The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2000/12/04

DR. BOEHM: Mr. President, I have but four more questions
which deal with the affidavit which was submitted yesterday,
deposed by Minister President Dr. Hoegner, and these are the
final questions.

BY DR. BOEHM:

Q. Witness, in the affidavit deposed by Minister President
Dr. Hoegner which was read yesterday, it says: Already in
the year 1922" - I believe it was the so-called German Day
at Coburg - "the SA with its armed bands dominated the
streets, made attacks on the peaceful population and
particularly on people who held different political
opinions; and travelled in lorries to all demonstrations of
the National Socialist movement."

Now I should like to ask you, what were the conditions in
Coburg like and what were the occurrences which took place
there? Who attacked whom? Please be brief.

A. I did not participate in the first appearance of the SA
outside Munich, on the German Day in Coburg, but I was
informed in detail by a number of colleagues who were
participants. For quite some time beforehand the opposition
Press tried to prevent this SA rally and they incited the
people against it. As soon as the transports left Munich,
conflicts occurred and the police searched the SA members
who were leaving for weapons, and the same thing happened
when the transports arrived at Coburg. In Coburg there was a
majority of the political opponents, the SPD and similar
organizations. The SA was in the minority by

                                                  [Page 225]

far and the fact that the conflicts were not more serious is
due entirely to the disciplined behaviour of the SA. Coburg
may be taken as a classic example of that. These attacks
were not only started and carried out by the Coburg
political opponents but by people who had come in from the
outside and who were overwhelmingly stronger than the SA.

Q. Dr. Hoegner declares further in his affidavit:

  "The appearance of the SA was all the more dangerous
  because it had been trained by the Reichswehr as a sort
  of auxiliary unit and some had their own stores of arms
  while others had access to the secret stores of arms of
  the Reichswehr."

Is that true?

A. This statement is quite incomprehensible to me. The
Reichswehr at that time, with the approval of the
Government, carried on a training programme for the purpose
of protecting the border, especially after the incidents
along the Polish border, which made it necessary to protect
our home borders. The men who were brought in for this
training were taken from such units as "Stahlhelm," "Jung
Deutscher Orden" and Reichsbanner." Only one Organization
was not admitted to this training and that was the SA, and
that was mainly due to the instigation of the civil
authorities, who, I remember, were very close to Dr.
Hoegner's party at that time. Secondly, the Reichswehr had
arms dumps for the purpose of protecting the frontiers and
these arms dumps were kept very secret and rightly so, for
there were uprisings and riots all over Germany - I am
thinking of Braunschweig, Hamburg, etc. It was important
that these weapons should not fall into the hands of
unauthorised persons. On the occasion of the Polish
uprising, in which I myself took part as a member of a Free
Corps, one of these dumps was used with the agreement of the
Inter-Allied Military Commission. A British officer who
belonged to the Commission and whom I knew very well from
the previous war supported us in the most chivalrous manner.
It is remarkable that Dr. Hoegner should try to lay these
arms dumps at the door of the SA, for he really must have
known that Minister Noske, who was a close friend of his,
had given the Reichswehr permission to set up these dumps.
Thirdly, I should like to say that between the SA and the
Reichswehr an extraordinary state of tension existed. I know
that from General Heyle. He was General Seekt's successor,
and I knew him well from the previous world war. The result
was that von Losse in November of 1923 was responsible for
the failure of the action in Munich in which the SA
participated. It shows also that General von Seekt was
strongly opposed to the NSDAP. Dr. Hoegner must have known
that as well for in connection with this question he
afterwards -

THE PRESIDENT: That is just argument.

DR. BOEHM: That will do. My question was only whether you
had access to these dumps, if they really existed as secret
Reichswehr dumps.

A. No. That was completely out of the question. May I
continue?

Q. That is quite sufficient. Dr. Hoegner further asserts in
his affidavit that on 9th November, 1923, Ludendorff was
considered the man to unleash the national war. What do you
know about that?

A. I beg your pardon, but only a day-dreamer could assert
such a thing. General Ludendorff, after the First World War,
wanted a peaceful solution

THE PRESIDENT: It is quite sufficient, if he says no to your
question.

DR. BOEHM: Yes, Mr. President.

BY DR. BOEHM:

Q. Do you remember that weapons were found in 1933 in the
Gewerkschaftshaus (Trade Union House) in Munich?

A. Yes.

                                                  [Page 226]

Q. And now one last question. What were relations like
between the SA and Himmler?

A. The relations between Staff Chief Lutze and Himmler were
the worst conceivable. The personal relations between the SA
and the former Reichsfuehrer SS were definitely bad. In
conclusion may I give a very brief explanation to the
questions which were put, your Lordship?

DR. BOEHM: To which questions did you want to make a few
remarks?

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Boehm, you can make, of course, in your
speech, what arguments you like, but unless it is in answer
to some question from you, I do not think this witness ought
to say anything on his own, unless there is something he
wants to clear up in his evidence.

