The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-09//tgmwc-09-87.06

Archive/File: imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-09/tgmwc-09-87.06
Last-Modified: 1999/12/13

                                                  [Page 311]

Q. You told Mr. Justice Jackson yesterday that there were
various representatives in Eastern territories, and you have
seen the films of the concentration camps, have you not,
since this trial started? You knew that there were millions
of garments, millions of shoes, 20,952 kilograms of gold
wedding rings, 35 wagons of furs - all that stuff which
these people who were exterminated at Maidanek or Auschwitz
left behind them. Did nobody ever tell you, under the
development of the Four-Year Plan, or anyone else, that they
were getting all this quantity of material? Do you remember
we heard from the Polish-Jewish gentleman who gave evidence
that all he got back from his family, of his wife and mother
and daughter, I think, were their identity cards? His work
was to gather up clothes. He told us that so thorough were
the henchmen of your friend Himmler that it took five
minutes extra to kill the women because they had to have
their hair cut off as it was to be used for making
mattresses. Was nothing ever told you about this accretion
to German material, which came from the effects of these
people who were murdered?

A. No, and how can you imagine this? I was laying down the
broad outlines for the German economy, and that certainly
did not include the manufacture of mattresses from women's
hair or the utilisation of old shoes and clothes. I leave
the figure open. But I do want to object to your reference
to my "friend Himmler."

Q. Well, I will say, "your enemy Himmler," or simply
"Himmler," whichever you like. You know whom I mean, do you

A. Yes, indeed.

Q. Now, I just want to remind you of one other point: on
14th April, 1943, the defendant Sauckel wrote to Hitler -
Document 407-PSV, Exhibit USA 228:

  "I have the honour to report to you that it was possible
  to add 3,638,056 new foreign workers to the German war
  economy between 1st April of last year and 31st March of
  this year. In addition to the foreign civilian workers,
  1,622,829 prisoners of war are employed in the German

Now, just listen to this, "Out of the 5,000,000 foreign
workers who have arrived in German not even 200,000 came
voluntarily." That is from the minutes of the Central
Planning Board on 1st March. Do you say that you, in your
position in the State and as the great architect of German
economy, did not know that you were getting for your economy
4,800,000 foreign workers who were forced to come? Do you
tell the Tribunal that?

A. I never told the Tribunal that. I said that I knew quite
well that these workers were brought in and not always
voluntarily, but whether the figure of 200,000 is correct,
that I do not know, nor do I believe it. The number of
volunteers was greater, but this does not alter the fact
that workers were forced to come to the Reich. That I have
never denied and have even admitted it.

Q. You admit - and I want to put it quite fairly - that a
large number of workers were forced to come to the Reich and
work there?

A. Yes, certainly.

THE PRESIDENT: Sir David, would you like to adjourn now?


(A recess was taken until 14.00 hours.)


Q. Do you remember what you said about the relations between
you and the Fuehrer? May I repeat your words:

  "The chief influence on the Fuehrer, if I may mention
  influence on the Fuehrer at all, was up to the end of
  1941 or the beginning of 1942, and that influence was I.
  Then my influence gradually decreased until 1943, and
  from 1943 on it decreased speedily. All in all, I do not
  believe anyone had anywhere near the influence on the
  Fuehrer that I had."

That is your view on that matter?

                                                  [Page 312]

A. Yes.

Q. I think you told the Tribunal that right up to the end
your loyalty to the Fuehrer was unshaken, is that right?

A. That is correct.

Q. Do you still seek to justify and glorify Hitler after he
had ordered the murder of these fifty young flying officers
at Stalag Luft III?

A. I am here neither to justify the Fuehrer Adolf Hitler nor
to glorify him. I am here only to emphasise that I remained
faithful to him, for I believe in keeping one's oath not in
good times only, but also in bad times when it is much more

As to your reference to the fifty airmen, I never opposed
the Fuehrer so clearly and strongly as in this matter, and I
gave him my views. After that no conversation between the
Fuehrer and myself took place for months.

