The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Q. Was M. Dahlerus there?

A. The question as to whether Dahlerus was there? I cannot
remember exactly if he was there; I only knew that when I
spoke with my lawyer he said that Dahlerus was there, but I
cannot swear that he was there. I assumed he was, since the,
defence counsel, Dr. Stahmer, told me that he was there,
that was the

                                                  [Page 241]

reason why I said previously that Hermann Goering and
Dahlerus were present at that meeting.

Q. And the subject under discussion was the Polish relations
with the German Reich?

A. Polish relations were not discussed, but relations
between England and Germany. There was no talk of relations
with Poland.

Q. And Goering wanted the English gentlemen to see that
England did not attack Germany?

A. He did not express it quite that way. He said, as I have
already stated, the English gentlemen should, when they
return home, work in the same way that he was working, for
peace, and to make their influence felt in important

Q. Now, was not that said in connection with the Polish
negotiations that were then going on?

A. With the Polish negotiations? I cannot remember that any
mention was made of Polish negotiations.

Q. Were you with Hermann Goering when the Polish war broke

A. When the Polish war broke out I was in Berlin.

Q. Were you still in your office under Hermann Goering's

A. Yes, I was at that time under Hermann Goering's command.

Q. When did you first begin preparing for a movement of your
forces in the direction of Poland?

A. I cannot make any definite statement on that subject;
that was a matter for the General Staff. I only know that
during the period before the outbreak of war the Chief of
the General Staff several times visited the Supreme
Commander of the Luftwaffe, Hermann Goering, and that many
matters were discussed. I myself was not informed as to what
forces were to be used in the Polish campaign.

Q. Were you present at the conference in which Hermann
Goering stated that he, directly after Munich, had orders to
multiply the air force by five?

A. I cannot recall having been present at any such

Q. You know that the air force was greatly enlarged after

A. No, I do not know that. The Luftwaffe was augmented
according to plan. In this connection I can say for certain
that the German Luftwaffe, at the beginning of the Polish
campaign, as regards leadership, planning or material was
not equal to its task.

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Justice Jackson, would you like to
adjourn now or would you like to go on in order to finish?

MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: This would be a convenient time, I am
sure we cannot finish before the lunch hour.

THE PRESIDENT: You would like to adjourn now?



(A recess was taken until 1400 hours.)

THE PRESIDENT: We will have no open session tomorrow.

GENERAL RUDENKO: I want to say a few words with respect to
the subject of defence. The defence referred to a document
this morning, saying that it did not have the document with
regard to Katyn. I want to report that on 13th February of
this year this document, Exhibit USSR 54, consisting of
thirty copies, all in the German language, was given to the
document room for purposes of the defence. We did not think
that we had to present the document to each attorney for the
defence separately. We considered that if the document
division received the document, the attorneys for the
defence would receive the copies.

This is all I want to report here.

                                                  [Page 242]

DR. LATERNSER (counsel for the General Staff and the OKW):
There must be a misunderstanding about the number of this
document: It was submitted at that time, in open session, by
the Russian prosecutor as Exhibit USSR 64. USSR 64 has not
been distributed. I have not received it, and upon request
at the Information Centre of the defendant's counsel, upon
two requests, I have not been able to obtain it.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, we will inquire into the matter.

GENERAL KARL VON BODENSCHATZ resumed the stand and testified
further as follows:-



Q. Previous to the spring of 1943, as I understand you,
Hermann Goering was a man of great influence in the counsels
of the Reich?

A. Before the year 1943 - i-e., until the year 1943, Hermann
Goering always had access to the Fuehrer and his influence
was important.Q. In fact, his was the most important
influence in Germany, outside of the Fuehrer himself, was it
not?A. Within the Reich he had great influence, very great
influence.Q. Air power was his special mission and his
special pride, was it not?

