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Last-Modified: 1999/11/20

DR. NELTE (Counsel for defendant Keitel): Mr. President, may
I be allowed to make a remark preliminary to the discussion
about the evidence submitted for defendant Keitel. I hope
the discussions about the various applications for evidence
will thereby be considerably shortened. From my written
application you will see that in respect to the majority of
the witnesses one main subject of evidence recurs again and
again, namely, the position of defendant Keitel as Chief of
the O.K.W. and in his other official functions, his
personality, particularly also his relations to Hitler, and
the clarification of the chain of command within the Armed

I shall present evidence that the impression of the public
and the prosecution regarding the personality of the
defendant Keitel, his scope and his activities is incorrect.
No name has been so frequently mentioned in the course of
these proceedings as that of this defendant. Every document
which dealt in any way with military matters was identified
with the O.K.W., and the O.K.W., in turn with Keitel. The
defendant believes, and I think, with some justification.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal appreciates the general points
which you will probably want to argue on behalf of the
defendant Keitel, when you come to make your final speech,
but it does not appear to the Tribunal to be necessary that
you should do so now.

DR. NELTE: I mention it only so that the Tribunal may fully
understand my application for all these witnesses. I think
Sir David shares this opinion with me - he already discussed
it with me on Saturday - and it was my intention to expound
in a preliminary way the subject of evidence which otherwise
had to be presented in five or six different cases.

THE PRESIDENT: Do you mean, Dr. Nelte, that you will be able
to deal with all your witnesses in one series of

                                                  [Page 289]
Could you help us, Sir David ?SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: I
think I can help.Apart from the witnesses who are co-
defendants, mentioned by Dr. Nelte, whom of course the
Tribunal has already provided, Dr. Nelte asks for Field
Marshal von Blomberg, General Halder, General Warlimont and
the Chief Staff Judge of the O.K.W., Dr. Lehmann. The
prosecution have no objection to these witnesses, because
they are called to deal with the position of the defendant
Keitel as head of the O.K.W.

With regard to the witness Erbe, who is, I think, a civil
servant called on a specific point as to his position in the
Committee for Reich Defence . . .

THE PRESIDENT: Have the interrogatories already been

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: Yes; we have always said that
interrogatories would be sufficient and he should not be
called as an oral witness.

Then with regard to the next witness, Roemer, whom Dr. Nelte
wishes to call, to say that the decree for the branding of
Soviet Russian prisoners of war was issued by mistake and
retracted at once on the order of Keitel, that is obviously
relevant to one matter in the case, and we do not object to

We do not object to General Reinecke, who is called on
various matters relating to prisoners of war.

With regard to Mr. Romilly, so long as it is confined to
interrogatories which have been allowed, and he is not
called orally, we have no objection.

My friend, M. Champetier de Ribes, will have a word to say
about Ambassador Scapini. I have asked him to deal with that

Then we come to two witnesses, Dr. Junod and Mr. Petersen.
At the moment the prosecution cannot see how these witnesses
are needed in addition to General Reinecke. Of course they
would object if the purpose of the testimony is to show that
the Soviet Union did not treat its prisoners of war
properly. If that is the purpose, they would object.

The calling of Dr. Lammers has been granted by the Tribunal.

Finally, there are three witnesses who are all called in
order to show that, at discussions between Hitler and the
defendant Keitel, two stenographers had to be present. The
prosecution do not regard that as a very vital part of the
case, and if Dr. Nelte will produce an affidavit from one of
these gentlemen, then the prosecution are not in a position
- and do not desire - to dispute the point. Frankly, if I
may say so, and with the greatest respect, we are not at all
interested in that point, and therefore will be content with
an affidavit if produced.

If I might summarise - and I am merely trying to help Dr.
Nelte - the only matters which, as far as the prosecution
are concerned, require further discussion are the matter of
what the French Delegation will have to say about Ambassador
Scapini, my objection to Dr. Junod and Mr. Petersen, and my
suggestion as to an affidavit for the last three witnesses.
There is very little between us, if I may say so, with
respect to Dr. Nelte's witnesses; on the whole they seem to
the prosecution to be obviously relevant and in that case we
make no objection.

There is one rather sad fact with regard to the witness
Blomberg, of which I think Dr. Nelte has been informed. I
understand that Field Marshal von Blomberg is very ill at
the moment and cannot be brought into Court, so that I am
sure, Dr. Nelte, that the defendant Keitel will be the first
to accept some method of getting his evidence which will not
necessitate von Blomberg being present.

