The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1999/11/27

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: Then, No. 5 is Count Schwerin-
Krosigk, who was Finance Minister for a long period of years
in the government of the Reich. If the Tribunal would be
good enough to look at the application which Dr. von
Luedinghausen has put in, he says this witness is most
accurately informed about the personality of the defendant,
his political viewpoints as well as the basic thoughts and
aims of the policy of peace carried on by the defendant, and
his avoidance of all use of force, as well as his endeavours
for the maintenance of peace, even after being Foreign
Minister, and about his opinion of National Socialism and
about the happenings in the Cabinet session of 30th January,

The prosecution felt these matters were really emphasizing
points that the defendant would speak on, and that it was
difficult to see that Count Schwerin-Krosigk was being asked
to speak on any particular point that was an issue.
Therefore, again, they would suggest that an interrogatory
be sufficient for the purpose of the defence.

[Page 216]

DR. VON LUEDINGHAUSEN: I do not believe that an
interrogatory will serve the purpose that I wish to
accomplish, for several phases of the activity of the
defendant von Neurath are dealt with, in regard to which the
witness is to give us information.

For instance, the Indictment asserts that defendant von
Neurath acted as some kind of Fifth Columnist in the ranks
of the Conservative, that is, the German National Party. In
regard to the fact that this is not true, the witness named
by me, Count Schwerin-Krosigk, can give extensive
information, and I attach importance to having this take
place before the Tribunal in such a way that the Tribunal
may have an exact idea how these things took place at that
time in the ranks of the extreme parties of the right.

A further subject for his hearing is the question of the
outstanding manner in which the defendant, von Neurath,
intervened, although he was no longer Foreign Minister at
the time, in order to bring about the conference at Munich
in September 1938, and the measure in which he had an effect
on the outcome of this conference which, at the time, was
generally considered a happy one.

I should consider the summoning before the Tribunal of this
witness, who is present in Nuremberg, and who will therefore
not have to be brought from another city, important.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: I do not desire to say anything more
on that point.

Then, Field-Marshal von Blomberg is, we understand, ill, and
there will be an interrogatory.

No. 7, Dr. Guido Schmidt, is the same witness as was dealt
with this morning in the case of Seyss-Inquart. He is an
Austrian ex-Foreign Minister. I made no objection in the
case of Seyss-Inquart and I make no objection now, of

Lord Halifax has been the subject of interrogatories.

DR. VON LUEDINGHAUSEN: The interrogatory has already been
sent to Lord Halifax, so I have been told by the General

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: Dr. Mastny, who was the
Czechoslovakian Ambassador in Berlin, came into the case in
that the prosecution put in a letter from Jan Masaryk,
describing a visit of Dr. Mastny to the defendant von
Neurath. Of course, if there is any issue as to that report,
its not being true, then there would be some reason for
calling him as a witness; but if it is merely a question of
clarifying it, I believe an interrogatory would be

DR. VON LUEDINGHAUSEN: I agree to an interrogatory in this

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: Then with regard to the next
witness, Dr. Stroelin - if the Tribunal would consider that
along with No. 12, Dr. Wurm, I understand that the Tribunal
granted No. 12 on 19th December as an alternative to
Stroelin, giving the choice between the witness Stroelin and
the witness Wurm. Dr. Stroelin is Oberbuergermeister of
Stuttgart. I do not know if Dr. Seidl can tell the Tribunal
if it is the same Dr. Stroelin he desires in the case of


SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: Dr. von Luedinghausen tells me that
he is, so the Tribunal might note that point - that that
witness will also be asked for by Dr. Seidl in the case of
Hess - and therefore I should suggest that we might leave
that undecided for the moment. If the Tribunal grant it in
the case of Hess, of course Dr. von Luedinghausen will
automatically have the advantage of this witness; and if he
is not granted - and I do not know whether Dr. von
Luedinghausen feels strongly about his personal presence - I
am not the Tribunal - I do not feel very strongly on the
point myself.

                                                  [Page 217]

DR. VON LUEDINGHAUSEN: I quite agree that I should make this
decision at that time when the question is settled as to
whether the witness is granted to another defendant or not.
I should like to make the following remark . . .

THE PRESIDENT: One moment. Which witness?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: No. 10, Dr. Stroelin.

THE PRESIDENT: If Dr. Stroelin were granted would you
require Dr. Wurm at all, No. 12?

DR. VON LUEDINGHAUSEN: Mr. President, I do not insist on Dr.
Wurm being heard in person at Nuremberg. Dr. Wurm has
already told me that he would give me the information
requested in the form of an affidavit. I should ask for
permission to submit this affidavit to the Tribunal. I do
not insist on his being heard in person.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: It is merely cumulative, No.  10,
but if it is felt that an affidavit would help - it will be
along the same lines - I shall not press an objection.

