The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-08/tgmwc-08-73.05

Archive/File: imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-08/tgmwc-08-73.05
Last-Modified: 1999/11/25

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Thoma, if the witness was granted to you
as a witness to give evidence in court, it would not be
necessary for you to have any representative of the
prosecution when you saw the witness wherever he might be.
The granting of a witness would entitle you to see him
yourself and to obtain a proof of his evidence. Is that

DR. THOMA: So far I have only been granted an affidavit. I
have not been granted him as a witness as yet.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, I only wanted to make clear to you the
difference between interrogatories and being allowed to call
a witness to give all the evidence. Of course, if you are
submitting written interrogatories, you would not see the
witness, but if, on the other hand, you were going to call
the witness as a witness, or to present an affidavit from
him, you would then be at liberty to see the witness before
he made his affidavit or before he drew up his proof.

DR. THOMA: Then I should like to put the request that
Wilhelm Schiedt be called as a witness.

THE PRESIDENT: I understand that you are making that

DR. THOMA: As far as Robert Scholtz is concerned, I should
like to point out to the Tribunal that Scholtz was the
director of the Special Staff entrusted with the practical
application of measures to be taken for the safe-keeping of
works of art in both Eastern and Western districts, and I
should like to draw the special

                                                  [Page 145]

attention of the High Tribunal to the fact that a number of
learned German experts were members of this Special Staff,
and that they did a great deal of very conscientious work in
safeguarding, restoring and protecting these works of art
and in preserving them for posterity. The way in which this
Special Staff did its work 'is of decisive importance,
therefore, for a good many men. Robert Scholtz knows every
detail of the procedure. Robert Scholtz can testify in
particular, to the fact that Rosenberg did not appropriate
for himself any of the enormous wealth of art treasures that
passed through his hands, and that he kept a careful record
of those that went to Hitler and Goering. He also knows that
all these works of art-or, at least, the greater part of
them, were left where they were at first, especially in the
East, and were only brought to the Reich when it was no
longer safe to delay.

I beg the Tribunal to hear this important witness.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Thoma, can you explain why the
application was withdrawn on 24th of January?

DR. THOMA: It was said then - I think by the British or
American prosecution - that the Special Staff would not be
mentioned again during the proceedings. The French
prosecution, however, has now given detailed accounts of the
looting of France; and so this witness is once more

THE PRESIDENT: That concludes your witnesses, I think?

DR. THOMA: I have one other request. I want to call a
further witness, and I have already filed a request with the
General Secretary for this witness: State Secretary
Braeutigam. Braeutigam was junior Assistant Secretary in the
Ministry for Eastern Affairs, and he is to be called as a
witness to prove that Rosenberg, in his capacity of Minister
for Eastern Affairs, did not persecute the Churches, but
granted freedom to all religious sects by the issue of an
edict of tolerance; and, further, Rosenberg himself
consistently opposed the use of force, supported a policy of
promoting culture and represented the view that the peasant
class should be strengthened and established on a healthy
basis. Further, and this seems to me to be particularly
significant - that very many letters and telegrams of thanks
from the clergy in the Soviet Union arrived at the Ministry
for Eastern Affairs addressed to Rosenberg. Gentlemen, if
Dankers and Astrowski are not granted as witnesses, then I
request permission to go back to Braeutigam.

And then I have one further witness. To show how Rosenberg
behaved towards his academic opponents, I should like to
call one of these academic opponents, to wit, Dr. Kuenneth,
a University professor who wrote an important book attacking
the Mythos. He will testify that those who disagreed with
Rosenberg's philosophy were not at all afraid of the
Gestapo, etc., and that they had no cause to fear the

THE PRESIDENT: Yes. Sir David, did you want to review those
last two?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, in my submission, these
last two witnesses are not really relevant to the charges
against this defendant which have been developed by the
prosecution. They are general witnesses, and if I may put it
- I hope the Tribunal will not think it flippant to put it
this way - they are really witnesses who say that the
defendant Rosenberg would not hurt a fly. That really puts
it quite briefly as to what this class of evidence amounts
to, and I respectfully submit on behalf of my colleagues
that that should not be the subject of oral evidence, and it
should be disallowed, or, if there is any special point
raised, it should be dealt with by an affidavit.

