebbels alone, without previous notice to Raeder. On this
point the testimonies of Raeder and Schulte-Monting
coincide. It is consequently clear that Raeder - contrary to
the claim of the prosecution - was not the author of the
article and moreover heard nothing about the article before
its appearance. I regret that in spite of this clarification
the prosecution apparently are intent upon persisting in
their claim by the submission, on 3rd July, 1946, of a new
document, D-912. This newly-submitted document contains only
radio broadcasts by the Propaganda Ministry which are of the
same nature as the Volkischer Beobachter article. These
radio broadcasts were a propaganda instrument of Goebbels
and cannot, any more than the article, be used to bolster up
a charge against Raeder, who, in fact, was at the time
informed of the article only and not of the radio
broadcasts. Even the fact that Raeder did not attempt any
rectification, after being informed of the article, cannot
be made a moral charge against him since he was bound by
Hitler's order and had no idea at the time that Hitler
himself had a hand in the article, which Weizsaecker aptly
described as perverse fantasy.

I venture, in this connection, to remind the Tribunal that
it is a well-known fact that at the beginning of the war
inaccurate reports also appeared in the English Press about
alleged German atrocities, which, even after their
clarification, were not rectified, as for instance, the
false report about the murder of 10,000 Czechs in Prague by
German elements in September, 1939, although the matter had
been cleared up by a commission of neutral journalists.

The prosecution believe they possess overwhelming material
against all the defendants. If this presumption was correct
with reference to Raeder, the prosecution would scarcely
have felt the necessity of particularly bringing forward
this Athenia case in such ponderous and injurious terms with
the sole purpose of discrediting the former Commander-in-
Chief of the Navy.

Concerning Greece, the prosecution makes the accusation
against Raeder of violation of neutrality and breach of
International Law on two counts, namely:

1. On the basis of Document C-12 according to which Hitler
decided, because of a report by Raeder on 30th December,
1939, that:

  "Greek merchant ships in the zone around England which
  the USA declared prohibited are to be treated as enemy

2. According to Document C-176 on the occasion of the
delivery of a report to Hitler on 18th March, 1941, Raeder
asked for confirmation that "all of Greece is to be
occupied, even in ease of peaceful settlement".

In the course of the Trial both accusations have turned out
to be untenable; in both cases there is no action which
violated International Law.

With reference to accusation one: Raeder and the German
Naval Command learned in October-November, 1939, that quite
a number of Greek merchant ships had been put at the
disposal of England, either at the instance or with the
approval of the Greek Government. This fact cannot be
reconciled with strict neutrality and, according to
principles of International Law, it gave Germany the right
to take an equivalent counter-measure. This justified
counter-measure consisted in treating Greek ships which
sailed for England as enemy ships, from the moment they were
in the zone around England which had been declared
prohibited by the United States.

With reference to accusation two: Germany, especially the
High Command of the Navy, had received reports that certain
Greek military and political circles had maintained very
close connections with the Allied General Staff ever since

                                                   [Page 54]

1939. As time went by, more and more reports came in. What
the Allies were planning in the Balkans is known; the
intentions were to establish a Balkan front against Germany.
For this purpose local conditions in Greece, as well as in
Roumania, were examined by Allied officers on behalf of the
Allied General Staff with regard to building aeroplane bases
there. Furthermore, preparations were made to land in
Greece. As proof I have presented, as Exhibit Raeder 59, the
minutes of the session of the French War Committee of 26th
April, 1940, which shows that the War Committee was at that
time already investigating the question of possible
operations in the Caucasus area and in the Balkans, and
which further reveals the activity of General Jauneau in
Greece for the purpose of continuing investigations and
preparations and the attempt by officers concerned to
camouflage the purpose of the trip by making it in civilian

This attitude of Greece and especially her agreement with
Allied plans represents a violation of neutrality on the
part of Greece; for Greece did not appear as England's ally
but formally continued to maintain her neutrality.
Therefore, Greece could no longer expect that Germany would
fully respect Greek neutrality Germany nevertheless
respected Greek neutrality for a long time. The occupation
of Greece took place in April, 1941, only after British
troops had already landed in Southern Greece on 3rd March,

The fact that Greece agreed to the British landing is,
according to generally recognized rules, without
significance in international legal relations and with
regard to the international legal decision between Germany
and England and between Germany and Greece; it has
importance only in the legal relations between England and

The British prosecution tried to justify the occupation of
Greece with the fact that Greek neutrality was menaced by
Germany, especially by the occupation of Bulgaria on 1st
March, 1941. In this connection the prosecution is
overlooking the fact that not only the execution of the
occupation of Greece by British forces, but also the
planning of the Allies, started quite considerably earlier
than the German planning. But however that may be, no
accusation at all can be made against Raeder, because the
date of the document submitted by the prosecution is 18th
March, 1941, which means it is 14 days later than the
landing of the English in Southern Greece. In any case, at
that time Greece could no longer demand that her alleged
neutrality be respected. But beyond that the accusation is
also unjustified by the fact, as the prosecution points out,
that Raeder asks for confirmation that all of Greece would
be occupied. This request by Raeder cannot be considered the
cause of the fact that all of Greece was occupied, for
Hitler had provided already in his directive No. 20 of 13th
December, 1940, that the entire Greek mainland was to be
occupied in order to frustrate English intentions of
creating a dangerous basis for air operations under the
protection of a Balkan front, especially for the Roumanian
oil district. In addition to that, the inquiry of Raeder on
18th March, 1941, was justified on strategic grounds,
because Greece offered many landing possibilities for the
British and the only possible defence was for Greece to be
firmly in the hands of Germany, as the witnesses Raeder and
Schulte-Monting have explained.