Now, No. 11. The prosecution felt, with regard to the
witness Zimmermann, that he was really speaking on the state
of the defendant's mind. If I might read the first five

  "The witness is in a position to give information about
  the personality, the character, and the philosophy of the
  defendant, as well as about the fact that he entered the
  cabinet only at the express request of the Reich
  President von Hindenburg, and that he remained in the
  cabinet after the latter's death because he was a
  convinced friend of peace and an opponent of any policy
  pointing towards force or war, and that because of this
  reason he handed in his resignation as Reich Foreign
  Minister soon after the 5th of November, 1937; also about
  the reasons because of which he declared himself ready to
  take over the office of Reich Protector of Bohemia and

It would appear that these are all matters which Dr.
Zimmermann has heard from the defendant. I do not really
think it helps the defendant's case any further. The
prosecution therefore felt that that witness was irrelevant.

DR. VON LUEDINGHAUSEN: I should like to request that he be
heard here.

The witness has been a very intimate friend of the defendant
von Neurath for many, many years. The defendant considered
him somewhat as a father-confessor and informed him of
everything which oppressed him. From this information the
witness has a very clear impression of events and
happenings. Thus this lawyer, Dr. Zimmermann, is very
closely informed about the incidents that took place in
September 1932, when von Neurath entered the newly-formed
cabinet of von Papen upon the express desire of the then
Reich President von Hindenburg. The witness is informed of
the fact that the defendant von Neurath did not wish to
accept the call, and that it took very earnest persuasion on
the part of the Reich President von Hindenburg, concerning
his patriotic and personal duty, before the defendant could
be moved to assume the office of Reich Foreign Minister.
This witness also knows the motives because of which the
defendant, after the death of the Reich President,
considered it his duty, in response to a wish expressed
previously by the Reich President, to remain in office, and
in that way to fulfil the wishes of the Reich President.

He also knows very well what a really devastating effect it
had on von Neurath when, on 5th November, 1937, Hitler for
the first time came to the fore with martial intent. Witness
Zimmermann also knows very exactly the reasons which moved
the defendant after very long deliberation to assume the
office of Reich Protector. The witness also is very well
informed not only about the difficulties confronting the
position of Reich Protector, but also about the attitude of
the defendant to the problems in the Reich Protectorate.
These matters are all of decisive importance so far as a
judgement of the defendant is concerned, and I

                                                  [Page 218]

do not believe that even an affidavit which has been worked
out with the greatest care can have the same weight as a
personal hearing of the witness. For these reasons I request
that this witness, who has already given me his assurance
that he will be glad to come here from Berlin, be granted
me. We do not have to find him; he is a practising lawyer
and notary in Berlin.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: I do not wish to add to that. That
leaves one point, my Lord, the two witnesses, 13 and 14. The
first one, Dr. Voelkers, was the chief of the cabinet of
defendant von Neurath in Prague. He has not been located.
The second, von Holleben, was . . .

DR. VON LUEDINGHAUSEN: This witness is in an internment camp
at Neuminster, and I indicated the exact address.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: Then I think the submission of the
prosecution is that one of these witnesses is suitable, and
that it would be unnecessary to call the second witness if
Dr. Voelkers is available. That is my point.

DR. VON LUEDINGHAUSEN: I quite agree, but I ask you to
consent to witness Consul von Holleben being heard by means
of an interrogatory.

THE PRESIDENT: It is now a quarter to one; we will adjourn
until two.

(A recess was taken until 1400 hours.)

THE PRESIDENT: It appears probable that the Tribunal will
finish the applications for witnesses and documents before
the end of the sitting today, but they do not propose to go
on with the case against the defendant Goering until
tomorrow. They will take that case at ten o'clock tomorrow

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: May it please the Tribunal, with
regard to the document applied for by the defendant von
Neurath, Paragraph 1 requires no comment.

Paragraph 2 refers to documents which Dr. von Luedinghausen
has in his possession. If they are treated in the usual way
and extracts are made, I have nothing further to say.

Then we come to documents that are not yet in his
possession. Nos. 1 and 4 are minutes of the Disarmament
Conference in 1932 and in May 1933 respectively. I am afraid
I do not know what the difficulty has been in obtaining
those documents, and if there is any way in which the
prosecution can help, they will.

DR. VON LUEDINGHAUSEN: Concerning Document No. 1, I was able
to find, in the meantime, in one of the documents which
referred to the Disarmament Conference, a copy of a document
which is important for me, namely, the resolution about
Germany's equality of rights. If the document which I have
asked for is not here in time, I am nevertheless in the
position to produce an excerpt from that German book.

