The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1999/11/27

Not only the ministry of the defendant Speer, but especially
other authorities within the state administration, were
concerned with that question, which the prosecution has
brought to the notice of the Tribunal, and the authorities
overlapped each other in regard to jurisdiction. Many times
the jurisdiction of a single authority could not be
determined, so that from time to time a solution would have
to be found. These are all questions of importance, if the
Tribunal is to judge to what extent this or that accusation
of the prosecution, especially concerning the employment of
foreign workers, is well founded. In addition we have to
consider that that defendant, originally involved in this
complex of economic questions, who could have helped very
much, to clear up the question of jurisdiction, the
defendant Ley, who, as head of the German Labour Front,
played an important role in the question of labour
employment, that is, the taking care of the labourers
utilized - that this defendant Ley is no longer here. The
question of the use of foreign labour of which the defendant
Speer is in the main accused by the prosecution, must be
discussed further. For this reason I requested that an
expert be allowed to clear up these purely technical
questions of the employment of labour as a help to the

The selection of such an expert is not easy. I proposed that
one of the gentlemen who work in the Economic Branch in
Washington might have examined the question of Speer's
ministry; and might appear as an expert before this
Tribunal. As I was told, this office does not exist any
more, and the persons of whom the defendant Speer had the
impression, on the occasion of an interrogation, that they
really understood the situation, are no longer available.
But, there is still an Allied authority here, which is
concerned with, in all probability, economic questions; and
perhaps it would be possible to select a suitable person
within the circle of gentlemen who are working here, who
would be in a position to clear up these questions for the
benefit of the Tribunal.

I turn now to the question of witnesses. First of all I have
to correct a wrong impression which may have been formed by
the prosecution. If it is said that witnesses Nos. 1 to 5 -
no, 1 to 6, 8, and 10 and 12 . . .

THE PRESIDENT: If you are leaving now the question of the
panel of experts, this would be a convenient time to break
off for the recess.

(A recess was taken.)

DR. FLAECHSNER: Mr. President, I am now turning to the
question of witnesses and should like to make a general
remark before I start.

The evidence to be offered by the witnesses, as I have
already requested in writing, is somewhat more extensive for
this reason: that those very witnesses who would have had
the most comprehensive knowledge cannot be called. Those are
the former chiefs of army armaments, General Fromm, and
Schieber who for many years was the chief of the central
office in Speer's ministry. The names which I have included
in my list are in part, men who only later were called to
these tasks. Witness Hupfauer, for instance, who is listed
as No. 1, was active

                                                  [Page 212]

in this function only from 1st January, 1945, on, that is,
barely four months, as chief of the central office, an
office formerly held by the previously-mentioned Schieber.

I know very well that if I mention a number of witnesses who
were employed in Speer's ministry, the appearance is thereby
created that these witnesses might be cumulative because
they are questioned in regard to the same points. In reality
that is not the case. Indeed, although the witnesses
concerned were active in Speer's ministry, they were not
active as routine officials, that is, as professional civil
servants in an office.

Speer's ministry as a war institution was organized along
lines entirely different from those of a regular ministry.
The main functions were delegated to industrialists, who
took care of them in a sub-office. Rohland, witness No. 2,
was, for instance, by profession, a director of the United
Steel Works; witness No. 4 was director of the Zellwell
A.G.; witness No. 6, a manufacturer and owner of a textile
factory; witness No. 9, the director of the Upper Silesian
mining works and of Huetten A.G. In addition to these
functions, they had special functions in Speer's ministry.
Therefore, they can testify only on a small section, namely,
those functions delegated to them. I cannot follow
therefore, the suggestion of the prosecution, that only two
of these gentlemen be selected by me.

I do not know just how far each of these gentlemen is
informed on the questions which I shall submit to him. I am
not in the fortunate position of the prosecution, who can
question their witnesses in advance and find out what they
know. I must rely on an interrogatory and can only surmise
that they are in a position to answer the questions
submitted to them. If I were to follow the suggestion of the
prosecution and select only two or three of these gentlemen,
it may very well happen that I should select exactly the
wrong people, those who do not know anything. Therefore, I
cannot say that I could dispense with any one of these
witnesses, who are to be here on the main question in the
case against defendant Speer, namely, the employment of
foreign labourers.

In the list of witnesses, I mentioned briefly the
particulars about which these witnesses are to be heard. I
believe that it is unnecessary for me to make further
explanations in that regard; I believe my explanations are

Now I am turning to the question of witness No. 7. This
witness has already been granted me. I do not believe that
further explanations in regard to him are necessary.

