The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2000/11/07

                                                  [Page 241]



THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Siemers, you have an application, I
think, to make. Have you not been told about it?


THE PRESIDENT: You wanted to apply for the witness Vice-
Admiral Buerkner; and there was also another request, that
you should visit Vice-Admiral Buerkner, and for three
documents, a Pocket Book of the Fleets for the years 1908 to
1914, a Handbook of Seapower and Prestige at Sea for the
years 1906, 1912, and 1914; and thirdly, an historical work
on the German Navy.

DR. SIEMERS: That is correct, Mr. President. I made these
applications to the General Secretary for information

THE PRESIDENT: Well, that application is very late in the
day unless there are special reasons for it. The Tribunal
have already indicated that they propose only to hear or to
grant applications for witnesses and documents for very
special reasons, and therefore they would like to hear you
as to what the special reasons are.

DR. SIEMERS: Mr. President, I cannot yet see how far
anything at all among the evidence for the General Staff
will be necessary. There are a few points which I would like
to check, and that is why I made this application. I think
and believe that I shall not need to make any further
application to the Tribunal, but I requested it in order to
be given the possibility of obtaining information for myself
in the course of the trial.

THE PRESIDENT: You are asking to go on a long journey to see
Vice-Admiral Buerkner, before any evidence is called which
makes it necessary.

DR. SIEMERS: As far as I know, Buerkner is in Ansbach.

THE PRESIDENT: Is it not a fact that Vice-Admiral Buerkner
was here when he was summoned as a witness for the defendant
Jodl, and that then he was not called, and therefore left

DR. SIEMERS: Mr. President, I also hope that this will not
be necessary. The testimony for the General Staff, however,
was only given before the Commission, and several questions
arose during this which I would like to discuss, because
these are matters which did not arise in the earlier
testimony for the individual defendants.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will consider the application.

DR. SIEMERS: I would like to add one thing, Mr. President. I
had previously asked and I had been told by the General
Secretary that no difficulties would arise from this, and
that if I wanted to speak to Admiral Buerkner again I could
do so. So I did not think at the time that such great
difficulties would be met with. I request the Tribunal, if
it be possible, to grant me this opportunity.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will consider the matter.

THE PRESIDENT: Does counsel for the Reich Cabinet want to re-
examine this witness?

                                                  [Page 242]

RE-EXAMINATION of the witness Schlegelberger


Q. Witness, a letter was shown to you yesterday, a letter
which you had written to Reich Minister Dr. Lammers. How did
you come to write that letter?

A. This letter to Dr. Lammers concerned the following
matter. On 6th March, at the request of the SS Racial
Office, a conference took place concerning the treatment of
half-Jews. I no longer know where the conference took place.
In any case, it was not in the Ministry of Justice.
Proposals were made at this conference which I considered
absolutely impossible. Half-Jews were, without distinction,
to be treated like Jews and deported to labour camps in
Poland. In order to prevent decisions which I thought
absolutely intolerable I applied to Reich Minister Lammers.
I should like to emphasize here that the Ministry of Justice
was, so to speak, only superficially active in this matter,
that is, only because compulsory divorce was also suggested
in connection with these proposals, a measure which was
certainly very important, but was a question of only
secondary importance compared with the problem as a whole.

Q. Yesterday, another one of your letters was then shown
you, which was dated 6th April, 1942, and had been sent to
various Party offices. The contents of this letter seem to
be connected with the advisers' conference of 6th March. Can
you say something more specific in this connection?

A. When I consider both letters, I can only say the
following: Apparently I had not been given the necessary
support by Reich Minister Lammers. But under all
circumstances, I wanted to have the proposal defeated. I
realised that no progress would be made by a purely negative
attitude, rather must I make a positive proposal with the
aim of limiting the number of people affected as much as
possible. Therefore, I proposed to exclude the following
persons completely: (1) Half-Jews of the second degree, that
is, half-Jews who had only one non-Aryan grandparent. Also
to be excluded were: (2) Those of the half-Jews of the first
degree who were not capable of reproduction and (3) half-
Jews of the first degree who still had living issue who were
not half-Jews themselves. There still remained, therefore,
only a limited class of half-Jews of the first degree. With
regard to these, I proposed that they be given the
opportunity to escape deportation by being sterilised.
Finally, I opposed the compulsory divorce. Today I should
only like to repeat what I said yesterday in my conclusion:
I deeply regret that because of the jurisdictional
conditions at the time and the forces at work at the time, I
could not make a better proposal.

