The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2000/03/17

Q. Herr von Weiszacker, are you in a position to judge
whether particularly grave points were involved in the well-
known offences committed by the Navy against the Treaty of

A. I can only answer that question indirectly. The details
are unknown to me. But I can scarcely consider it possible
that grave or important violations could have occurred, for
it is precisely in naval matters that the observance of
contract agreements is particularly easy to control. Ships
cannot be built without being seen. I must, therefore,
assume that these infringements were of an insignificant

Q. Herr von Weiszacker, in your opinion, did the defendant
Raeder prepare a war of aggression, or do you know of any
case from which Raeder's attitude -

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Siemers, that is the very charge against
the defendant Raeder which the Tribunal has got to decide.


Q. Herr von Weiszacker, did you in February, 1939, travel by
train from Hamburg to Berlin with Grand Admiral Raeder, did
you converse with him, and if so, what did you discuss?

A. Yes. It is quite true that I was on the train from
Hamburg to Berlin with Admiral Raeder, after the launching
of a ship. On this occasion the Admiral told me that he had
just made a report to Hitler in which he said he had made it
quite clear that the size of the Navy would preclude any war
against England for years to come. I presume that this is
the reply to the question which you wished to receive from

Q. That was in February, 1939?

A. It was the day of the launching of the Bismarck.

Q. Then the date is known to the Tribunal, for the launching
of the Bismarck is entered in the records.

A It must have been in the spring - in February or March.

Q. Did Raeder's declaration at that time have a calming
influence on you?

A. I heard Raeder's declaration on the subject with very
great pleasure.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, we do not care whether it had a calming
influence on him or not.

Q. In your opinion, and to the best of your knowledge, did
Raeder - either as a politician or as a naval expert -
exercise any influence over Hitler?

THE PRESIDENT: Dr Siemers, the witness can tell us what
Raeder said, but he really cannot tell us in what capacity
he was speaking, whether as a politician or an admiral. If
you want to know whether he had his uniform on

Q. Herr von Weiszacker, did you have any conversations with
Raeder or with any other high ranking personages?

A. About what?

Q. About Raeder's influence on Hitler?

A. It was a well-known fact that political arguments
expressed by soldiers scarcely influenced Hitler at all,
although military arguments of a technical nature certainly
did carry weight with him, and in this sense Raeder may have
exercised some influence over Hitler.

                                                  [Page 272]

Herr von Weiszacker, in the winter of 1938-1939, the usual
large diplomatic dinner party took place in Berlin, and you,
as far as I know, were present. Did Raeder on this occasion
speak with Sir Neville Henderson about the eventual return
of Germany's colonies?

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Siemers, why do you not ask him instead
of telling him? You are telling him what happened.


THE PRESIDENT: Yes, you are.

DR. SIEMERS: I beg your pardon this was a conversation
between Raeder and Sir Neville Henderson, not between Herr
von Weiszacker and Henderson.


Q. I am now asking you, Herr von Weiszacker, did you have a
conversation to this effect with Sir Neville Henderson, or
with other British diplomats? And do, you know anything
about their attitude?

A. I cannot recall having spoken personally with any British
diplomats about the question of the colonies. On the other
hand, I do know that between 1934 and 1939, the question of
the colonies was repeatedly handled by the British
Government, either officially, unofficially, or semi-
officially, and its attitude was expressed in a friendly and
conciliatory manner. I believe I can remember reading a
report on the visit of two British Ministers to Berlin, and
that on this occasion the question of the colonies was also
discussed in a conciliatory manner.

Q. Herr von Weiszacker, can you tell us anything about the
behaviour or the attitude of the Navy during the Norwegian

A. An occupational force always finds it difficult to be
popular anywhere. But, with this one reservation, I should
like to state that the Navy, as far as I heard, enjoyed a
good, even a very good, reputation in Norway. This was
repeatedly confirmed to me by my Norwegian friends during
the war.

Q. You made these Norwegian friendships at the time you were
Minister in Oslo? When was that?

A. I was Minister in Oslo from 1931 to 1933.

Q. Now, one last question. A document - D-843 - was
submitted yesterday signed by Brauer, who was employed in
the Oslo Legation in March 1940. May I submit this document
to you?