DR. BOEHM: The witness wanted to clarify some questions
which I had put to him, your Honour, as far as I understood
him.

THE PRESIDENT: What question do you want to clarify?

THE WITNESS: The question of whether the SA committed war
crimes or crimes against humanity.

DR. BOEHM: Mr. President, I would like to ask that the
explanation be permitted.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well, if he does it briefly.

THE WITNESS: I shall be very brief, your Lordship. To
conclude the questions put to me I should like to assure you
upon my oath that we of the SA did not do anything bad. We
did not want a war and we did not prepare for a war. We of
the SA, the leadership and the organization itself, did only
those things which, in other countries, are expected of the
men of the nation as their moral duty, which Mr. Truman or
Marshal Stalin or the statesmen of England and France expect
of their men, namely, to do everything to protect the home
country and to maintain peace. We of the SA did not commit
any crimes against humanity, either. The leadership did not
decree them, nor did they tolerate them, nor allow the
organization to be guilty of any of them. When individuals
commit misdeeds they should be punished and this is our
will, that they shall be brought to just punishment.

We, therefore, do not ask for mercy or sympathy by
portraying our domestic distress. We ask only for justice,
for nothing else, for our conscience is clear. We acted as
patriots. If patriots are to be labelled as criminals, then
we were criminals.

DR. BOEHM: Mr. President, I have no further questions.

THE PRESIDENT: The witness can retire.

DR. PANNENBECKER (counsel for defendant Frick): Mr.
President, one document for Frick is still outstanding, a
document which was granted to me before the end of the
evidence, but which has not been handed in. I ask to be
allowed to present it now. It is an answer to a
questionnaire by Dr. Konrad in Berlin, which deals with the
attitude of the Ministry of the Interior to the Church
question. It is Frick Exhibit No. 15. I believe I may refer
to this document without reading it in full.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes. Now, then, counsel for the defendant
Funk wanted to recall the defendant, did he not? Yes, well,
will you do that now?

DR. STAHMER (counsel for defendant Goering): Mr. President,
on 14th August I submitted a written application to present
evidence which has not been decided upon, and which probably
cannot be decided upon yet. It is not possible for me to
tell whether this application for evidence will be
considered if I cannot refer to it at the present stage of
the proceedings. It deals with incidents which were
discussed in the session of 9th August during the cross-
examination of the

                                                  [Page 227]

witness Sievers by the British prosecution. On this occasion
it was said that the defendant Goring was connected with
medical experiments which were made with concentration camp
inmates. It was in connection with the experiments to make
sea-water drinkable, to find a cure for spotted fever, and
finally, with freezing experiments. These experiments
allegedly were carried out on concentration camp inmates,
and it was asserted that all of this took place at the
direction of - or rather, with the approval of - Goering.
Now I should like to prove that Goering did not decree these
experiments, and therefore they were not carried out on his
instructions, and that he did not even have knowledge of
such practices.

In this connection I named as witnesses, first of all, Dr.
Schroeder, a Staff Medical Officer of the Luftwaffe, who
apparently is a prisoner in British or American hands. I
also named the defendant Goering himself as a witness, for
it is uncertain whether it is possible to bring the witness
Schroeder here in time. Therefore I should like to ask the
High Tribunal's permission to have Goering recalled to the
witness stand so that I can examine him in regard to these
questions which I have just mentioned and outlined.

THE PRESIDENT: Would you please give the Tribunal a
reference to the transcript where the defendant Goering
testified upon the question of experiments.

DR. STAHMER: Mr. President, I tried to do that. I want to
prove that. I have not received the transcript as yet. These
documents were submitted in the afternoon session of 9th
August. I could not get the individual numbers, I will
submit them later today.

THE PRESIDENT: You are misunderstanding me. What I asked you
for was a reference to the transcript where the defendant
Goring himself was questioned, as I imagine he was
questioned, about experiments generally.

DR. STAHMER: Yes, he has been examined generally on this
matter, and the witness Milch also testified in general.
General Milch was heard on this matter on 8th March.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, Dr. Stahmer?

DR. STAHMER: General Milch was heard on this matter on 8th
March, 1946, Page 5,577 of the German transcript.

But I should like to point out that Field-Marshal Milch
testified generally to only a part of these questions. But
now specific accusations have been raised, which were
unknown to me at the time and in regard to which I could
examine neither the defendant Goering nor the witness Milch.

THE PRESIDENT: What I wanted to know in addition was at what
page in the transcript the defendant Goring himself dealt
with the matter, either in the examination in chief or in
cross-examination or re-examination.

DR. STAHMER: I cannot tell you yet; but I will submit it
immediately.

THE PRESIDENT: We will consider the matter. Have the
prosecution any observations they wish to make with
reference to the application on behalf of the defendant
Goering?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, this is the first time that
I had heard of the application, so I am speaking from
memory.