DR. NELTE: I thank Sir David for his kindness, by which my
task has been made easier.

I should like to state in addition that in respect to the
witness, Dr. Erbe, I shall submit written questions. To the
witness Petersen I have already submitted written questions
and it depends on the answers received whether I shall call
him in person. As to witness Junod, I believe I may say that
his examination is relevant because the Soviet prosecution
has submitted that an offer to apply the Geneva

                                                  [Page 290]

Convention had been rejected by Keitel. Dr. Junod is to be
examined as a witness to testify that, by order of the
O.K.W. Department of Prisoners of War, he contacted the
Soviet Union in order to secure the application of the
Geneva Convention, but that this could not be brought about.
I believe that if only General Reinecke is to be examined as
a witness on this question, it could perhaps be objected
that he, as chief of the Department of Prisoners of War,
cannot give sufficient testimony, nor testify to what Dr.
Junod actually did. Consequently I ask that this witness be

As far as the stenographers are concerned, I ask approval to
submit an affidavit.

As to Ambassador Scapini, I should merely like to point out
that he was the permanent representative of the French Vichy
Government, and that he was particularly concerned with the
question of caring for prisoners of war in Germany. I
believe that this is an adequate reason for considering him
relevant. To be sure, I do not know his address, and I hope
that the French prosecution can help me in that regard.

M CHAMPETIER DE RIBES: We see no objection to hearing the
former Ambassador Scapini, if his testimony can, in our
opinion, have the slightest bearing on the search for truth;
but the very reasons which Dr Nelte gives for the calling of
this witness seem to me to prove the complete lack of
relevance of his testimony. The former Ambassador Scapini,
says the counsel for the defence, could point out that he
freely exercised his control in the prisoner-of-war camps
and moreover that these prisoners of war had a spokesman,
but this we are quite willing to grant to the defence. It is
perfectly true that Germany had consented to allow the
former Ambassador Scapini - who we know was wounded in the
war of 1914 and blinded - to visit the camps of prisoners
and hear the French prisoners of war, though he could not
see them.

But the question is not to find out whether the Germans had
been willing to allow a blind inspector to visit the camps.
The only question raised by the Indictment is whether, in
spite of the visits of this inspector and in spite of the
presence of a special spokesman in the camps, there did not
occur in these camps acts contrary to the laws of war.

On this point the former Ambassador Scapini could surely
give no answer, for obviously nothing happened in his
presence. This is why the French prosecution considers that
his testimony would shed no light on this search for truth.

DR. NELTE: It was not known to me that Ambassador Scapini
was blind. Not he himself, but rather the delegation of
which he was head, made regular inspections of the prisoner-
of-war camps for French soldiers. It is certain that in
prisoner-of-war camps things happened which violated the
Geneva Convention, but the question at issue here is whether
the defendant Keitel and the O.K.W. as the supreme
authority, did, or at any rate, tried to do, all what they,
as the highest authorities, could do.

The O.K.W. did not issue orders in the individual camps. It
had only to issue instructions as to how prisoners of war
were to be treated, and had to permit the protecting powers
to visit the camps.

THE PRESIDENT: Would interrogatories be satisfactory,
supposing we thought it proper to administer them to M.

DR. NELTE: An interrogation in Nuremberg? Could Ambassador
Scapini be heard in Nuremberg?THE PRESIDENT: I was asking
whether interrogatories would be satisfactory. I imagine M.
Scapini is not in Nuremberg. Written interrogatories, I
mean, of course, where I have mentioned them.

DR. NELTE: I assume that first I must interrogate Ambassador
Scapini in writing, and that on his answers it will depend
                                                  [Page 291]
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, in writing. Will that be satisfactory to
you, M. Champetier de Ribes?

M. DE RIBES: Yes, that will be quite satisfactory.

THE PRESIDENT: I think perhaps we might adjourn now, Dr.
Nelte, until a quarter past two.

(A recess was taken)

THE PRESIDENT: I think, Dr. Nelte, you had really finished
with your witnesses, had you not?

DR. NELTE (Counsel for defendant Keitel): Yes, I think so. I
must only reserve the right on what I may have to state
after the Soviet prosecution have finished presenting their
case - whether I still may wish to call this or that
witness. As to the documents I should like to put a few
questions which are of particular interest for me - or,
rather, for the defendant Keitel.


