The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1999/12/9

DR. SIEMERS (counsel for the defendant Raeder):

Q. The prosecution has submitted the diary of General Jodl
as Document 1809-PS. In this diary there are two entries
from the first half of 1940, in regard to which I should
like to have your opinion. These two entries concern Russia
at a time when Germany and Russia were on friendly terms.

I should like to say in advance that the substance of the
intentions which are contained in these entries sound rather
fantastic and that is why I would like to have your opinion
as Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force.

I quote the first entry dated 13th February, 1940:

  "Have learned from Admiral Canaris that the squadron
  Rowehl is to be employed in full force going from
  Bulgaria toward the Caucasus. The Air Force must explain
  with whom this false idea originated."

The second entry of May, 1940, reads as follows, and I quote

  "Fuehrer rejects request of the Air Force to set up a
  listening post in the Caucasus."

I would like you to tell me what the thoughts were which
guided you in these plans as Commander-in-Chief of the Air
Force and what facts were the basis of your thoughts.

A. If these entries were made on the basis of a report by
Admiral Canaris, who was the Chief of Foreign Intelligence,
and if they were entered by Jodl in connection with the
special long reconnaissance squadron Rowehl, it is because
of the latter's connection with this squadron (to whom he
himself frequently assigned Intelligence or espionage tasks)
that he had heard of my intention to use it - which was
something which I wanted to have kept specially secret. He

                                                  [Page 176]

apparently informed the High Command of the Wehrmacht, where
this action, or the intended action, met with complete
misapprehension and rightly could not be understood.

My intention in this connection - and I had personally
ordered it - was entirely clear. The statement that it was
to do reconnaissance in or in the direction of the Caucasus
is not quite correct. It would have been more correct to say
in the direction of the Caucasus, Syria and Turkey.

But this mistake may have occurred in the report transmitted
by Canaris.

I had received more and more Intelligence reports to the
effect that from Asia Minor actions were to be undertaken
against the Russian oilfields of the Caucasus - Baku - and
likewise actions for the purpose of gravely disrupting the
oil supply from Roumania to Germany.

As Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force I was the one chiefly
interested in bringing in Roumanian oil, as well as the
Caucasian oil, more precisely petroleum and gasoline, on the
basis of a trade agreement with Russia, because at that time
the refineries were not completed and not working to
capacity. A disturbance in either one of these supplying
regions would have greatly damaged my Air Force. Therefore I
had to watch this closely. I anticipated disruption of the
oil regions in the Caucasus.

I had the agents' report checked by very reliable people and
found that in Syria an army was actually formed under
General Weygand which had the name of "Orient Army." I was
more interested, however, in the concentration of squadrons
of aircraft in the Syrian area, not only of French but also
of English squadrons. As far as I remember I received these
reports about the intentions of the Franco-British air
squadrons through informants in Turkey - that is to say,
from Turks, because there had been negotiations with Turkey
regarding permission to fly over her territory in order to
carry out the intention of the English-French air squadrons
of suddenly bombing the Baku area and thereby severely
damaging the Russian oilfields and eliminating deliveries to

I therefore had to, or rather I was obliged to, find out
constantly, through long-range reconnaissance flights, the
extent to which the airfields in Syria were becoming more
active than before. There could be no other reason for
massing aircraft there exactly at this time, for it was not
a theatre of war nor was there any threat from Germany at
that moment. On the contrary, it would have been
understandable if all British and French aircraft had not
been needed in England and France.

If, therefore, my long-range reconnaissance flights
established the fact that the aerodromes in Syria were being
used more than ever, and further confirmed that possibly the
East Turkish airfields were being increased, this would have
been, and actually was, a confirmation of the alleged
intentions. In this case, as soon as I had recognised this
clearly, I would have to point out to the Fuehrer that
Germany should draw Russia's attention to the danger
threatening her.

The second remark, the establishing of "listening posts,"
not in the Caucasus but in front of the Caucasus, naturally
served the same purpose, namely that of setting up secret
radio stations along the general flight direction Syria-
Caucasus, Syria-Baku, East Turkey-Baku, one, two or three,
in order to find out whether preparatory flights of the
Franco-English Air Forces were taking place in this
direction, that is to say, first of all reconnaissance on
the oilfields, etc. in order to get more information that
way also.