My Lord, my recollection is that the prosecution put in
certain correspondence about the experiments. That was put
in cross-examination by Mr. Justice Jackson to Marshal Milch
so that when the defendant Goering went into the witness box
the question of his connection with the experiments was a
matter that was known to him and with which he could deal.

My Lord, I would like to do the same as I understand the
Tribunal wants to check as to how far he did deal with it,
and if there is any further point arising on that, perhaps I
could mention it to the Tribunal later on.

                                                  [Page 228]

THE PRESIDENT: Could you do that when we rise, or just
before we rise today?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: Certainly, my Lord. I will have it
looked into at once.

THE PRESIDENT: And perhaps Dr. Stahmer could let us have a
reference to the passages in the transcript at one o'clock,
or even two o'clock. One o'clock would be preferable.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: That would help a lot.

DR. SAUTER (counsel for defendant Funk): With the permission
of the Tribunal, I will call the defendant Funk to the
witness box.

WALTER FUNK took the stand and testified as follows:

THE PRESIDENT:

Defendant, you understand you are still under oath?

THE WITNESS: Yes.

THE PRESIDENT: You may sit down.

DIRECT EXAMINATION

BY DR. SAUTER:

Q. Dr. Funk, can you understand me?

A. Yes.

Q. Dr. Funk, today I must examine you about this affidavit
submitted by the prosecution last week, deposed by the
former SS Obergruppenfuehrer Pohl, dealing with
concentration camps. You yourself have been heard on this
group of questions on 7th May here in this courtroom. In
this examination of 7th May, in response to a question, you
stated that at that time you had seen this
Obergruppenfuehrer Pohl once, and I quote from the
transcript of 7th May, "I saw him once at the bank, when he
was having lunch with Herr Puhl, the Vice-President of the
Bank, and some of the other gentlemen of the Directorate. I
passed through the room and I saw him sitting there. I
myself," you said, "never discussed these matters with Herr
Pohl (Gruppenfuehrer of the SS). It is completely new to me
that these things took place." That is a literal quotation
from your testimony of 7th May. Now Obergruppenfuehrer Pohl,
in his affidavit No. 4045-PS, which was submitted to the
Tribunal on 5th May, stated that he had talked to you twice.
Do you remember the other conversation you had with him, a
conversation which you did not mention at that time? Yes or
no?

A. No.

Q. What can you say about this other conversation, regarding
the statement of Obergruppenfuehrer Pohl? I mean the
conversation in regard to which Obergruppenfuehrer Pohl
stated that he had talked with you on Himmler's instructions
so that you, as Reich Minister of Economics, would give
preferential treatment to the SS when textiles were being
allotted, apparently for uniforms? What can you say on this
subject?

A. It is my conviction that this conversation did not take
place. At any rate, try as I may, I cannot remember such a
conversation with Pohl, and many things show that it could
not have taken place. First of all, I did not concern myself
with such specific things as the allocation of textiles to a
branch of the services. Secondly, I always held
conversations like that in the presence of my State
Secretary or in the presence of the competent Chief of the
Department and specialist, and particularly if the
conversation was with a person whom I did not know. I never
concerned myself with the supplying of textiles from
concentration camps. These things came within the province
of the Reich Commissar for the utilization of old materials.
That was an office outside the Ministry. It is my conviction
that it was done in this way: the old material, that is, the
old used textiles, from the collecting depots went directly
to the factories which processed

                                                  [Page 229]

material of this sort. Therefore, it is my conviction that
the officials of the Ministry of Economics knew nothing
about the deliveries of this material from concentration
camps, because it had been collected previously by the
Economic Department of the SS under the leadership of Pohl.
Before this trial, I did not even know that the
concentration camps were under Pohl's jurisdiction. I had no
idea of the connection between the Economic Department of
the SS and the concentration camps. Also the size of these
deliveries of old materials was not so big in proportion to
the entire production that I would have to be bothered with
them. But let us suppose that Herr Pohl did visit me. My
memory is not quite what it used to be, especially after the
many years of illness that I have gone through, so that a
visit of that kind, which Pohl stated lasted only a few
minutes, might have slipped my memory. If Pohl had expressed
to me such a wish on the part of Himmler, then I most
certainly would have turned this matter over to my State
Secretary for him to handle. But Pohl's assertion that he
said something to me about dead Jews from whom these
deliveries were supposed to have come, these goods delivered
by the SS as old material, is monstrous. That was supposed
to have been in 1941, perhaps 1942. That Pohl should tell
me, whom he was seeing for the first time, a secret which
was closely guarded up to the end, is in itself incredible.
But he had no reason to mention dead Jews to me when he told
me that big deliveries would be arriving from the SS. It
seemed to be perfectly plausible to me, for in the large
domain of the SS, where hundreds of thousands of men were
housed in barracks, and were clothed by the State, there
must constantly have been much old material such as
textiles, blankets, uniforms, underlinen, etc.


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