A. He was, as an old flier, very proud to be able to build
up and lead the Air Force.

Q. He had more confidence in air power as a weapon of war
than most of the other men of his time, had he not?

A. At any rate, he was convinced that his Air Force was very
good; but I have to repeat what I said before: At the
beginning of the war, in the year 1939, this stage had not
been reached by the Air Force. I repeat that at that time
the Air Force was, as far as leadership, training and
material were concerned, not ready for war.

Q. But ever since you first went with Hermann Goering you
had been rapidly building up the Air Force, had you not?

A. The building up of the Air Force went relatively fast.

Q. And when you first went with Goering - I have forgotten
what year you said that was.

A. I came to Hermann Goering in 1933. At that time there was
no Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force, but only a Reich
Commissariat for Aviation. But even at that time tthe
beginning of the building up of the Air Force - the first
beginnings - started. But it was only after 1935 when the
freedom from armament restriction was declared, that it was
speeded up.Q. And the building up of the Air Force was very
largely in bombers, was it not?A. It was not bombers in the
main; it was mixed - both fighters and bombers.

Q. Goering also had charge of the Four Year Plan?A. He was
commissioned by the Fuehrer to carry out the Four Year Plan.

Q. He also held several other offices, did he not?

A. Hermann Goering, besides being Commander-in-Chief of the
Luftwaffe, was commissioned with the Four Year Plan. Before
that, at the beginning of the seizure of power, he was
Minister of the Interior and Prime Minister of Prussia,
President of the Reichstag and Reich Forestry Minister.Q. I
notice that you use here, as you have used in your
interrogations by the United States, the expression "seizure
of power". That was the common expression used in your
group, was it not, to describe the coming to power of Adolf
                                                  [Page 243]
A. It cannot be used in this sense. At that time it was
completely legal, because the National Socialist Party was
then the strongest party, and the strongest party nominated
the Reich Chancellor and had the greatest influence. It must
not be interpreted to mean that they usurped the power, but
that they had the most influential and prominent position
among the parties, that is, by the completely legal means of
election.Q. You want to change the word "seizure"?A. I have
to change that. It is only an expression which was common
usage in the Press at that time.Q. Goering got along without
any open break with Hitler until 1945, did he not?A. Until
the year 1945 there was no open break. It was only at the
end, as I have said before, the arrest.Q. But the arrest was
the first open break that had occurred between them, was it

A. Yes, the first big break between the two which was
apparent to the public. But since the year 1943, as I have
said before, there was already a gradual estrangement in the
attitude of the two men.

Q. But that was kept from the public, was it not kept from
the German people?

A. It was not so visible to the public. It was a development
which took place gradually from the spring of 1943 to the
year 1945 - first to a small extent, and then the tension
became greater and greater.

Q. When the arrest was made it was made by the SS, was it

A. I have only heard of it; it was said that in the
Obersalzberg a unit of SS had arrived which arrested Hermann
Goering in his small house and confined him there. As to
that, perhaps the witness who is going to testify later,
Colonel Brauchitsch, who was present at this arrest and who
was arrested himself, can give more details.

Q. You were not arrested by the SS?

A. At that time, since the 20th of July, 1944, when I was
seriously injured, I had been in hospital, close to
Berchtesgaden, at Bad Reichenhall in convalescence.

Q. Whenever there were conferences which you attended, was
it not the custom, at the conclusion of Hitler's address to
the group, for Goering, as the senior man present, to assure
the Fuehrer on behalf of himself and his fellow officers of
their support of his plans?

A. Of course, I was not present at all conferences. I only
took the part of listener. At these discussions, or shall we
say, conferences, in which I took part, it happened from
time to time that the Reichsmarshal made a remark at the end
and gave assurance that the will of the Fuehrer would be
carried out. But at the moment I cannot remember
specifically any such conference.

Q. You cannot remember any conference at which he did not do
it either, can you?

A. Yes, it was not always done. On the contrary, he did not
do that as a rule. In the Reichstag Hermann Goering always
made a concluding speech, after a session had ended,
expressing his confidence in Adolf Hitler.