THE PRESIDENT: Does the Indictment allege that he instigated
the persecution of Churches?

                                                  [Page 146]

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: The Indictment says that he took
part in anti-religious teaching. I am speaking from memory.
That is one of the matters. And I think there was certain
correspondence between him and the defendant Bormann which
was directed towards his anti-religious views. I do not
remember at the moment that there was any evidence that he
had personally participated in physical destruction of
churches. That is my recollection.

My Lord, I am reminded that there is a general allegation in
Appendix A that he authorized, directed, and participated in
the War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity, including a wide
variety of crimes against persons and property.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well; those matters will be considered.

DR. SEIDL (counsel for defendant Frank): The first witness
that I ask be summoned is Dr. Hans Buehler, State Secretary
and Chief of the Administration in the Government General.
This witness is detained here in Nuremberg pending trial and
he is the most important witness for the defendant, Dr.
Frank. He is called for Dr. Frank's whole policy in the
Government General, since he was head of the government
during the entire period, from the establishment of the
Government General up to the end.

THE PRESIDENT: Sir David, have you any objection to Dr.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: No, I have not, my Lord. The only
point that I want to make clear is that the defendant Frank
calls an enormous number of witnesses from his own
officials; he calls something like fifteen. I am not going
to object to Dr. Buehler, but I am going to ask the Tribunal
to cut down substantially the witnesses who were officials
of the Government General. And it might help Dr. Seidl if I
told him before the adjournment that my suggestion would be
that the Tribunal would consider allowing Dr. Buehler, an
affidavit from Dr. von Burgsdorff, and that they might
consider allowing Fraulein Helene Kraffzcyk, the defendant's
secretary, and Dr. Bilfinger, and Dr. Stepp, but not -the
succession of officials from the Government General.

THE PRESIDENT: Sir David, you say your suggestion is to
allow Dr. Buehler?


THE PRESIDENT: And affidavits from ...

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: Affidavits from Burgsdorff, allow
Dr. Lammers - he is in the general list ...


SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: . . . allow the private secretary,
Fraulein Kraffzcyk, No. 7, and allow Nos. 9 and 10.

THE PRESIDENT: What are the names?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: Dr. Bilfinger and Dr. Stepp.

THE PRESIDENT: Wait a minute.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: And if these are allowed, I should
suggest that Nos. 13 to 20, who are various officials from
the office of the Government General, should not be allowed.
If I may say so, with the submission of the prosecution, the
height of irrelevancy will be No. 18, Dr. Eisfeldt, who is
Chief of the Forestry Department.


SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: I thought it might be convenient for
Dr. Seidl to know what the views of the prosecution were. Of
course, if he has any suggestions of any alternatives, we
should be pleased to consider them.

THE PRESIDENT: We will continue with that after the
adjournment, Dr. Seidl.

Before the Tribunal rises, before the adjournment, I want to
say that the Tribunal will rise this afternoon at three-

(A recess was taken.)

                                                  [Page 147]

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, Dr. Seidl?

DR. SEIDL: Mr. President, your Honours, if I understand
correctly, Sir David has no objection to the witnesses Dr.
Hans Buehler, Dr. Bilfinger, and Fraulein Kraffzcyk being


DR. SEIDL: The second witness named by me is Dr. von
Burgsdorff, whose last appointment was that of Governor of
Cracow. He is at present in the Moosburg internment camp,
which means that he is close to Nuremberg.

The witness Dr. von Burgsdorff is the only one of the nine
governors whom I have named to the Tribunal as a witness.
Considering the importance of the position of the governors
in the Government General, and in view of the great
difficulties which these governors had to overcome, it seems
proper to me that the witness Dr. von Burgsdorff should be
heard personally by the Tribunal and not by means of an

Is it necessary for me to read out the evidence material in
detail now, or is it enough to refer to the application for
evidence ?

THE PRESIDENT: We have got it in writing and we understand
that, while Sir David suggests an affidavit, you want to
insist upon his coming personally.

DR. SEIDL: Yes, Mr. President, since the Tribunal approved
the calling of this witness at an earlier date.