Q. The Fuehrer, at any rate, must have had full knowledge of
what was happening with regard to concentration camps, the
treatment of the Jews, and the treatment of the workers,
must he not?

A. I already mentioned it as my opinion that the Fuehrer did
not know about details in concentration camps, about
atrocities as described here. In so far as I know him, I do
not believe he was informed.

Q. I am not asking about details; I am asking about the
murder of four or five million people. Are you suggesting
that nobody in power in Germany, except Himmler and perhaps
Kaltenbrunner, knew about that?

A. I am still of the opinion that the Fuehrer did not know
about these figures.

Q. Now, you remember how Mr. Dahlerus described the
relations between you and Hitler on Page 53 of his book:

  "From the very beginning of our conversation, I resented
  his manner towards Goering, his most intimate friend and
  comrade through the years of struggle. His desire to
  dominate was explicable, but to require such obsequious
  humility as Goering now exhibited, from his closest
  collaborator, seemed to me abhorrent and nauseating."

Is that how you had to behave with Hitler?

A. I did not have to behave in that way, and I did not
behave in that way. Those are journalistic statements by
Dahlerus, made after the war. If Germany had won the war,
this description would certainly have been very different.

Q. Mr. Dahlerus was your witness, though.

A. Mr. Dahlerus was not asked to. give a journalistic
account. He was solely questioned about the matters with
which he, as courier between myself and the British
Government, had to deal.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, on Tuesday of last week the
defendant called General Bodenschatz, who gave general
evidence as to his character and reputation. He, therefore,
in my respectful submission, entitles me to put one document
to him which is an account by the defendant Raeder of his
general character and reputation. In accordance with the
English practice, I make my submission and ask the
Tribunal's permission to put it in.

DR. STAHMER (counsel for the defendant Goering): I object to
the reading of this document. It would be considerably
easier to question Grand-Admiral Raeder, since he is here
with us, as witness on his statement. Then we will be able
to determine in cross-examination whether and to what extent
he still maintains this alleged statement.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: I have to put it in cross-
examination to give the defendant the chance of answering
it. The defendant Raeder can give his explanation when he
comes into the witness box.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal would like to look at the
document before it is put in.

                                                  [Page 313]

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: That is the English translation. I
will show Dr. Stahmer the German.

DR. STAHMER: Mr. President, I should like to point out that
the document bears no date and we do not know when and where
it was drawn up.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: It is signed by the defendant

DR. STAHMER: When and where was it drawn up? The signature
of Raeder is unknown to me.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: The date is in Raeder's handwriting,
as is the signature; 27th July, I think it is, 1945. Each
page of the document is signed by the defendant Raeder.

THE PRESIDENT: Sir David, you said the defendant has, put
his character in issue through Bodenschatz?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: Your Lordship will remember he was
asked by Doctor Stahmer, "Will you now tell me about the
defendant's social relations?" And then he proceeded to give
an account of his character and his kindness and other
qualities at that time; and I notice that Doctor Stahmer has
just included as an exhibit still further evidence as to
character in the form of a statement by one Hermann Winter.

THE PRESIDENT: Would it not have been appropriate, if the
document was to have been put in evidence, to have put it to
Bodenschatz, who was giving the evidence?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: But, my Lord, the rule is that if
the defendant puts his character in issue, he is entitled to
be cross-examined on his character and his general
reputation, and of course it is permissible to call a
witness to speak as to his general reputation.

DR. STAHMER: May I make the following remark? I did not call
Bodenschatz, neither did I question him as witness for
Goering's character. I questioned him about certain facts
and happenings from which Bodenschatz subsequently drew
certain conclusions. In my opinion, all these questions
should have been put to Bodenschatz when he was here. These
statements could then have been used to prove that it was
Bodenschatz who was not telling the truth, and not that
Goering had told an untruth. To prove this the document
should have. been used during Bodenschatz's interrogation.
Then we would have been able to question Bodenschatz about
it, too.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: He may prefer that Bodenschatz be
brought back and it be put to him, but I think I am entitled
to put it to the defendant who called the evidence as to his
character and reputation.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn.

(There was a recess.)