DR. NELTE: The Tribunal knows my main subject of evidence.
In order to prove that in many cases the prosecution are
wrong in assuming the O.K.W. and the defendant Keitel to be
responsible, I can refer to a great many documents which
have been presented by them.

I take it that these documents are not to be submitted by me
as evidentiary material, as they have already been put in. I
ask the Tribunal for examination of these documents and for
a ruling that in my pleadings on behalf of the defendant I
may refer to such documents without having to submit or
quote them.

I should like to add that the Tribunal, having been informed
about the structure of the Armed Forces or parts of them and
about the competencies of the various commands will itself
be able to judge which of the documents submitted are not
suitable for supporting the allegations of the prosecution
regarding the responsibility of the defendant Keitel.

I am also convinced that the Tribunal, in its findings, will
give careful consideration to any document relevant to the
question of guilt, even if the defence does not submit such
documents, and even if the defence cannot give a
comprehensive presentation in view of the extremely large
number of documents - there are thousands relating to the
defendant Keitel.Furthermore, I should like to submit to the
Tribunal another question, which is important for the
presentation of evidence on behalf of the defendant Keitel,
and which is also of general importance.During the session
of 1 February, 1946, the French prosecutor made the
following statement:
  "Chapter four and the last will bear the heading:'The
  Administrative Organisation of Criminal Action.' For the
  fourth chapter I might point out that the French
  Delegation examined more than 2,000 documents, counting
  only the original German documents, and of these I have
  kept only about fifty."

According to the opening address of the American Chief
prosecutor, there can be no doubt that these 50 documents
were selected merely from the point of view of incriminating
the defendant. On 11th February, if I remember correctly, I
addressed myself to the French prosecution with a request to
place at my disposal for examination the remaining 1,950
documents, which the French prosecution had not used.

To date, I have received no answer. The Tribunal will
appreciate the difficulties of my position. I know there are
documents there which I am sure contain exonerating facts.
Yet I am not able to specify these documents. I beg the
Tribunal, therefore, for a ruling in this matter - that the
prosecution should place at my disposal those documents for
my perusal.

THE PRESIDENT: With reference to these particular documents
that you are asking for, are you going to say anything about

                                                  [Page 292]

DR. NELTE: I do not know the contents of these documents. I
only know that the French prosecution had these 2,000

THE PRESIDENT: Well, if you wish to deal with that now, I
will ask the French prosecutor to answer what you have said.

DR. NELTE: If your Honour pleases, I leave it to the
Tribunal whether they wish to examine this question in
camera or whether it can be dealt with here now.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think we had better hear from the
French prosecutor now.

M. DUBOST: A certain number of documents of doubtful origin
were in our hands at the time that we were beginning to
prepare our case. We have eliminated all documents which
could not bear serious critical examination. We have
rejected all those that were considered to be insufficient
proof. At the end, about 50 documents remained, which have
been referred to by my colleagues and which appeared
relevant. These 50 documents have, moreover, not all been
accepted by the Tribunal, some of them being rejected, as
well as, if I remember rightly, three or four of whose
origin we were not quite sure. In these circumstances, it is
absolutely incorrect to say that we have kept 1,950
documents from the defence.We handed over to the Tribunal,
and so to the defence, the 50 documents which in themselves
seemed to us to have sufficient probative value.

If I understand this request of the defence correctly they
wish the Tribunal to make accessible to them documents of
which some have been rejected by the Tribunal itself as not
having sufficient probative value or as not being
sufficiently authenticated.

The Tribunal will decide whether this request should be
granted. As far as I am concerned, I most emphatically
oppose this application because it would mean taking into
account documents which on examination by us, and, when
submitted, by the Tribunal, did not prove to be sufficiently

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, but M. Dubost, the position is this:
There were a large number of documents which the counsel for
the French prosecution said that they had examined, and the
French prosecution, in the exercise of their discretion,
thought it unnecessary to refer to more than a certain
number of them; but it is only the French prosecution which
has exercised their discretion about those documents, and
what Dr. Nelte is asking for is to see them for the purpose
of learning whether there is anything in the documents which
assists his case. Would the French prosecution have any
objection to that?

It may be that some of the documents are no longer in the
possession of the French prosecution, but those that are in
their possession, would the French prosecution object to Dr.
Nelte's seeing those?

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