Q. Yesterday you were cross-examined and questioned about
the retirement of Economics Minister Dr. Schmidt. Is it
correct that Dr. Schmidt's retirement was the result of a
months-long illness, that he had become incapable of work
after he collapsed in a faint during a session, and that
therefore his retirement came about purely from personal
reasons of his health?

A. That is what I was told.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: Thank you. Then I have no further questions.

THE PRESIDENT: Witness, with reference to your letters to
Dr. Lammers, which I understand were of 6th March and 6th
April, 1942, about which you have just been asked - you
remember them?

WITNESS: I remember the letters.

THE PRESIDENT: What I understand is that the conditions in
the working camps in Poland were, in your opinion, such that
it would be preferable for half-Jews to be sterilised?

WITNESS: That is my opinion.

THE PRESIDENT: The witness may retire.

THE PRESIDENT: I call on Dr. Pelckmann, counsel for the SS.

                                                  [Page 243]

MR. ELWYN JONES: If your Honour pleases, before Dr.
Pelckmann calls his SS witnesses, I have an application to
make to the Tribunal with regard to the witness Siemers who
gave evidence before the Commission.

Yesterday, my Lord, about sixteen new documents of great
importance came to Nuremberg. They are from Himmler's files.
Some of these documents are letters written by this man,
Siemers, himself. All of them relate to the work of an
important component part of the SS, namely, the Ahnenerbe,
the SS Ancestry Heritage Research Organization, of which
Siemers was the head executive.

These documents also relate to the Institute for Scientific
Research for War Purposes. My application is for leave to
cross-examine Siemers before the Tribunal upon these
documents. I make this application in view of their very
great importance. In my submission their contents should go
upon the record of this trial; I do submit, that the
documents should be put to Siemers personally.

In my submission they wholly controvert the testimony he
gave to the Commissioner, and I imagine the Tribunal itself
may well want to question Siemers. It is in any event my
intention, if you will allow me, to put these documents in.
I do not think it will take much more time if I put them to
the witness himself.

THE PRESIDENT: The witness of whom you are speaking has been
called before the Commission, I understand?

MR. ELWYN JONES: Yes, my Lord.

THE PRESIDENT: But he has not been called before the
Tribunal nor applied for?


THE PRESIDENT: He is still in Nuremberg?

MR. ELWYN JONES: Yes, my Lord.

THE PRESIDENT: He is not one of the witnesses who has been
granted to Dr. Pelckmann?

MR. ELWYN JONES: No, sir, he is an additional witness.


MR. ELWYN JONES: Dr. Pelckmann opposes my application.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes. Very well. We will hear you upon that
now, Doctor.

DR. PELCKMANN (for the SS): Your Lordship, I regret that I
must oppose the request of the Prosecutor for permission to
cross-examine the witness Siemers. I should like to say
beforehand that by doing this I do not want to hinder the
further clarification of the case of the SS and the further
clarification of the charges against Siemers. My reasons are
of a more fundamental kind and as follows: In no case can
the cross-examination take place before the Tribunal now.
Siemers is not one of the witnesses I have summoned before
the Tribunal. The cross-examination can take place, if at
all, only before the Commission. I must also oppose it,
however, purely for reasons of procedure. The prosecution
has for months, and perhaps years, been in possession of a
very large quantity of documentary material, which was read
out in court. It was also in a position through its
extensive auxiliary organizations, such as the CIC and the
Intelligence Service, to examine witnesses who are in camps
and whom it had already interrogated for over a year.
Therefore, it had every opportunity to prepare the cross-
examination before the Commission. In my opinion, it would
not be permissible for the prosecution, despite these
advantages which it has over the defence, to continue taking
evidence before the Commission now. I will, however,
withdraw my objection if the request which I made months
ago, to be allowed to look carefully through the Allied
Document Offices for material for the defence, is granted to
me. I would consider that fair, in the case of the Tribunal
granting the request of the prosecution. I would then be
finally in a position to submit documentary

                                                  [Page 244]

material in rebuttal. I will also withdraw my objection if I
am permitted, on the basis of the exculpating documents
found in this way, to continue to examine witnesses before
the Commission just as the prosecution has now requested in
the case of the witness Siemers. One can see that the
prosecution was able to produce further incriminating
evidence only by a thorough investigation of the documentary
material in the document offices. In view of this, would it
not be fair if the defence, too, were given this opportunity
to look for evidence in rebuttal?