Q. And did he not do that at every meeting of officers at
which the Fuehrer was present?

A. I would ask you to repeat the question. I have not quite
understood it. I beg you to excuse me, but I would like to
mention that, due to my injury, I have lost sixty per cent
of my hearing, and therefore I beg you to excuse me if I ask
for repetitions. Please, repeat your question.

Q. Quite all right, sir. Do you know of any conference
between Hitler and his High Command at which Goering did not
close the meeting, as the senior officer present, by making
assurances of support to Hitler's plans?

A. Some of the conferences I attended were concluded by a
declaration of that nature. There were, however, many
conferences - in fact at most of the

                                                  [Page 244]

conferences nothing further was said at the end; when the
Fuehrer had finished his speech the meeting was ended.

Q. In 1943, when Goering began to lose influence with Hitler
it was a very embarrassing time for Goering, was it not?

A. Hermann Goering suffered from this fact. He often told me
that he would suffer very much on that account.

Q. From the fact that the Fuehrer was losing confidence in

A. What was that?

Q. He was suffering from the fact that the Fuehrer was
losing confidence in him? Was that what was causing his

A. That may have been part of the reason, but differences of
opinion arose about the Luftwaffe.

Q. Now, in the spring of 1943, it was apparent to you and
apparent to him that the war was lost for Germany, was it

A. I cannot say that. The Reichsmarshal did not make a
statement to me in 1943 that the war was lost, but that
there were great difficulties, that it would become very
dangerous; but that the war was definitely lost - I cannot
remember that the Reichsmarshal at that time, in the spring
of 1943, made a statement of that kind, or a similar one, to

Q. The Reichsmarshal had given his assurance to the German
people, had he not, that it would not be possible for them
to be bombed, as Warsaw, Rotterdam, and other cities were

A. So far as I know, he did not give the assurance in these
words. Before the war, when our Air Force was growing, I
mean at the beginning of the war, when the great successes
in Poland and in France were manifest, he said to the German
people that the Air Force would do its job and do everything
to spare the country from heavy air raids. At that time this
was justified and it was not clearly foreseen that matters
would develop otherwise, later.

Q. Then he had given his assurance to the German people, had
he not, that the Luftwaffe would be able to keep enemy
bombers away from Germany?

A. I cannot remember that he gave an official assurance to
the German people in the form of a decree or of a big
speech. At times it was said that the German Air Force,
after the successes in Poland and France, was at its peak. I
do not know of any statement whereby it was made known to
the German people.

Q. At all events, it became apparent in the spring of 1943,
that any such assurance, if it had been given, was

A. In the year 1943 the conditions were entirely different,
due to the fact that the British and American Air Forces
came into the picture in such large and overwhelming

Q. And it was also true that the air defences of Germany
were proving entirely inadequate to cope with the situation:
is that not a fact?

A. The air defence of Germany was very difficult, since the
entire defence did not depend on the air crews alone, but it
was also a radio-technical war, and in this radio-technical
war, it must be admitted frankly, the enemy was essentially
better off than we were. Therefore it was not only a war in
the air, but it was also a radio war.

Q. It had become apparent that Germany could not cope with
it, is that not a fact, by 1943?

A. In the year 1943, it was not yet completely clear. There
were fluctuations, low and high points. Efforts were made to
increase the fighter strength at the expense of the bombers.
It was not altogether obvious that the enemy Air Force could
not be opposed successfully. That only became obvious after
the middle of 1944.

Q. The Fuehrer lost confidence in Goering as the bombing of
German cities progressed, did he not?

                                                  [Page 245]
A. Yes, indeed, from the moment the British Air Force
started with their large-scale attacks on German cities,
specifically when the first heavy British air attack on
Cologne took place. From that moment it was obvious that
differences of opinion were arising between the two
gentlemen, which, at first, were not too serious.

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