A. Am I to read the entire document?

Q. I think it would best serve the purpose if you were just
to glance through it, especially over the middle part of the

Mr. President, it is Exhibit GB 466, and the document was
submitted yesterday. According to this document, Brauer
stated that the danger of a British landing in Norway was
not so great as was assumed by the other side, and he only
mentioned measures by which Germany might be provoked. What
can you tell us about these statements of Brauer's? Are
these statements correct?

A. Brauer was not employed in the Legation - he was the
Minister himself - and I take it for granted that he
reported correctly on the subject from an objective, or
rather, if I may say so, subjective point of view. Whether
this was really correct from an objective point of view or
not, is quite another question. It really means, in plain
German, was Brauer correctly informed of the intentions of
our opponents? That is another question.

Q. Herr von Weiszacker, according to the information you
subsequently received from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs,
were Raeder's misgivings justified or was the picture, as
painted by Brauer, correct?

A. I must add that my personal opinion tallied with the
opinion of Brauer, although both our opinions were
subsequently proved incorrect, and the conjectures of the
Navy were justified, or - at least - more justified than the
opinion voiced by the Minister.

                                                  [Page 273]

DR. SIEMERS: Thank you very much indeed.

THE PRESIDENT: Do any of the defence counsel want to ask any
questions of this witness?

BY DR. SEIDL (Counsel for the defendant Hess):

Q. Witness, on 23rd August, 1939, a Non-Aggression Pact was
concluded between Germany and the Soviet Union. Were any
other agreements concluded on that day by the two
governments, beyond this pact of non-aggression?

GENERAL RUDENKO: Mr. President, the witness is called upon
to answer certain definite questions which are set forth in
the application of counsel for the defence, Dr. Siemers. I
consider that the question which is being put to him at this
moment by defence counsel Seidl, has no connection with the
examination of the case in hand and should be ruled out.

THE PRESIDENT: You may ask the question, Dr. Seidl, that you
were going to ask.


Q. I ask you again, Herr von Weiszacker, whether on 23rd
August, 1939, other agreements had been reached between the
two governments, which were not contained in the Non-
Aggression Pact?

A. Yes.

Q. Where were these agreements contained?

A. These agreements were contained in a secret protocol.

Q. Did you yourself read this secret protocol in your
function of Secretary of State in the Ministry of Foreign

A. Yes.

Q. I have before me a text, and Ambassador Gauss harbours no
doubt at all that the agreements in question are correctly
set out in this text. I shall have it put to you.

THE PRESIDENT: One moment, what document are you putting to

DR. SEIDL: The secret addenda to the protocol Of 23rd
August, 1939.

THE PRESIDENT: Is not that the document - what is this
document that you are presenting to the witness? There is a
document which  you have already presented to the Tribunal
and which has been ruled out. Is that the same document?

DR. SEIDL: It is the document which I submitted to the
Tribunal in my documentary evidence and which was refused by
the Tribunal, presumably because I refused to divulge the
origin and source of this document. But the Tribunal granted
me permission to produce a new sworn affidavit by Ambassador
Gauss on the subject in question.

THE PRESIDENT: You have not done it.

DR. SEIDL: No, but I should, your Honour, like to read this
text in order to stimulate the memory of the witness, and to
ask him whether in connection therewith, as far as he can
remember, the secret agreements are correctly reproduced in
this document.

GENERAL RUDENKO: Your Honour! I would like to protest
against these questions for two reasons.

First of all, we are examining the matter of the crimes of
the major German war criminals. We are not investigating the
foreign policies of other States. Secondly, the document
which defence counsel Seidl is attempting to put to the
witness has been rejected by the Tribunal, since it is - in
substance - a forged document, and cannot have any probative
value whatsoever.

DR. SEIDL: May I in this connection say the following, Mr.
President. This document is an essential component of the
Non-Aggression Pact, submitted by the prosecution in
evidence as Exhibit GB 145. If I now submit the text to the
witness -

                                                  [Page 274]

THE PRESIDENT: The only question is whether it is the
document which has been rejected by the Tribunal. Is it the
document which has been rejected by the Tribunal?

DR. SEIDL: It was rebutted as documentary evidence per se.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, then the answer is yes.

