The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2000/12/04

                                                  [Page 274]


TUESDAY, 20th AUGUST, 1946

THE MARSHAL OF THE COURT: May it please the Tribunal: The
defendant Hess is absent.

DR. DIX (for the defendant Schacht): May I be permitted
quite shortly to submit to the Tribunal a possible
precautionary application regarding evidence. I repeat, it
is a possible and precautionary application which will only
be operative under certain conditions which I am about to
explain. I beg the Tribunal to remember that I wanted to
call Frau Struenk and Col.-General Halder as witnesses for
the same subject on which the witness Gisevius testified as
a defence witness for Dr. Schacht. The application to hear
Col.-General Halder I withdrew at an earlier stage, while
the examination of Frau Struenk as a witness was granted by
the Tribunal. However, after hearing the witness Gisevius
and the witness Focke I decided, in the interest of time, to
withdraw my application for these witnesses as I considered
that their testimony would be cumulative.

Now, these two witnesses, Frau Struenk and Col.-General
Halder, will no longer be cumulative if, and this is by no
means my own opinion, the Tribunal should adopt the view
that the testimony of the witness Gisevius, as far as it was
in favour of Dr. Schacht, has been weakened in any way by
the statements of the witness von Brauchitsch.

It is not my task to represent the material or ideal
interests of the witness Gisevius; nor is it my task to
strengthen the credibility of the witness Gisevius in so far
as he incriminated other defendants or other persons. It is
merely my duty to furnish evidence in defence of my client,
Dr. Schacht. It is my own personal opinion - and that goes
against my own application - that the testimony of Gisevius
with reference to Dr. Schacht, that is, his testimony
regarding the purpose of armament as Schacht intended it to
be, Schacht's real attitude towards the regime, and
especially Schacht's active part in the resistance movement,
that this testimony has in no way been shaken by the
testimony of the witness Brauchitsch to the effect that he
did not know the witness Gisevius at all. These subjects of
evidence have not merely been proved by Gisevius; but, as
far as purpose of armament and the inner attitude towards
the regime are concerned, have also been proved by every
affidavit submitted; as far as the beginning of the
resistance movement and the contact with Kluge are
concerned, that has been proved by the witness Zacke; the
affidavit of Schmidt proves the attempts to avert war at the
last -

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Dix, I think you must make up your mind
whether you want to make an application or not. If you want
to make an application, you must make it in writing. The
Tribunal is not inclined to entertain possible precautionary
applications which are not in writing.

DR. DIX: I intend to leave it to the decision of the
Tribunal. I am merely making a suggestion because it is my
personal view -

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal has made a rule that
applications must be in writing. That rule has been applied
to every other counsel appearing on behalf of the
defendants. The Tribunal thinks that rule should be adhered
to by you,

                                                  [Page 275]

too. Therefore, if you wish to make an application, you
should make it in writing.

DR. DIX: Very well, then I shall gladly make my application
in writing. Does the Tribunal wish me to indicate now
briefly what it will contain, or is it sufficient merely to
state my intention of making an application in writing?

THE PRESIDENT: I do not see any reason for departing from
the rules.

DR. DIX: Then I shall make my application in writing.

THE PRESIDENT: I have two announcements to make. In the
first place, with reference to the application of Dr. Seidl,
who does not appear to be present, the Tribunal has had a
report dated the 17th August, 1946, on the condition of the
defendant Hess, from Captain G. M. Gilbert, the prison
psychologist. This report will be communicated to the
defendant Hess's counsel, to the prosecution and to the
Press. The Tribunal will not call for any further report
upon the defendant Hess at the present time.

In the next place, with reference to the application by Dr.
Stahmer, dated the 14th August, 1946, the Tribunal will
treat this application as an exceptional case, and they will
allow the defendant Goering to be recalled to the witness
box to deal with the evidence upon experiments, which was
given after the defendant Goering gave his evidence, and
upon no other subject.

The Tribunal rejects the application to call another witness
and the Tribunal will hear the defendant Goering in the
witness box now.

HERMANN GOERING, having been previously sworn, was recalled.


Q. You understand, defendant, of course, that you are still
under oath?

A. Yes, of course.



Q. Were you the President of the Reich Research Council?

A . Yes.

