The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-06/tgmwc-06-57.03

Archive/File: imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-06-57.03
Last-Modified: 1997/10/24

BY DR. SAUTER (counsel for defendants von Schirach and

Q. Yesterday you mentioned that you consider the Hitler
Government as the guilty party. Is that correct?

A. Yes.

Q. In your written deposition, which you made on 8th
January, 1946, in a prison camp, there is nothing about
that; at least, I have not found anything about it so far.

A. That letter has nothing to do with it. It is a letter to
the Soviet Government, in which I explained several
questions which concerned the Sixth Army in Russia, and
mentioned several of my own experiences.

Q. In this letter of 8th January, 1946, you said explicitly
and I quote:

     "To-day, when the crimes of Hitler and his henchmen are
     being judged, I find myself obliged to tell the Soviet
     Government everything which I know, and which may serve
     as proof of the guilt of the war criminals in the
     Nuremberg Trial."

In spite of that, in this written declaration there is
nothing about it.

                                                  [Page 261]
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Sauter, if you cross-examine the witness
on this letter, you must put the letter in evidence, the
whole letter.

DR. SAUTER: That is the statement which the witness has

THE PRESIDENT: I have no doubt it is; all I say is, if you
cross-examine him on the letter and put the letter to him,
you must put the letter in evidence. You have a copy of the

DR. SAUTER: Yes. It is in the statement which the Soviet
prosecutor yesterday put up to the witness, and in regard to
which the witness said that he confirms it and will repeat

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, I follow it. I was not sure whether it
was actually put in or not or whether it was withdrawn upon
the promise to produce the witness. Is the letter actually

DR. SAUTER: The witness said, after the prosecutor asked
him, that he will repeat that statement. In fact, he has
repeated it.

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Willey, has the letter been put in?

MR. WILLEY: It has not been put in, no.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well, you can go on cross-examining
about it, but the document has got to be put in, that is


Q. Now I would like to know, Witness, what you mean by
"Hitler Government"? Do you mean the Reich Cabinet, or what
exactly do you mean?

A. I mean everyone who is responsible.

Q. I would like you to answer the question more precisely.

A. In my statement yesterday I explained only what I saw
myself, and what I experienced myself. I did not intend to
make any statements about individual personalities of the
Government because that would not be within my knowledge.

Q. But you spoke about the Hitler Government, did you not?

A. I merely meant the concept of the Hitler Government.

Q. That means, first, the Reich Cabinet, does it not?

A. Yes, inasmuch as it is responsible for the directives
given by the Government.

Q. For this reason I would like to know the following:

The defendant Funk, who is sitting over there, was also a
member of the Reich Cabinet, and the defendant von Schirach
is also considered a member of the Reich Cabinet by the
prosecution. Do you know anything as to whether the
defendant Funk and the defendant von Schirach, like you, for
instance, knew anything about these plans of Hitler?

A. I do not know.

Q. Do you know whether during the war, while you were at the
O.K.W., there were any meetings of the Cabinet at all?

A. I do not know that either.

Q. Do you know that Hitler, in the interests of secrecy of
his war plans, even ordered that at conferences between
himself and his military advisers members of the Reich
Cabinet, as for instance, Funk, be not admitted?

A. I do not know about that.

Q. Did it not come to your knowledge, through Jodl or
through Keitel, that Hitler even prohibited civilian members
of the Reich Cabinet from being present at such military

A. I do not know anything about that.

Q. You know nothing about it. Another question. After
Stalingrad was encircled and the situation had become
hopeless, there were several telegrams of loyalty sent to
Hitler from inside the fortress. Do you know anything about

A. If you speak of telegrams of loyalty, I only know about
the end, when efforts were made to find any sense in the
catastrophe that had happened there, to find any sense in
the suffering and dying of so many soldiers. These things,

                                                  [Page 262]
then, had been depicted as heroism in the telegram, to be
forever remembered. I am sorry that, at that time -- because
of the whole situation -- I let that pass and did not stop

Q. These telegrams were sent by you?

A. I do not know to which telegrams you are referring with
the exception of the last one.

Q. Several telegrams of loyalty, in which there was a
promise to hold out to the last man; those telegrams about
which the German people were horrified. They are said to
have your signature.

A. I request to have them presented to me, because I know
nothing about them.

Q. You do not know anything about them?

A. Not about these telegrams of which you speak, with the
exception of the very last.

Q. Do you have any idea what was in the last telegram?

A. In the last telegram there was a short description of the
achievement of the Army, and it was pointed out that it did
not mean to capitulate, and this should be an example for
the future.

Q. The result was your promotion to General Field Marshal?

A. I am not aware that that was the result.

Q. But you were promoted to Field Marshal, and you still
have that rank, because the statement which I have submitted
to the Tribunal is signed "Paulus, Field Marshal."

A. Well, I have to say... Do you mean this statement?

Q. Yes, this statement.

A. Yes, I had to take the rank which was conferred upon me.

Q. In this statement which I have submitted to the Court as
proof, the last sentence is:

     "I bear the responsibility for the fact that I did not
     give due attention to the execution of the Order of
     14th January, 1943, concerning the surrender of the
     prisoners (namely, all Russian prisoners to the
     Russians), for the deaths which have resulted and,
     furthermore, that I could not do more about taking care
     of the prisoners."
I would like to hear your statement about the following: In
that detailed letter why did you forget the several hundred
thousands of German soldiers who were under your command,
and who under your command lost their freedom, their health,
and their lives? There is no word about that.

A. That is not the subject of this letter. This letter to
the Soviet Government was concerned with what happened to
the Russian population in the area of Stalingrad and to the
Russian prisoners of war. At that time, of course, I could
not say anything about my own soldiers.

Q. Not one word?

A. No, not here, because that had to be done at a another
time. Of course it is true that all the operational orders
led to the terrible conditions of Stalingrad, in spite of my
protests. About 20th January, as I said, I had made a report
that conditions had reached such a measure of misery and of
suffering through cold, hunger and epidemics as to be
unbearable, and that to continue the fighting would be
beyond human possibility. The answer given to me by the
Supreme Command was: "Capitulation is impossible. The 6th
Army will do its historic duty at Stalingrad until the last
man, in order to make possible the reconstruction of the
Eastern Front."

Q. And that is why you continued your efforts in the crime
you have described, until the very end?  According to your
own statements, everything from the very beginning was clear
to you as a crime?

                                                  [Page 263]
A. I did not say that it was clear to me as a crime from the
very beginning. Later I had this impression, as a result of
my experience at Stalingrad.

Q. Finally, I would like to know: Was it not clear to you
from the very beginning, when you were charged with the
development of plans for the attack on Russia, as a
specialist for such tasks -- did you not know from the very
beginning that this attack on Russia could be made only by
violations of International Law, to which Germany was bound?

A. Yes, by violation of International Law, but not under
those conditions which developed later.

Q. I asked whether it was clear to you that this plan could
only be executed by violation of International Law?

A. It was clear that an attack of that kind could only be
made by violation of the treaty which had existed with
Russia since the autumn of 1939.

Q. I have no more questions. Thank you.

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