The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-21/tgmwc-21-201.03

Archive/File: imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-21/tgmwc-21-201.03
Last-Modified: 2000/11/19

Q. Were explosives, mines and troops available in large
numbers at that time, that is, in 1943?

                                                   [Page 84]

A. Yes, of course, we had mines and explosives, but they
were certainly not sufficient to achieve an aim of that

Q. Were not these supplies very short at that time, in 1943?

A. Yes, at any rate, we never had enough mines to lay mine
fields in sufficient numbers ahead of our positions.

Q. The Russian Prosecutor went on to ask you about number 3-
c, about the ruthless conscription of the civilian
population, particularly the women. You did not answer the
question of the Russian Prosecutor, whether you had ever
heard that similar or other measures of force were applied
to German women?

A. Yes. I knew that that happened during the war, but even
now women are conscripted for all sorts of work. My wife,
for example; has been put to work looking for potato

Q. I mean, did it happen in East Prussia in 1944?

A. I cannot say that from my own observation as I was not
there, but I am sure that the civilian population had
nothing to laugh at.

Q. The American prosecution submitted to you Document 459-
PS. Will you please again look at item 6. Is this a
directive or an order?

A. That is a directive, but not an order.

Q. So that, if draconian measures, as this order says, were
to be enforced, corresponding orders from the supreme
commanders were necessary?

A. Yes, of course, I was told not to ask for security forces
but to find a means myself by taking draconian measures; and
so further orders from the commanders were necessary.

Q. Do you know of any orders which were issued on the basis
of item 6?

A. No, I do not recall any order. issued on the basis of
that paragraph.

Q. Now, I have one question regarding Document 447. Please
look at Page, two, 2-b. Does not item two show, firstly,
that the Reichsfuehrer SS was given special tasks in the
operational zone, and secondly, that in discharging these
tasks he acted independently and on his own responsibility.

A. Yes, the order says so quite clearly.

Q. Then, it follows that the special action groups the
Einsatzgruppen, were not, tactically, under the supreme

A. No, tactically, they were, at most, under the local
commander, for instance, in the fight against the partisans,
or in the battle zone at the front, but in any case, as far
as their police tasks were concerned, they certainly were
not under him.

Q. The Document R-102 was also submitted to you - that is a
Secret Reich Matter. What does that mean?

A. A Secret Reich Matter is, I think, an order or a
directive or an announcement which is issued only to the
highest authorities in the Reich or to certain persons, and
which is not allowed to be generally known.

Q. Is the distribution indicated on this document?

A. No, it should be noted at the end, but it is not.

Q. So you cannot determine if this document also went to
departments of the Army?

A. No, that cannot be determined, but quite certainly it did
not go to departments of the Army, because we never received
such reports.

Q. During your examination last Saturday, you said that you
were convinced that the other supreme commanders would also
have taken steps against mass executions, had they been
reported to them?

A. Yes, naturally.

Q. Is it known to you that when Field-Marshal von Kuechler,
during the Polish campaign, heard of the execution of Jews,
he used every means at his disposal to prevent it?

A. Yes, I heard of that here in Nuremberg. I did not know of
it at the time.

Q. Is it known to you that the Volksdeutsche Burgermeister
of Marinka was sentenced to death by court-martial for his
crimes against a Jewish woman?

                                                   [Page 85]

A. I cannot recollect that. I do not know whether it
happened in my area; if it had been in my area, it would
have been reported to me, but I cannot remember it.

Q. Do you know that General von Knobelsdorff, an officer
also affected by the Indictment, had an SS leader arrested,
as he wanted to carry out executions?

A. Of that I also heard here: I did not know anything about
the executions at that time.

Q. Do you know of any other cases in which the supreme
commanders took steps against particularly outrageous
arbitrary actions?

A. I know, for example, that Colonel-General Blaskowitz, who
succeeded Field-Marshal von Rundstedt as Supreme Commander
in the East, that is in occupied Poland, protested and
raised objections against the conduct of the police in the
Government General, and that there was some sort of a noisy
dispute about it, whereupon he was relieved.

Q. Now, I come to the last point. Regarding the
subordination of the Einsatzgruppen, the American
prosecution referred to Affidavit No. 12 of Schellenberg,
Exhibit USA 557. You do not consider that affidavit correct,
I believe, because in practice the facts did not correspond
to what is said in the affidavit, is that so?