Since at the time I had not yet conclusive and final proof
in my hands, I kept these things to myself and only dealt
with them in the offices responsible to my sector of the Air
Force, until I could obtain a clear picture. Only later,
after the termination of the French campaign, absolute
confirmation of these intentions was obtained by the
discovery of the secret reports of the French General Staff
and of the meetings of the Combined Supreme War Council of
England and France, a confirmation of the fact that my
information was entirely

                                                  [Page 177]

correct and that a plan for a surprise bombing attack on all
the Russian oilfields had been prepared. In the meantime the
confirmation of the plan to eliminate the Roumanian
oilfields, already known to us, was communicated to the
Roumanian Government, and this attack in neutral Roumania
was then prevented.

Q. I understood you correctly, did I not, that these plans
were made by both England and France?

A. Yes.

Q. And that the intelligence you received was to the effect
that the attacks on the oilfields were directly aimed at the
then neutral Russia and also, indirectly, at Germany by the
cutting off of her oil supply.

A. Of course.

DR. SIEMERS: Thank you.

DR. BOEHM (counsel for the S.A.):

Q. Witness, is it true, as the prosecution maintains, that
you were Reichsfuehrer of the S.A.?

A. I was not Reichsfuehrer of the S.A., there never was such
a title. In 1923, on 9th November, I was a commander of the
S.A., which at that time only existed in Bavaria and to a
small extent in Wurttemberg.

Q. According to that, how long were you commander of the

A. I just told you, until November, 1923.

Q. From 1921 on?

A. From the beginning of 1923.

Q. What was your influence before and after 1923
respectively, in regard to the leadership of the S.A., the
indoctrination of the people and the giving of orders?

A. Please repeat the question.

Q. What was your influence before and after 1923 as far as
the leadership of the S.A., the indoctrination of the S.A.
men and the issuing of orders were concerned?

A. From the beginning of 1923 until 9th November, 1923, my
influence was complete and absolute, that is, I commanded
the S.A. directly. After 1923 I was no longer entitled to
have anything to do with the S.A. itself, neither did I.

Q. How was it before 1923, the relationship before 1923 as
well as after 1923?

A. I beg your pardon?

Q. Was your relationship to the S.A. the same before 1923 as

A. I have explained this very precisely. Until November,
1923, I was commander of the S.A. with full power and
authority to give orders. After 1923 I had nothing more to
do with the S.A. as far as giving orders was concerned. I
was only - I do not know what year it was, perhaps 1936 or
so - connected with the S.A. in an honorary capacity, but
without exercising any authority. Besides, I had no occasion
to do so.

Q. In the course of your testimony during the past week, in
connection with the S.A. people, you said that they were
always ready to make great sacrifices. Now I would like you
to tell me what kind of sacrifices these were.

A. The sacrifices of the S.A. men were these; that they gave
nearly all their leisure time to the movement without being
reimbursed, that they did without family life or recreation,
so that in the difficult times of our struggle for power
they were always at the disposal of the Party, for election
campaigns, continuous parades, protection of meetings, etc.
In my eyes this is a considerable sacrifice, if one
considers that most members of the S.A. were workers and
minor employees who needed the few hours of their leisure
more for rest, but who were always ready to be fully at the
disposal of the Party and to work for their political ideals
according to their political beliefs.

Q. Were these people promised material advantages?

A. None at all.

                                                  [Page 178]

Q. Is it correct that, particularly after the taking over of
power, a great number of Communist agitators crept into the

A. Please repeat the question.

Q. Is it correct that, especially after the taking over of
power, a great number of Communist agitators were able to
creep into the S.A.?

A. That was a very notable and vital matter. As, after the
taking over of power, action was taken against Communists,
which was something they had. logically expected, a number
of members of the "Red Front" battle organisation had joined
the S.A., especially in large cities where this was easier.
This was all the easier because the then head of the S.A.,
Roehm, indiscriminately admitted S.A. men, or rather men
into the S.A., who did not need to be members of the Party,
as was formerly required. Anyone could therefore become an
S.A. man without belonging to the Party.