DR. SEIDL: But it seems to me that there is a difference as
to whether this document may be put to the witness during
the hearing of his testimony. I should like to affirm this
since the prosecution, when cross-examining, can put the
document in its possession to the witness, and on the basis
of his testimony we should then see which is the correct
text or whether these two texts harmonise at all.

THE PRESIDENT: Where does the document which you are
presenting come from?

DR. SEIDL: I received this document a few weeks ago from a
man on the,
Allied side who appeared absolutely reliable. I only
received it on condition that I would not divulge its
origin, a condition which seemed to me perfectly reasonable.

THE PRESIDENT: Do you say that you received it a few moments

DR. SEIDL: Weeks ago.

THE PRESIDENT: It is the same document that you say just now
that you presented to the Tribunal and the Tribunal

DR. SEIDL: Yes, but the Tribunal also decided that I might
submit another sworn affidavit from Ambassador Gauss, and
this decision only makes sense -

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, I know, but you have not done so. We do
not know what affidavit Dr. Gauss has made.

DR. SEIDL: Ambassador Gauss's sworn affidavit, the new one,
is already in my possession, but it has not yet been

MR. DODD: Mr. President, I certainly join General Rudenko in
objecting to the use of this document. We now know that it
comes from some anonymous ,source. We do not know the source
at all, and anyway, it is not established that this witness
does not remember himself what this purported agreement
amounted to. I do not know why he cannot ask him, if that is
what he wants to do.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Seidl, you may ask the witness what his
recollection is of the treaty, without putting the document
to him. Ask him what he remembers of the treaty, or the


Q. Witness, please describe the contents of the agreement in
so far as you can remember them.

A. This is a very incisive, a very far-reaching secret
additional agreement to the Non-Aggression Pact concluded at
that time. The scope of this document was very  extensive,
since it covered certain spheres of influence and drew a
demarcation line between areas which, under given
conditions, belonged to the sphere of Soviet Russia, and
those which would fall in the German sphere of interest.
Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Eastern Poland and, as far as I
can remember, certain areas of Roumania were to be included
in the sphere of the Soviet Union. Anything West of this
area fell into the German sphere of interest. Of course,
this secret agreement did not maintain its original form.
Later on, either in September or October of the same year,
certain changes and amendments were made. As far as I can
recall, the essential difference in the two documents
consisted in the fact that Lithuania, or - at least - the
greater part of Lithuania, fell into the sphere of interest
of the Soviet Union, while in the Polish territory, the line
of demarcation between the two spheres of interest was moved
very considerably westwards.

I believe that I have herewith given you the gist of the
secret agreement and of the subsequent additional agreement.

                                                  [Page 275]

Q. Is it true that in case of a subsequent territorial
reorganisation, a line of demarcation was agreed upon in the
territory of the Polish State?

A. I cannot tell you exactly whether the expression "line of
demarcation" was contained in this protocol or whether "line
of separation of spheres of interest" was the actual term.

Q. But a line was drawn.

A. Precisely the line which I have just mentioned, and I
believe I can recall that this line, once the agreement was
realised, was adhered to as a general rule with possible
slight fluctuations.

Q. Can you recall - this is my last question - if this
secret additional agreement of 23rd August, 1939, also
contained an agreement on the future destiny of Poland?

A. This secret agreement included a complete reorganisation
of Poland's destiny. It may very well have been that
explicitly or implicitly such a  reorganisation had been
provided for in the agreement. I would not, however, like to
commit myself as to the exact wording.

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


Q. Witness, did you see the original of the secret treaty?

A. I saw a photostat of the original, possibly the original
as well. In any case, I had the photostatic copy in my
possession. I had a photostatic copy locked up in my
personal safe.

Q. Would you recognize a copy of it, if it was shown to you

A. Oh yes, I definitely think so, your Honour. The original
signatures were attached and they could be recognized

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn.

(A recess was taken.)

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal has been considering whether it
ought to put to the witness the document in the possession
of Dr. Seidl, but, in view of the fact that the contents of
the original have been stated by the witness and by other
witnesses, and that it does not appear what is the origin of
the document which is in Dr. Seidl's possession, the
Tribunal has decided not to put the document to the witness.
The Tribunal will now adjourn.

(The Tribunal adjourned until 22nd May, 1946, at 1000 hours.)

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