Q. When and by whom was the Reich Research Council
established? What were its tasks?

A. As far as I remember it was established by me either in
1942 or at the beginning of 1943.

It was concerned with embracing every sphere of science,
physics, chemistry, technology, medicine and philosophy and
with uniting in itself the various institutes of the State,
the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute, the institutes of the
universities, and the economic research institutes, which
were all carrying out the same kind of research work.
Commissions were formed in every sphere, and together they
saw to it that research in a particular field was not
carried out on parallel lines but as a joint project.

It was also their task to correlate the various spheres of
research work, such as physics and chemistry.

At the head of each one of these commissions was a
plenipotentiary. A prime consideration of all this research
work was, of course, the application of results to the
necessities of war, and for that purpose, too, special
representatives were appointed. The Reich Research Council
formed not hundreds but thousands of research commissions,
and since I personally am, of course, not an expert, I was
head of the whole institution only to lend it my authority
and especially to make the necessary funds available. These
commissions were formed under the title "Reichsmarschall of
the German Reich, President of the Reich Research Council."

Q. What position within the Air Force and what tasks did the
Medical Inspectorate of the Air Force have?

                                                  [Page 276]

A. It had the task, as in the case of all other branches of
the armed forces, of taking care of the hygiene and health
of the Luftwaffe, and of all similar work in that field.

Q. Did the Medical Inspectorate have any connections with
the Reich Research Council?

A. Naturally it had loose connections with the Reich
Research Council in order to obtain the results of the
clinical and medical research work, and to communicate to
the Research Council its own wishes on research commissions
in which it was particularly interested.

Q. Did you order the Reich Research Council or the Medical
Inspectorate of the Air Force or any other authority at any
time to form commissions for medical experiments on
detainees in concentration camps, for example Dachau, or any
other camp?

A. I should like to say quite clearly on this point that
there cannot possibly be a single letter which I signed and
that not a single person can possibly allege that I, myself,
at any time whatsoever gave orders for a single commission
or even gave a hint in that respect.

Q. Did you have knowledge of the fact that a certain Dr.
Rascher or an Oberfeldarzt of the Air Force, Dr. Weltz,
carried out medical experiments on detainees in the
concentration camp of Dachau?

A. Dr. Rascher was, as I heard here in Nuremberg and as I
gathered from the documents, a medical officer of tie Air
Force Reserve. Since apparently later on, as appears from
his correspondence, he was not successful with his
experiments, he left the Air Force and became a medical
officer in the SS. I myself have never seen this man, I have
never met him, nor do I know the second name which you
mentioned; and I do not even know whether he was a medical
officer of the Reserve or on active service.

Q. Did you give to any authority or did you empower anyone
to give to any authority the order to carry out sub-pressure-
chamber experiments on detainees in concentration camps?

A. I have already said that I did not do so. It is natural
that if anybody had come to me, shall we say from the
Medical Inspectorate or from the Reich Research Council, and
had told me that it would be serving a purpose if we carried
out research on typhoid or even cancer or other diseases, I
would of course have said that that was a very praiseworthy
enterprise. But I could not possibly have connected this
fact with the idea that human beings were used in an inhuman
manner for this purpose. If someone told me that experiments
with low pressure chambers were going on I could not
possibly have inferred that detainees were used for the
purpose, all the more since I knew that every aviator had to
go into a low-pressure chamber to test his reaction to such

Q. Did you commission the Reich Research Council or the
Medical Inspectorate of the Air Force or any other authority
to carry out experiments for making sea-water drinkable?

A. I have never heard of these experiments. They would have
interested me greatly because we airmen repeatedly
discussed, not how to make sea-water drinkable but how an
airman who was adrift in the sea in a lifeboat could obtain
drinkable water at all; and all airmen were told at that
time that there was only one possibility: that they should
have fishing tackle aboard their lifeboats so that they
could catch fish and - quite primitively - squeeze out the
fish with a cloth; under such circumstances that was the
only method of obtaining drinkable water. That is why that
point is particularly clear in my memory.

Q. In May, 1944, this matter is supposed to have been
discussed during a conference in the Air Ministry. Did you
convene that conference or were you informed of it

                                                  [Page 277]

A. No. Daily conferences of all offices and of all
departments were always taking place in the Air Ministry and
they could not possibly all have been communicated to me or
have been convened by me from headquarters.