At the same time Hugenberg's German National Party also
started a political battle organisation which he called the
"Green Shirts." These were also to be taken into the S.A.
then, just as the "Stahlhelm," as they seemed purposeless by

I personally remember one day when four to five hundred of
these people assembled at the Wilhelm Strasse to be enrolled
in the S.A. I saw these people from my window and definitely
noticed that elements were involved which did not belong
there. I immediately summoned Security Police and had a
check made. Ninety-eight per cent. of these men had their
Communist Red Front membership cards in their pockets.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Boehm, the Tribunal considers that this
is all cumulative to what the defendant has already said in
his examination-in-chief. He has given us a long account of
the S.A. in his examination-in-chief. He has added nothing
in the course of what he is now saying.

DR. BOEHM: According to the prosecution, it is asserted that
the S.A. was composed of "terror gangsters." I feel in duty
bound to correct or clarify this statement in this respect
by asking the question ...

THE PRESIDENT: That has nothing to do with what I said. It
may be that the prosecution have said that. Probably they
have. What I was pointing out, to you was that the defendant
Goering has been all over this ground in the evidence he has
already given, and the Tribunal does not wish to hear the
same evidence twice.

DR. BOEHM: Yes, that may apply to my first three questions
in a way.

Q. I should like to ask further in what way you influenced
the S.A. in connection with the Versailles Treaty? Did you
tell the people that the Versailles, Treaty should be
annulled by diplomatic means or by war?

A. This question is extremely difficult to answer. If I made
a speech to my S.A. men in 1923 I could not very well say
much about diplomacy. They would not have understood that.
Rather the question was quite simple "to get rid of
Versailles." The ordinary S.A. man was not at all concerned
with the "how" or the "what." That is the task of the
leadership. I did not say, "I promise that you will never
have a war," that we were only a purely pacifist
organisation and that we should only try by protests to rid
the world of Versailles. But I also did not say to them, "In
the next few years we will march out and make war." In
reality I did not tell them anything. I said that they would
have to be obedient and have confidence in the leadership
and leave what was to be done to the leadership - that that
was proper and a basic attitude - every S.A. man knew that
from our speeches and from the Party programme. Among all
the people the, wish was of every decent German, I hope to
get rid of Versailles.

Q. According to your knowledge and also outside the period
of 1923, from 1921 to 1945, was the S.A. and also the organ
of the S.A., that is, the leadership of the S.A., as well as
the individual member, informed that the N.S.D.A.P.

                                                  [Page 179]

intended, after the taking over of power, to dominate other
States and to make war with this purpose in mind, even in
disregard to the rules of war and the laws of humanity if
need be?

A. I do not quite know just what one imagines the S.A.
leadership and the entire S.A. to be. It is quite impossible
that anyone should stand up and say, "Listen, we wish: (1)
to overthrow and subjugate and dominate all other States,
(2) to wage war continuously, (3) to destroy everything and
act as inhumanly as possible, and (4) to pay thereby no
attention to any law of war."

I cannot imagine that anyone but an insane person would have
made such statements before the S.A. or anyone else. The
S.A. was never informed politically in any way. It was told:
"You will march to-morrow, and the day after, leaflets will
be distributed and then  . . . ," as I have already

Q. During the time of the seizure of power there were
various excesses on the part of the S.A. Was this a matter
of measures undertaken by individual members, or were these
measures in accordance with instructions of the S.A.

A. In no case, I believe, in accordance with instructions
from the middle or even the higher S.A. leadership offices.
In an organisation of a million young people there will
always be a certain percentage of rowdies, especially in the
large cities; as I have already mentioned, there was a
considerable number of agitators in the organisation; that
thereby individual excesses on the part of individuals or
groups of like-minded persons will occur is entirely

Q. Did the S.A. leadership in principle ever sanction
individual actions on the part of its membership?

A. I have already stated that I had very little to do with
the leadership of the S.A., but I do not think so.

Q. Is it correct that the police were forbidden to take
steps against excesses on the part of individual members of
the S.A.?

A. In the beginning that was not the case at all. By that I
mean, on the contrary, the police had orders to take most
decisive action in such cases, and particularly the Police
President of Berlin, who was not of the Party, Admiral
(retired) von Lewetzow, acted very vigorously. That may even
have been the reason for his being removed by the Fuehrer,
two years later, I believe, owing to continuous complaints
by the Berlin Gauleiter Goebbels.

Q. How was it later on? If I understood you correctly, you
said that in the beginning that was not the case; later the
police must have been forbidden to intervene in the case of
excesses by members of the S.A.?

A. No, it is not to be understood that way. At all times the
police intervened against excesses by individual S.A. men,
as far as I remember. A number of S.A. men were even

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