A. Do you mean the one in which Schellenberg speaks about
the agreement with the Quartermaster-General?

Q. Yes.

A. The subordination mentioned in that affidavit does not by
any means give a picture of the situation in practice, nor
can I imagine that that was the agreement made by Wagner. As
I said, there were two types of subordination, the tactical
subordination for fighting, and the economic subordination
for supplies, accommodations, etc. There were those two
types of subordination, but the tactical subordination, as I
said, only applied in battle conditions. Then there was a
third possibility, subordination for military service, troop
training, and so forth, but that certainly never applied in

Q. I shall now read to you the affidavit, which I propose to
introduce as evidence presently, from Judge-General Mantel,
who, fortunately, had discussed just that point with General
Wagner, and after reading it, I should like to ask you
whether the contents of the affidavit correspond with the
facts in practice.

He states:

  "Shortly before the beginning of the Russian campaign, I
  participated at the headquarters of the OKH in a
  conference which Quartermaster-General Wagner was having
  with the Chief Quartermasters of the armies in the East.
  Among other things, Einsatzgruppen and Einsatzkommandos
  of the SD in the operational zones of the Army were
  discussed on that occasion, and it was clearly stated
  that they would receive instructions for their activities
  exclusively from the Reichsfuehrer SS, and that the
  command authorities of the Army had no jurisdiction over
  them from the point of view of discipline and service but
  that, economically speaking, they could be attached to
  the Army."

I now want to ask you: Do the contents of this affidavit in
regard to the Einsatz groups and their subordination
correspond to the facts in practice?

A. In the statement of Ohlendorf it is pointed out that
Himmler gave his orders to the Einsatz groups, for instance
at Nikolajev, orally and only directly to them, and that
Army agencies did not hear anything about them becomes
apparent from the following which I heard afterwards here in
Nuremberg; even though Himmler was at that time in Nikolajev
where the Army Supreme Command, then under General von
Schobert, was situated, he did not visit the Army Supreme
Command, although he was well acquainted with Schobert. That
shows that he intentionally refrained from mentioning his

DR. LATERNSER: Thank you.

I have no further questions to the witness.

                                                   [Page 86]

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn.

(A recess was taken.)

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Dodd, the Tribunal would like to hear the
submission of the prosecution with reference to Dr. Sauter's

MR. DODD: My Lord, I have the following statement to make to
the Tribunal. I understand that the application asks for the
striking out of the Pohl affidavit and the permission that
Funk again takes the stand. I should like to oppose the
application to strike out the Pohl affidavit. It seems to us
that it is highly material in this case, and if anything,
although I doubt very much that even the necessity for
recalling or calling Pohl for cross-examination exists but
if anything is necessary that might be it. The defendant
Funk, it seems to us, has had a rather full opportunity when
he was on the stand. I asked him when he started to do
business with the SS, if the Tribunal will recall, and I
think I went rather fully into all possible phases at that
time of relationships between the defendant Funk and the SS,
and there was a denial on the part of the defendant Funk.
Furthermore, he will have an opportunity, I assume, in the
last statement, to say something, if the Tribunal saw fit to
permit it, with respect to anything new that might have
arisen out of the Pohl affidavit.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, but the Pohl affidavit is entirely new,
is it not?

MR. DODD: Well, sir, it is new, but it really covers only
one new matter and that is the matter of the textile
business that we alleged went on between the SS and the
Reichsbank and the defendant Funk. The matter of the
jewellery and all the other things I think were gone into.

THE PRESIDENT: I did not mean that it dealt with entirely
new subject matter, but it is the evidence of a new witness
upon that subject matter.

MR. DODD: Yes, yes, it is.

THE PRESIDENT: And as the defendant Funk has not had an
opportunity to deny it upon oath, it may be that the
Tribunal will think it right to grant him that opportunity.
There are two quite distinct questions, first of all, as to
whether Pohl's affidavit should be struck out, and secondly,
whether Funk should be called.

