The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2000/11/19

                                                   [Page 75]


MONDAY, 12th AUGUST, 1946

DR. SAUTER: (Counsel for the defendant Funk):

Mr. President, I beg to be granted permission to submit to
the Tribunal an urgent application on behalf of the
defendant Funk.

On Monday, 5th August, 1946, that is to say a week ago
today, the prosecution submitted an affidavit of the former
SS Obergruppenfuehrer Oswald Pohl, its number being 4045-PS,
alleging certain connections between the defendant Funk and
the SS, particularly with reference to the so-called "gold
deposits" of the SS in the Reichsbank; I was unable to
object to the use of this affidavit during the session of
last Monday since I was absent on that day because of
illness. I had reported my absence in the appropriate manner
to the Secretary General. On the same day, 5th August, Dr.
Nelte, in an application to the Tribunal on my behalf, asked
for permission to interrogate the witness Oswald Pohl in
prison, in order to obtain an affidavit from him. On 7th
August, 1946, I myself repeated that application, asking at
the same time for permission to call the witness Oswald Pohl
for cross-examination, and also to recall the defendant Funk
himself to the witness stand to give testimony with
reference to these new accusations.

Since the submission of these applications of mine, the SS
judges, Dr. Reinecke and Dr. Morgen, were heard as witnesses
for the SS herein Court. Both of these witnesses have raised
the gravest accusations against Oswald Pohl, although he was
their SS comrade. The testimony of these two witnesses, Dr.
Reinecke and Dr. Morgen, have furnished proof that the
former Obergruppenfuehrer Oswald Pohl, a witness of the
prosecution, firstly -

THE PRESIDENT: Are you applying to cross-examine Pohl or

DR. SAUTER: No. If you will permit me, Mr. President, I
shall in a moment give you the reason why I do not wish to
do so. I have just said that the examination of the
witnesses, Dr. Reinecke and Dr. Morgen, have furnished proof
that firstly, this witness of the prosecution is a
millionfold murderer, secondly, that he was the head of that
clique of criminals which carried out the atrocities in
concentration camps; thirdly, that Pohl, with every means at
his disposal, attempted to prevent the discovery of these
atrocities and even committed new murders for this purpose.

All that has been ascertained from the testimony given under
oath by witnesses, Dr. Morgen and Dr. Reinecke. Under these
circumstances, gentlemen of the Tribunal, the defence of the
defendant Funk refuses to use such a beast as a means of
evidence. Therefore, as defence counsel for the defendant
Funk, I desist from calling this witness of the prosecution,
Oswald Pohl, to the witness stand, because testimony coming
from a man who murdered millions of innocent people -

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Sauter, I understand that you are not
making an application of any sort now; you are making what
is in the nature of a -

DR. SAUTER: No, on the contrary, I desist from it.


                                                   [Page 76]

DR. SAUTER: Mr. President, I beg to have your permission to
make another application. I said that the testimony of a man
who murdered millions of innocent people, who made a dirty
business out of murdering them, is in our conception
completely without value for establishing the truth.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Sauter, the Tribunal thinks that this is
an inappropriate time at which to make a protest of this
sort, which is in the nature of an argument. If you are
making an application, you can make an application. If you
want to make a protest, you must make it later when the case
for the organizations is at an end.

DR. SAUTER: Mr. President, may I say the following: We are
now near the end of the submission of evidence, and I do not
think that I can wait with this application until after the
end of the trial. The application which I was going to make,
must be made now, so that the Tribunal will receive it in
good time.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Sauter, if you would only come to your
application we should be glad to hear it.

DR. SAUTER: Very well, Mr. President, at once.

I herewith apply that the Tribunal decide, firstly, that the
affidavit of Oswald Pohl, dated 15th July, 1946, namely,
Document 4045-PS, should not be admitted in evidence against
the defendant Walter Funk, and, secondly, that that part of
the contents of the affidavit of Oswald Pohl, 4045-PS, which
has reference to the defendant Funk should be stricken from
the record of the session of 5th August, 1946.

Furthermore, as an additional application and as a
precautionary measure, I beg permission to apply that the
defendant Walter Funk be recalled to the witness stand in
order to give him the opportunity to make his own statement
on these completely new assertions of Oswald Pohl.