As far as Malzacher, witness No. 9, is concerned, the
prosecution asserts that this witness would be cumulative to
witness No. 1. But that is not so. The vital question which
is to be put to this witness is the question as to how the
distribution of manpower to the various industries was made
by the labour office. The second question is, whether, and
to what extent, the offices of Speer's ministry and the
industries had the opportunity of influencing the
distribution of available manpower. This witness is of
decisive importance in regard to this question. I have
further questions to put to this witness, and I should
include in the interrogatory these questions which refer in
particular to destruction, etc.

I wanted my list to be as concise as possible, and,
therefore, mentioned only the main points. I therefore
request that this witness be admitted, since I shall make
use of the interrogatory only insofar as the witnesses can
state therein something which is really relevant. If an
interrogatory comes back to me which does not contain
relevant material, I shall, of course, refrain from abusing
the time and the patience of the Tribunal, by not presenting
that interrogatory.

The prosecution is of the opinion that witnesses 12 and 13
are cumulative. That is not correct. Perhaps I expressed
myself too concisely in regard to the facts on which these
witnesses are to

The prosecution has, only incidentally to be sure, produced
a Document, 3568-PS, which contained an interrogatory which
gave information regarding  Speer's membership in the SS.
This document did not, according to the defendant

                                                  [Page 213]

Speer, come from him, and therefore I name his secretary as
a witness to this fact, that is, she should receive an

Witness 13 is to testify on an entirely different matter.
The Reichsfuehrer SS Himmler had the intention of making
Speer an SS man and of taking him into his personal staff.
Witness Wolff had received from Himmler the official
statement, which he was to hand to Speer. And Wolff is to
testify that this statement was never forwarded to Speer,
for which reason there is no question of Speer's membership
in the SS.

Even if, in respect to the charge in the Indictment, this is
a very minor point, it must, nevertheless, be considered,
since Document 3568-PS has been submitted by the
prosecution, and used as evidence for their case.

I agree with the prosecution that questioning of witness No.
22 can be dispensed with.

As far as the questioning of the other witnesses is
concerned, I ask to be allowed to use interrogatories.

THE PRESIDENT: May I ask you what you have to say about No.
14? Surely,
the secretary can speak as to the fact that the defendant
was ill in the spring of 1944....

DR. FLAECHSNER: Yes, Mr. President, I did not include this
question in the interrogatory, but I can add it, and we can
dispense with witness 14.

THE PRESIDENT: Would it, do you think, Sir David, expedite
matters or help the defendant's counsel if he were to be
allowed to issue all these interrogatories and then were to
consider them with you and see what was then cumulative?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: Yes, I should be quite prepared to
do that. They are all witnesses who are giving their
evidence in writing so that I shall be quite prepared to ...

THE PRESIDENT: Well, the Tribunal will consider that aspect
of the matter.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: If the Tribunal saw fit, I should be
very happy to co-operate.

THE PRESIDENT: Then you can now deal with the documents, Dr.
Flaechsner, or Sir David will.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, the Documents 1 to 8 deal
with the defendant Speer's being against the importation
into Germany of foreign labour, and they seem relevant,
apart from No. 1, which seems rather a non sequitur, for the
amount used in the armament industry does not seem to have
any connection, as far as we can see, with the prisoner-of-
war convention, 1929. And No. 6, as to the calling-up of
women in Germany, seems rather remote. But, perhaps, these
matters can be more conveniently dealt with when counsel
seeks to introduce the documents.

Nos. 9 to 13 show the general attitude of the defendant
Speer to the treatment of foreign workers and therefore
appear relevant. No. 14 deals with the point on which I
think it is desired also to have evidence from the witness

Nos. 15 to 18 are reports showing the hopelessness of the
economic situation in Germany from June 1944 onwards. The
prosecution makes no objection at the moment. Of course, all
these matters will have to be considered when the document
is used. Nos. 19 to 41 all deal with the efforts of the
defendant Speer to prevent destruction of bridges and
railways and water transport undertakings and the like,
during the last few weeks of the war. They might have a
bearing on the sentence, and therefore the prosecution make
no objection.

Perhaps learned counsel will set out the quotations which he
wants admitted in that regard. It is not a matter on which
the prosecution have called any contrary evidence and
therefore, if counsel will indicate what the matters are
that he wants submitted, it may be that we shall be able to
agree and shorten the presentation.

                                                  [Page 214]

With regard to Documents 38 to 41, these are said to be in
the possession of the French delegation. They are not in the
possession of the French delegation at the moment, but they
have asked for them to be sent here.

I think that covers our position as to documents.

DR . FLAECHSNER: I should like to comment briefly on one
factor. Document No. 1 is of value only if the Tribunal
decides to call an expert on the general themes which I
described to the Tribunal before the recess.