MR. DODD: Well, I certainly do not feel that the Pohl
affidavit should be struck out, because it seems to us to be
material, highly material. As the Tribunal will recall,
there was considerable controversy about this relationship
which we claimed between Funk and the SS. We called another
witness, Pohl, and still another witness who was his
subordinate, and I would assume that counsel would prefer to
cross-examine Pohl. We are perfectly happy to let him do
that; and then at a later date, if Funk has an opportunity,
as I am sure he will, to make his statement, he could make
his denial. I do not know what more he could say except that
it is not so, and I thought he had said that rather fully
when he was on the witness stand, and rather fully denied
that he had really any relationship with Himmler or with the
SS. I am also fearful, Mr. President, that if the Tribunal
permits this procedure in this case, there may have been
some other instances where other defendants will want to be
heard fully and the thing will go on with Surrebuttal and I
am afraid it will take much of the Tribunal's time.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Sauter, we have heard you fully upon the
subject already.

DR. SAUTER: Mr. President, may I point out one fact? This
witness Pohl arrived at the Nuremberg prison on the 1st of
June; he was questioned in preparation for the affidavit on
the 15th of July, that is -

                                                   [Page 87]

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Sauter, you have expressed yourself that
you do not want to cross-examine him. What is the relevance
of the fact that he arrived here at a certain time if you do
not want to cross-examine him?

DR. SAUTER: Mr. President, my point of view is that on
principle the prosecution cannot be permitted to present
further evidence against a defendant whose case is
completely closed. The witness Pohl arrived here on the 1st
of June; on the 15th of July, that is six weeks later, he
was examined for the affidavit. That was the same day on
which I made my final plea for the defendant Funk. Again,
several weeks later, the affidavit was finally submitted. I
do not believe that it is compatible with justice if after a
defendant's case is completely closed, the prosecution
submits further evidence against the defendant, who at that
stage no longer has an opportunity of commenting on it from
the witness stand. The Pohl affidavit contains completely
new allegations. For example, Pohl says that at a dinner of
ten or twelve persons this gold-tooth affair was discussed.
That is something entirely new and, of course, completely
improbable and that is why I ask, Mr. President, that you
permit us to have the defendant Funk examined on this point
on the witness stand.

THE PRESIDENT: You must understand that it is a matter for
the discretion of the Tribunal at what time they will end
the evidence, and it is necessary that the evidence should
be ended at some time. The Tribunal has heard fully what you
have had to say and they will now consider the matter.

DR. SAUTER: Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: With reference to the application by Dr.
Sauter, the affidavit by Pohl will not be struck out. It
will remain upon the record. But in view of the particular
circumstances of this case, the defendant Funk may be
recalled to give evidence upon the subject and he will be
recalled after the evidence has been given on behalf of the

With reference to the objection of Dr. Laternser to the use
of the statement made by Major-General Walter Schreiber, the
Tribunal is not inclined to admit any evidence so late as
this, or to reopen questions which have been gone into fully
before the Tribunal; but on the other hand, in view of the
importance of the statement of Major-General Schreiber, and
its particular relevance not only to the case of certain of
the individual defendants but also to the case of the High
Command, the Tribunal will allow General Schreiber to be
heard as a witness if he is produced before the end of the
hearing of the case. Otherwise no use can be made of this

With reference to the time within which General Schreiber
must be brought here if he is to be heard as a witness, the
Tribunal thinks that it will be proper to order that he
might be heard as a witness, if he is brought here at any
time before the final speeches with reference to the
organizations are concluded. And, of course, counsel for the
organization would have an opportunity of commenting upon
any evidence which General Schreiber might give. That is

The witness may retire.

Dr. Laternser, will you call your other witness?

DR. LATERNSER: With the approval of the Tribunal, I call as
my last witness Field-Marshal von Rundstedt.

GERT VON RUNDSTEDT, a witness, took the stand and testified
as follows:


Q. Will you state your full name, please?

A. Gert von Rundstedt.

Q. Will you repeat this oath after me:

                                                   [Page 88]

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.


Q. Field-Marshal, you are the senior officer of the former
German Army. What was your last position?

A. I am the senior officer of the German Army and I have
been a soldier for over fifty-four years. My last position
was Commander-in-Chief West, until the 9th of March, 1945.

Q. During what period were you Commander-in-Chief in Berlin?

A. From the 1st of October, 1932, until the 31st of October,

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.