However, that does riot apply to No. 4, and I should like to
be able to get that.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: No. 2 is a request for the
interrogation of Karl Hermann Frank.

The ruling of the Tribunal was, that only the portions of
interrogations of defendants used by the prosecution might
be re-used. If any portions of this interrogation were used
by the Soviet Prosecution, and I confess . . .

THE PRESIDENT (interposing): One moment, please, Sir David.
As I understood you, you did not state our ruling quite

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: I am sorry, my Lord.

THE PRESIDENT: I think our ruling was that, if the
prosecution put in any part of an interrogation of a
defendant, then the defendants would have the opportunity of
using any other part of the interrogation, treating the
interrogation as one document.

                                                  [Page 219]

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: I am very grateful to your Lordship.
That was the rule so far as defendants are concerned, but
Karl Hermann Frank is not a defendant.


SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: And any portion that has been used
would have appeared in the ordinary way in the document book
of whichever delegation had used it. The general
interrogation was taken, of course, not only for the
prosecution's purpose at this trial, but also for the
purposes of the Czech Government, in the trial of Karl
Hermann Frank himself. Therefore, what I suggest is, that
Dr. Luedinghausen put interrogatories to Karl Hermann Frank,
on whatever points he wants to raise. The prosecution would
have no objection to that.

DR. LUEDINGHAUSEN: Mr. President, may I make the following
reply? These minutes of the four interrogations of Karl
Hermann Frank are mentioned and discussed in the Exhibit
USSR 60, which has been given to me and which contains the
Indictment made by the Czech Government.

I cannot judge to what extent these interrogations are
important in reference to my client, the defendant von
Neurath, as Reich Protector, or whether they have to do with
a later period. For that reason I have asked that these
protocols be made available to me. I know that Karl Hermann
Frank has also been questioned about the document concerning
the meeting in Prague on a policy of Germanization of the
Czech country. To this document, which was presented,
reference is made in the respective minutes.

Now, I know that Frank once made a report to the Reich
Protector in which he labelled all the opinions and
proposals - which, actually, however, were never put into
action - ridiculous, and declared them to be impossible.
Therefore, it is important for me to know just what is said
in these minutes which the Czech Indictment has drawn on at
this point. If nothing is contained therein, then, of
course, I will dispense with these minutes, but I have to
examine them myself.

It is, therefore, important for me to see these minutes at
least and then to present from them whatever is of
importance for me.

THE PRESIDENT: Sir David, would you have any objection to
counsel for von Neurath seeing these interrogations?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: I should have to consult the Czech
Government before I could agree, because, frankly, I have
not gone through the parts which we were not concerned with
in this case, and I do not know on what subjects the
interrogation was based.

THE PRESIDENT: But treating the matter as a matter of
principle, if a certain document or a part of a document is
used, ought it not to be open to the defendants to use the
rest of the document?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: I should have thought it a matter of
principle, my Lord, only if there were connected parts. I
think that is the general rule that is applied, say, to
interrogatories in the English courts. For example,
supposing that one day Karl Hermann Frank was examined about
the early days of the protectorate, and then another day he
was examined on a specific point at the end of the
protectorate. , Then I should not have thought that the two
things were sufficiently closely connected.

My Lord, I am reminded that there is another point, which
Mr. Barrington has just brought to my attention. These
interrogatories were the basis of the Czech Government
Report. They are not introduced as interrogatories but -so I
am told - as part of the report by the person who made it.
It is not material that we are in a position to introduce as
interrogatories. They come in as a Government Report from
the Czech Government.

                                                  [Page 220]

THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): If it should develop later that
it is relevant to the occasion, could the prosecution object
to that material being introduced?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: No. If he can get the material, but
the material is the property of the Czech Government.

MR. BIDDLE: Then your position is really, that it is not in
your hands, but it is for the Czech Government to determine


MR. BIDDLE: I see.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: The only other document is the
Treaty between France and the Soviet Union, in 1935. This
document was authorized by the General Secretary on 29th
January, and if there is any difficulty in getting a copy, I
will try to do anything I can to help, subject to the
reservation of objecting to its relevance when I know what
use is going to be made of it.

DR. LUEDINGHAUSEN: May I add a few more words to this point?
During the very last few days I have received, from various
sides, suggestions of information which seem important to my
defence; but I have not yet had the opportunity of checking
this information and finding out whether it is really of
importance to the conduct of the defence. May I therefore
ask, if this should be the case and if there should be one
or two other witnesses or documents which I can find out
about only later, that I be permitted to make an application
supplementary to the list of witnesses and documents I have
given today.

THE PRESIDENT: I call upon counsel for the defendant Fritzsche.

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