Mr. President, I submitted this application to the general
secretary in writing this morning, but I do not know when
the translating division will pass it on to you. I therefore
considered it necessary to ask your permission to make this
application orally during the proceedings, so that I could
not then be told that I should have made it in good time
here during the session, but had failed to do it. That is
the application, Mr. President, which I beg to make.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal would like to hear the
prosecution on this application.

DR. KEMPNER: May I reserve our answer until I have an
occasion to talk to the Chief Prosecutor, Mr. Dodd?


DR. KEMPNER: I would like to state that even murderers
sometimes tell the truth.

DR. SAUTER: Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Does the prosecution wish to cross-examine
the witness any further?



Q. Witness, I have two additional questions to ask you, both
connected with the activities of the Action Group D. You
stated here that you exclude the possibility of your army
group having participated in the shooting which was carried
out by this group. Did you know that the watches taken from
those who were shot were sent to the Army, according to the
report of the Army Command?

A. No, I knew nothing about that. As far as the watches are
concerned, the Army Administration Officer on one occasion
reported to me, as far as I remember

                                                   [Page 77]

that he had procured a large consignment of watches from
Germany. He showed me one of these watches; it was a
completely new watch made in Germany. He wanted to issue
these watches to the troops. I do not remember that
confiscated watches were ever issued and in no event have I
heard of watches belonging to Jews who had been shot.

Q. And these watches were used for the supply of the German
Army, is that right?

A. This consignment of watches from Germany, yes.

Q. But you spoke about watches which belonged to the Jews
who were shot. That is the way I understood you.

A. No, I did not say that, I did not say that at all. I only
said that the Army Administration Officer reported to me
about a consignment of German watches. That is the only
thing I can remember with regard to watches. That he could
have spoken of watches belonging to Jews who had been shot
is completely out of the question.

Q. Very well. Did you know that in Nikolajev and Simferopol
the executions were attended by representatives of the Army

A. No.

Q. Do you know that these facts were brought out here in
Court by the witness Otto Ohlendorf? Do you think that
Ohlendorf testified falsely here when relating these facts?

A. I know Ohlendorf's testimony and I remember that he said
that soldiers had participated in executions near
Simferopol. But he also said that he did not know for
certain what soldiers they were. He thought they were
probably mostly units attached to the Army, that is, not
troops of my army. In any event, while I was in the Crimea I
never heard that any soldier participated in the execution
of Jews.

Q. I would like you to answer my question. Do you call
Ohlendorf's testimony false or do you consider it correct?

A. I assume that he had made a mistake. At any rate, I am
quite certain that units of my army did not participate in
these executions of Jews. What he means by units attached to
the Army; I do not know.

Q. He had in mind the troops of the 11th Army which you were
commanding. Now I am asking you this: Did you not know that
over 195,000 persons, inhabitants of Kiev, were exterminated
by the German Army and the German Police, including over
100,000 people who were put to death in Babi-Yar alone?

A. I heard of this for the first time from the document
submitted by the Russian prosecution.

Q. But you were aware of this type of mass extermination of
the civilian population?

A. No, I did not know of it, and at the time when these
executions apparently took place Kiev did not belong to my

Q. Had you knowledge of the OKW decree transmitted in
August, 1941, by Quartermaster-General Wagner, forbidding
the feeding of Soviet prisoners of war from Army supplies?
Did not this decree result in the mass starvation of the
Soviet prisoners of war?

A. I do not recall that order. In August, 1941, I was the
Commanding General of an armoured corps far ahead of the
front, and I could not even have received that order. What
is more, I cannot imagine that the order was given in that
form, because, at least in our area, we always supplied food
to the prisoners, and I do not believe, therefore, that in
my area any prisoners died of hunger.

Q. But you yourself admit that there was a tremendous
mortality rate from starvation among the prisoners of war.
You admitted so yourself here yesterday, did you not?