MR. DODD: Mr. President, before the Tribunal rules on this
application, I would like to make one statement. This is the
second time, at least, that Dr. Pelckmann has inferred that,
because he has been denied access to the document room, the
defence is being unfairly obstructed.

I want the record to be perfectly clear that we know what is
in that document room, and we know perfectly well there is
no document there that rebuts any evidence that has been
offered in this case, and if there were, it would have been
made available to this Tribunal and to these defendants. I
think it is fair to say that we rather resent this
implication from the defence at this stage of these

DR. PELCKMANN: May I add something to this? In my document
book, if that is what counsel for the prosecution means,
there are documents which I have found either in written
material which has not yet been seized, or else in documents
which I obtained after an exact description through the
General Secretary and after decisions by the Court.

However, I must say that I am by no means in a position to
indicate the exact documents, as the High Tribunal requires
in such cases, if I am not placed in a position in advance,
just as the prosecution is, to investigate the material in
question. And this is the salient point. We see in this case
how the prosecution, in contrast to the defence, especially
with respect to the organizations, is able to collect

THE PRESIDENT: We have already heard you say that, and we
fully understand the point.

The Tribunal grants the application that this witness should
be produced for cross-examination here. This witness has
already given evidence before the Commission, and in the
opinion of the Tribunal it is of importance that his
evidence should be given fully and should be brought to
light fully before the Tribunal. As these documents have
only just come into the hands of the prosecution, the
Tribunal thinks it right that the documents should be put to
the witness. It is the most convenient and the shortest
course that they should be put to the witness before the

As to Dr. Pelckmann's objections that the defence are not
being treated fairly with reference to the investigation of
the documents, the Tribunal thinks there is no foundation
for this complaint. It would not be proper to allow the
defence to have what is in the nature of a fishing
investigation into the thousands of documents which are in
the hands of the prosecution. If the defence can specify any
document that they want, they will be given a view of that

I have already said that in my opinion any document which is
helpful to the defence ought to be disclosed to them. That
is the practice in the English courts, at any rate, and Mr.
Dodd has informed the Tribunal now that if there were any
documents which were in any way helpful to the defence in
the prosecution's document room, it would be made available
to the defence.

DR. PELCKMANN: I should only like to say that I did not say
that the defence was not being treated fairly; I only said -

THE PRESIDENT: I am explaining to you why the Tribunal do
not think it is possible that the defence counsel should be
allowed to rove about in the prosecution's document room.

                                                  [Page 245]

Now you may call your witnesses.

DR. PELCKMANN: I call the witness Freiherr von Eberstein.

FRIEDRICH KARL VON EBERSTEIN, a witness, took the stand and
testified as follows


Q. Will you state your full name?

A. Friedrich Karl Freiherr von Eberstein.

Q. Will you repeat this oath after me:

I swear by God, the Almighty and Omniscient, that I will
speak the pure truth and will withhold and add nothing.

(The witness repeated the oath.)

THE PRESIDENT: You may sit down. Proceed.

DR. PELCKMANN: I will be very grateful to your Lordship if
the interpretation could be organized in such a way that
technical terms and the definitions of service offices and
personnel could be rendered, as much as possible, in the
original text, the German text, because mistakes could
frequently arise in the interpretation. In the SS
organization there are so many special definitions which it
is difficult to keep apart in an interpretation.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, the Tribunal thinks that it would be
convenient to them if both the German denomination and the
English were given - if both were given.



Q. Witness, were you before and after 1933 a member of the
general SS?

A. Yes.

Q. Had you already entered the so-called general SS in 1928?

A. Yes.

Q. Witness, I should like to ask you to pause after each
question, just as I am going to try to pause after each
answer. In 1928, did the SS have a commander of its own, or
was it under the commander of the SA?

A. In 1928 the SS was under the Supreme SA Leadership. The
Chief of Staff at that time was a Captain von Pfeffer.
Himmler was not yet Reich Leader of the SS. The SS was led
by a certain Heid under the Chief of Staff.

Q. In spite of this did the SS already form a special

A. Yes, it was included with the SA under the Supreme SA

Q. Did you belong to the general SS only in an honorary
capacity, that is to say, in addition to your own
profession, or were you a regular member?

A. I belonged to the SS outside my regular profession. I had
been a civil servant since 1934.

Q. Well, did you have any salary as an SS leader?

A. No, I had no salary. I lived on my own fortune, and later
I received the salary and in addition was reimbursed for my
travelling expenses and got an additional expense allowance
of 150 marks a month.

Q. If I understood you correctly, you received your salary
as a civil servant?

A. As a civil servant, yes, indeed.

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