An expert, for practical purposes an industrial expert, can
draw, from the old distribution plan, conclusions which the
jurist is generally not in a position to draw. If the expert
is considered superfluous by the Tribunal, then Document No.
1 is also superfluous, so far as I can see.

The other documents requested by me are of importance, but
not because, as the prosecution seem to assume, I am trying
to produce evidence of the fact that we did not want any
foreign labourers; this should not be expressed so

The defendant Speer had the task of producing armaments and
needed workers for that. Nothing is farther from his
intentions than, in any way, to deny or lessen his
responsibility in respect to that. But what I have to
consider important - and for this purpose these documents,
which I am requesting, are essential - is the task of
defining the extent to which the defendant is responsible.

I believe that this explains the question of documents.

THE PRESIDENT: I am not quite clear as to whether you are
suggesting that the Tribunal should call the panel of
experts, or whether you would like to nominate the persons
who would form that panel.

DR. FLAIECHSNER: The selection of experts I wish to place in
the hands of the Tribunal. At the moment I, myself, should
not have the opportunity of finding a suitable person. I am
fully aware, though, that in the Department of Economic
Warfare, there were persons who would be very suitable as
experts, and who have the knowledge which is necessary in
the judgement of these questions.

THE PRESIDENT: Then, supposing that the Tribunal were not to
accept your contention as to appointing a panel of experts,
there is nobody whom you wish to add to your list of

DR. FLAECHSNER: I believe not, Mr. President.

I have only one more request. This expert should voice an
opinion as to whether the figures given by Herr Deuss in his
affidavit (Document 2520-PS) would stand up under close

In this affidavit, Herr Deuss stated statistically, how many
of all the workers employed in Germany were foreign workers
in the armament industry.

Important technical objections can be raised to the method
of computation used by Herr Deuss. If the Tribunal is not to
grant the use of an expert in this matter, I wish to ask for
permission to submit certain questions to Herr Deuss, in the
form of an interrogatory, naturally, in order to give him
the opportunity of checking his figures.

The affidavit as given by Herr Deuss and the statements
contained therein, were considered relevant by the
prosecution at the time; I assume that the objections made
to Herr Deuss' figures will also be considered relevant. I
should then have to ask permission to call his attention, by
means of an interrogatory, to these points, which, in my
opinion, are technically incorrect.


COLONEL POKROVSKY: Please forgive me. I have not had the
time to exchange opinions on the subject with my friend, Sir
David, and my other colleagues. Therefore, at the present
time, I am merely expressing the point of view of the Soviet
Delegation on the subject of experts.

                                                  [Page 215]

I do not consider that the appointment of a board of experts
would be a method of solving the problem which could be
recognized as correct. We would object to the introduction
of experts for the clarification of circumstances
interesting the defendant Speer and his counsel, as set
forth in the document submitted by them. We do not consider
it right that a question like the procedure governing the
request for manpower for Speer's ministry, and the
ratification of this request by Sauckel, as well as the
allocation of workers by the competent local labour offices,
should call for the findings of a board of experts. We do
not consider it right that questions of technical schedules,
as emanating from Speer's ministry, should call for expert

I could say as much with regard to all the subsequent
points. We are inclined to defend the point of view that all
these problems can be adequately elucidated by the high
Tribunal, and this without the intervention of experts.
Therefore the Soviet prosecution object to the granting of
this claim and request the Tribunal to reject the
application for a board of experts.

THE PRESIDENT: I call upon counsel for the defendant, von

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: May it please the Tribunal, with
regard to the witnesses of the defendant, von Neurath, the
prosecution make no objection to No. 1, Dr. Koepke, who was
the director of the Political Division in the Foreign

Then, No. 2, Dr. Gauss, is the witness who has already been
granted for the defendant Ribbentrop.

With regard to the third, Dr. Dieckhoff, the Tribunal
granted this witness on 19th December, but the prosecution,
having considered the basis of the present application,
respectfully suggests that it might be covered by

DR. VON LUEDINGHAUSEN (counsel for defendant von Neurath):
Mr. President, I agree, and I have already worked out an
interrogatory which will be submitted to the General
Secretary today; but I wish to reserve the right of asking
under certain circumstances that, when the interrogatory is
returned to me, the witness nevertheless be heard in person
before the Tribunal; but in principle, I agree to his being
heard by means of an interrogatory.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: I am much obliged.

And the same view is taken by the prosecution of No. 4, the
witness Pruefer again it seemed to be largely a historical
matter and they suggested an interrogatory. There is no
objection to the evidence of the witness being brought
before the Tribunal.

DR. VON LUEDINGHAUSEN: This interrogatory has already been
submitted by me to the General Secretary several weeks ago.
I assume that it will be returned to me, answered, within a
reasonable period of time.

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