A. I did not say that was so in my army, but that I could
see from the documents of the prosecution that after the
large battles of encirclement in the area of Army

                                                   [Page 78]

Group Centre, in which hundreds of thousands of prisoners
were taken, many apparently died from starvation, firstly
because they were half-starved when they emerged from the
pockets, and secondly, because no army was in a position to
take over the feeding and care of, let us say, half a
million prisoners arriving quite suddenly. This naturally
resulted in difficulties which, in view of the physical
condition of the Russian soldiers when they arrived, very
probably led to a large number of deaths. But when I said
this before I was referring to the prisoners taken in the
battles of encirclement and not those in my area.

Q. It is not necessary to give such detailed replies to my
questions. Would you kindly be more brief? Did you know of
the operation called "Krimhild"?

A. The code name "Krimhild" for an operation is at the
moment meaningless to me, nor do I know whether I ever heard
it. Perhaps you can tell me when and what this is supposed
to have been, then possibly I can recall it.

Q. I will help you. This operation provided for the transfer
of German troops from Kuban to the Crimea in connection with
the advance and the pressure of the Red Army. A decree from
Hitler was therefore issued and sent to all headquarters.

A. I did not quite understand that. Do you mean the transfer
of the Army from the Crimea to the Kuban district or the
retreat from the Kuban district to the Crimea?

Q. The transfer, the retreat of German forces from Kuban to
the Crimea.

A. I cannot say anything about that, I do not know details
about it, because that was the area of the Army Group Kliest
and not in my area.

Q. And where was your army at the time?

A. My army was in the southern Ukraine at the time. The
southern border was evidently near Rostov.

Q. The retreat from Kuban was in connection with the army
group in the southern sector of the front. You were handed
this decree from Hitler, maybe you will be able to recall
something in this connection. I would like to draw your
attention to one particular point in this decree.

(The document is handed to the witness.)

Q. Do you remember this decree?

A. I must look at it more closely for a moment.

Q. If you please.

A. I can no longer tell you today whether or not I received
a copy of this order; actually, it only concerns Army Group
A. It is feasible that I did receive a copy, but I can no
longer remember. At any rate, I had nothing to do with it.

Q. This decree was sent to all headquarters, but that is not
the point. I would like you to find the second paragraph of
that decree which is entitled "Destructive Measures during
the Evacuations"; and please look at point G of that
section; quoting: "The enemy must take over completely
useless and uninhabitable waste territory where mine
detonations still will occur month by month." Have you read
that passage?

A. Yes.

Q. Now I am asking you: In your opinion, were military
considerations the only motive for this decree?

A. Yes, in my opinion, it was issued for purely military
reasons; namely, because Hitler - as I know - wanted to free
as many of the forces in the Kuban as possible in order to
use them in other parts of the Eastern front. He wanted to
leave only a minimum of forces for the defence of the
Crimea, and that of course was only feasible if the danger
of a Russian attack coming from the Kuban could, if
possible, be excluded for a lengthy period or at least made
very difficult; and probably for that reason these orders
for destruction were issued, and in points A, B, C, D, E and
F they do in fact deal only with objects which are of
military importance; in other words roads, bridges,
railroads, field railroads, corduroy roads, oil
installations -

                                                   [Page 79]

Q. I know this decree, witness, and you do not have to
reiterate it, I have it before me. I merely asked you to
look at point G which talks not about railways and bridges
and oil wells, but talks generally about reducing the
territory of the enemy to complete waste, so that it would
not be usable for months to come. I am asking you as a
soldier - since you call yourself one - do you approve of
such a decree? Was it prompted entirely by military
considerations? Please answer my question.

A. Yes, I am convinced that the order was only given for
military reasons; and I am equally convinced that letter G
means territory completely useless for the military purposes
of war. I do not believe, therefore, that the purpose here
was to lay waste the land and to, let me say, exterminate
the population, but the reason was a military reason, that
the land should be rendered useless for the continuation of
military operations; that is what I believe.

Q. It states here clearly enough what was meant. The
interpretation is a matter of opinion. I shall pass to the
next question. Were you aware that in May, 1944, a special
conference was held at Sonthofen?

THE PRESIDENT: Are you passing from that document?

GENERAL ALEXANDROV: I am passing to another question, my

THE PRESIDENT: I asked you if you were passing from the


THE PRESIDENT: I think you should put to him paragraph 3-C.


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