This strategic conception of Raeder had nothing to do with
plans of conquest or desire for glory, as the prosecution
thinks, for the Navy won no glory whatsoever in Greece, as
the occupation was a land operation, and the occupation of
an originally neutral country is simply the regrettable
consequence of such a large-scale war; it cannot be charged
to one belligerent if both belligerents had similar plans
concerning the same State and carried out these plans.

I should like now to go on to the subject of Norway. On 9th
April, 1940, troops of all three branches of the German
armed forces occupied Norway and Denmark. On this and the
preceding plans, the prosecution have based the gravest
accusation against Grand Admiral Raeder, alongside the
collective charge of participation in a conspiracy.

                                                   [Page 55]

The British Prosecutor pointed out that it was Raeder who
first suggested the. occupation of Norway to Hitler and
believes that Raeder accomplished this out of a spirit of
conquest and vainglory. I shall demonstrate that this
argumentation is incorrect. Only one thing is correct, that
is, that in this single instance Raeder took the initiative
of first approaching Hitler on the subject of Norway, namely
on 10th October, 1939. I shall, however, show that he in
fact acted in this connection not as a politician but
exclusively as a strategist. Raeder sensed purely strategic
dangers, and pointed out these strategic dangers to Hitler,
because he assumed that the Allies contemplated the
establishment of a new front in Scandinavia, in Norway in
particular, and knew that an occupation of Norway by Britain
could have a militarily decisive consequence to the
detriment of Germany. I shall show that Germany committed no
violation of International Law by the occupation of Norway.
Before I state the legal foundation and connect the facts.
established by the appraisal of evidence with the principles
of International Law, I should like first to state an
important fact:

As Raeder's examination shows, and as disclosed by Schulte-
Monting's interrogations, he was very reluctant in acting as
Supreme Commander for the Norwegian action. Raeder had the
natural feeling born of justice that a neutral State could
not be drawn into the existing war without an absolutely
imperative emergency. In the period between October, 1939,
and spring, 1940, Raeder had always advocate the opinion
that by far the best solution would be that Norway and all
Scandinavia remain absolutely neutral. Raeder and Schulte-
Monting were in agreement on this point during their
interrogations and it is, moreover, proved by documents. For
this, I refer to Exhibit Raeder 69. In it is expressed the
conviction of Raeder that the most favourable solution is
undoubtedly the preservation of the strictest neutrality by
Norway; this is entered in the War Diary on 13th January,
1940. Raeder saw clearly that an occupation of Norway by
Germany for reasons based on International Law or strategy
could only be conceivable if Norway could not or would not
maintain an absolute neutrality.

The prosecution has referred to the treaties between Germany
and Norway, in particular to Document TC-31, in which the
German Reich Government, on 2nd September, 1939, expressly
assures Norway of her inviolability and integrity. In this
memorandum, however, the following legitimate remark is

  "If the Reich Cabinet makes this declaration it, of
  course, also expects: that Norway in turn will observe
  irreproachable neutrality towards the Reich and that it
  will not tolerate breaches of Norwegian neutrality should
  attempts. along that line be made by third parties."

If, despite this fundamental attitude, Germany decided to
occupy Norway, this was done because of the threat that the
plans of the Allies created the danger Occupation of
Norwegian bases by them. In his opening speech, Sir Hartley
Shawcross declared that Germany's breach of neutrality and
its war of aggression against Norway re-maintained criminal
in the sense of the Indictment even if the allegations
regarding Allied plans for the occupation had been correct
and he added that in reality allegations of such plans were
not true. I believe that the argument advanced here by Sir
Hartley Shawcross is contrary to accepted International Law.
If Allied plans for the occupation of Norwegian bases
existed, and there were dangers that Norway neither would
nor could maintain strict neutrality, in such a case
accepted standards of International Law did justify
Germany's Norway campaign.

I would first like to bring up the juridical viewpoints
based on prevailing International Law in order to create a
foundation for my own statements, and thereby at the same
time to set forth those legal viewpoints which contradict
the prosecution's interpretation. In order to save time, in
this legal exposition, and in order to make the subject
matter comprehensible, I have submitted as Exhibit Raeder 66
an opinion on International Law on the Norway Campaign by
Dr. Hermann Mosler, Professor of International Law at the
University of Bonn.

                                                   [Page 56]

The High Tribunal will remember that I was given permission
to make use of this opinion for purposes of argumentation,
and I may therefore refer at this point to this detailed
scientific compilation and argument. In my final pleading I
shall confine myself to a summary of the most essential
concepts of the opinion.

Articles 1 and 2 of the Hague Convention on Rights and
Obligations of Neutrals in the event of Warfare at Sea
stipulate that, "the parties at war are bound to respect the
rights of sovereignty of neutral powers in the territory and
coastal waters of the neutral power, and all hostile acts by
warships of the belligerent parties within the coastal
waters of a neutral power are strictly banned as violations
of neutrality." Contrary to these stipulations, Great
Britain violated Norway's neutrality through the laying of
mines in Norwegian coastal waters for the purpose of
obstructing the legitimate passage of German warships and
merchantmen, especially in order to cut off the importation
of iron ore from Narvik to Germany. In the letter of the
Foreign Office which I received in reply to my petition for
authorisation to submit files of the British Admiralty,
confirmation as per Exhibit Raeder 130 was received to the
effect that His Majesty's forces laid mine-fields in
Norwegian waters, and in addition it was stated that this
was a well-known fact.

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