Q. Discussions with the Air Force are supposed to have taken
place at Dachau on the same question. Were they ordered by
you or did you hear of them?

A. No.

Q. For this purpose the Air Force is said to have made
working rooms available at Dachau. Did you know of this?

A. No, I had no knowledge of this at all.

Q. Do you know the medical officer of the Air Force Reserve,
Dr. Denk or Dink?

A. I do not know either name.

Q. Did you give the order or did you get anyone else to give
the order to carry out the low-freezing experiments which
are said to have been carried out by a certain Professor
Wolfsloehner, a medical officer of the Air Force Reserve, on
detainees at Dachau?

A. No, as far as I remember from the documents, Rascher
carried out these experiments. Wolfsloehner is as unknown to
me as the other names. There were thousands of medical
officers and reserve medical officers in the Air Force.

Q. Did you ever commission Dr. Haagen, Professor at the
University of Strassburg, who is said to have been
Oberstabsarzt of the Air Force and consulting hygienist, to
carry out with all means experiments to combat typhoid?

A. I also gathered from the documents that Dr. Haagen was a
medical officer in the Air Force Reserve and consulting
hygienist not of the Air Force but of an air fleet, that is
a unit of the Air Force. I do not know him, and have never
given him a commission; he could obviously be heard on that
point at any time.

Apart from that, a commission of this sort would certainly
have remained in my memory, because it would have somewhat
astonished me, since I myself was immunised against typhoid
three times and I did not think that further research in
that sphere was taking place.

Q. Now, how do you explain that the witness Sievers in a
letter addressed to Obergruppenfuehrer Pohl, dated May,
1944, stated that Professor Haagen had been ordered by the
Reichsmarschall and President of the Reich Research Council
to carry out such experiments?

A. This can be explained as follows: firstly, as I said
earlier, the letter-heading for all such commissions which
were ordered by the Reich Research was worded: "The
Reichsmarschall of the German Reich," signature: "The
President of the Reich Research Council." It was the custom
in Germany that the personal title was named and not the
office of the person in question; for instance: "The Reich
Minister of Finance," and not "The Reich Ministry of
Finance." Secondly, the witness Sievers himself testified
here - and he gave a rather large figure - that tens of
thousands of commissions were ordered under my name without
my knowing anything about them; which, indeed, would have
been quite impossible. Thirdly, it was well known in the
whole of Germany that hardly any name was used as much as
mine. If anyone wanted to achieve anything at all, he quite
happily wrote "The Reichsmarschall wishes it, orders it or
would like to see this or that done."

It was for that reason that in 1944 I created a special
department which was to prevent the misuse of my name for
such matters.

Q. What was your basic attitude with regard to the carrying
out of medical experiments on human beings?

A. I already -

THE PRESIDENT: I think the defendant has already told us
what his basic attitude was.

                                                  [Page 278]

DR. STAHMER: Very well, Mr. President. Then, with reference
to this subject, I have no further questions. I must merely
reserve the fight to put further questions as soon as the
witness Schreiber has appeared here. A statement from this
witness was submitted to the Tribunal, but it has not yet
been introduced in evidence, so that I cannot at this moment
deal with it.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal does not know what you are
talking about because the Tribunal has not yet allowed the
witness Halder to be called; but you must conclude your
examination of the defendant now.

DR. STAHMER: I believe I have been misunderstood, Mr.
President. I was speaking of the witness Schreiber. A
statement of the witness Schreiber was submitted, and the
Tribunal ruled that Schreiber should appear here as a
witness. I shall, therefore, have to reserve the right -

THE PRESIDENT: The interpretation came to us as Halder.

DR. STAHMER: No, no, Schreiber, Professor Schreiber.

THE PRESIDENT: If this Schreiber is brought here in
accordance with the Tribunal's order, then no doubt you will
have the opportunity of cross-examining. Dr. Stahmer, if you
want to put any questions to the defendant Goering you must
put them now because the Tribunal does not propose to have
the defendant recalled again should the witness Dr.
Schreiber be produced. Therefore, if you have any questions
to put to the defendant on the subject which Dr. Schreiber
might be called to deal with, you must put them now.

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