DR. SEIDL: The next witness is Reichsminister and Chief of
the Reich Chancellery, Dr. Lammers. This witness has already
been approved for the defendant Keitel, so that no further
discussion is necessary.

The fourth witness is State Minister, Dr. Meissner. With
regard to the fact that this witness is called in connection
with evidence for which the witness Dr. Lammers was also
named, I should like to ask the Tribunal to allow an
interrogatory unless this witness is called for another
defendant and can appear in person.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, I did check that point as
far as I could from my records, and I could not find that he
was being called as a witness for any other defendant. And,
as Dr. Seidl very fairly says in his first sentence, Dr.
Meissner is named for the same material evidence as the
witness, Dr. Lammers. That is my point.


DR. SEIDL: The next witness is Dr. Max Meidinger, late Chief
of the Chancellery of the Government General, and who, like
Dr. von Burgsdorff, is in Moosburg. My written application
shows that this witness held a very important appointment.
He received all the correspondence of the administration of
the Government General, and is acquainted in particular with
the substance of suggestions and complaints addressed by the
defendant Dr. Frank to the central government authorities in
Berlin, and in particular with the proposals which the
defendant Dr. Frank repeatedly made to the Fuehrer himself.

The witness was likewise approved previously by the
Tribunal, and I think that considering the vast knowledge of
this witness - he worked in the Government General for
several years - a personal hearing before this Tribunal
seems advisable.

THE PRESIDENT: You say he was approved. Was he not approved
as one out of a group of which Frank was to choose three?
There was a large group of witnesses.

DR. SEIDL: Yes, Mr. President. The witnesses von Burgsdorff
and Dr. Max Meidinger were chosen from this group. Those are
the two witnesses who were selected from a group of

                                                  [Page 148]

THE PRESIDENT: Which was the other one?

DR. SEIDL: The other one was witness No. 2, Dr. von
Burgsdorff. Witness No. 6, whom I have named and whom I
should like to have called in person' is the witness Hans
Gassner. His last appointment was that of Press chief in the
Government General, and he is also in the Moosburg
internment camp. He was named, along with some others, to
give evidence  that the defendant Frank did not hear of the
existence of the camp of Maidanek and the conditions
prevailing there until 1944, and then only because the
witness informed him of reports published by the foreign

The witness was also present - this is not stated in my
application - when Dr. Frank told a Press reporter that the
forests of Poland would not be large enough for posting up
the death warrants. The witness will also be able to
describe the interview in detail, to say what Frank meant by
this remark, how he intended it to be understood and what
his reasons were for making the remark.

I may add that the Tribunal likewise approved this witness
at an earlier date.

I may also say, generally speaking, that, according to the
wishes of the Tribunal, my applications for evidence will
only indicate the general lines on which the witnesses are
to be questioned, and that I have consciously refrained from
formulating the separate questions which I intend to put to
the witness.

THE PRESIDENT: Sir David, will you express your view about
No. 6?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: If your Lordship pleases, it seemed
to the prosecution that the second matter which Herr Gassner
was desired to speak about, that the defendant Frank learned
from him only in 1944 about Maidanek, is really a matter
about which no witness can be as satisfactory as the
defendant himself. All the witness can say is: "I told the
defendant Frank about Maidanek, and it appeared to me that
he did not know anything about it." Well, that is not, in
the view of the prosecution, satisfactory evidence.

The Tribunal will be able to judge from the defendant Frank
himself when he has been cross-examined on that point. If it
is desired that that interview should be before the
Tribunal, the prosecution submits that it could be
adequately dealt with by an affidavit or an interrogatory.
Apart from that, the grounds are entirely general and again
could be covered by a written statement.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, then, the next one Sir David has
already expressed his views on.

DR. SEIDL: Yes, Mr. President.

The next witness is Helen Kraffzcyk, the defendant's last
secretary. If I understand correctly, there are no
objections on the part of the prosecution.

Witness No. 8 is General von Epp, the last Reich Governor of
Bavaria. He is at present in the internment camp at
Oberursel. The statements to be made by this witness will be
mainly concerned with the attitude of the defendant, Frank,
towards the concentration camp in 1933. As the witness is at
present in the neighbourhood of Frankfurt, I should be
satisfied in this case with an interrogatory.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, Sir David?

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