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal rules that at the present stage
this document cannot be used in cross-examination.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: If your Honour please, I understand
that your Lordship leaves open the question for further
argument, whether it can be used for the defendant Raeder
and the witnesses.


SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: I am much obliged.


Q. Now, Witness, you said, before the Tribunal adjourned,
that Hitler, in your opinion, did not know about or was
ignorant about the question of concentration camps and the
Jews. I would like you to look at Document 736-D. That is an
account of a discussion between the Fuehrer and the
Hungarian Regent Horthy on 17th April, 1943, and if you
would look at Page 4 you will see the passage just after
and Furth"?

                                                  [Page 314]

A. Just a moment: I should like to read through it very
quickly to decide as to its authenticity.

Q. Certainly.

A. Page 4.

Q. Page 4-GB 283. You see, after the mention of Nuremberg
and Furth, Hitler goes on:

  "The Jews did not even possess organisational value. In
  spite of the fears which he, the Fuehrer, had heard
  repeatedly, in Germany also, everything continued to go
  its normal way without the Jews. Where the Jews were left
  to themselves, as, for instance, in Poland, the most
  terrible misery and decay prevailed. They are just pure
  parasites. In Poland, this state of affairs had been
  fundamentally cleared up. If the Jews there did not want
  to work, they were shot. If they could not work, they had
  to be treated like tuberculosis bacilli, with which a
  healthy body may become infected. This was not cruel, if
  one remembers that even innocent creatures of nature,
  such as hares and deer, who are infected, have to be
  killed, so that no harm is caused by them. Why should the
  beasts who wanted to bring us Bolshevism be spared more?
  Nations which did not rid themselves of Jews perished.
  One of the most famous examples is the downfall of that
  people who were once so proud, the Persians, who now lead
  a pitiful existence as Armenians."

Would you look also at USSR 170, which is an exhibit, and
which is about a conference which you had on 6th August,

THE PRESIDENT: Before you pass from this document, is there
not a passage higher up that is important? It is about 10
lines down, I think, in the middle of the line ...

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: Your Honour is correct. To Admiral
Horthy's counter-question as to what he should do with the
Jews, now that they had been deprived of almost all
possibility of earning their livelihood - he could not kill
them off - the Reich Minister for Foreign Affairs declared
that the Jews should be exterminated or taken to
concentration camps. There was no other possibility.

Now, this is a conference which you had with a number of
people, and on Page 143, if you will turn to it, you come to
the question of butter. If you will look where he says:

  "Reichsmarshal Goering: How much butter do you deliver?
  30,000 tons?"

Do you see that?

A. Yes.

Q. And then Lohse, who is in the conference, says, "Yes,"
and you say, "Do you also deliver to Wehrmacht units," and
then Lohse says, "I can answer that too. There are only a
few Jews left alive. Tens of thousands have been disposed
of, but I can tell you that the civilian population gets, on
your orders, 15 per cent. less than the Germans." I call
your attention to the statement that "there are only a few
Jews left alive, tens of thousands have been disposed of."
Do you still say, in the face of these two documents, that
neither Hitler nor yourself knew that the Jews were being

A. This should be understood. From this you cannot conclude
that they have been killed. It is not my remark, but the
remark of Lohse. On that question I also answered. The Jews
were only left in smaller numbers. From this remark you
cannot conclude that they were killed. It could also mean
that they were removed.

Q. About the preceding remark, I suggest that you make quite
clear what you meant by "there are only a few Jews left
alive, whereas ten of thousands have been disposed of."

                                                  [Page 315]

A. They were still living there. That is how you should
understand that.

Q. You heard what I read to you about Hitler, what he said
to Horthy and what Ribbentrop said, that the Jews must be
exterminated or taken to concentration camps. Hitler said
the Jews must either work or be shot. That was in April,
1943. Do you still say that neither Hitler nor you knew of
this policy to exterminate the Jews?

A. For the correction of the document -

Q. Will you please answer my question? Do you still say
neither Hitler nor you knew of the policy to exterminate the

A. As far as Hitler is concerned, I have said I do not
believe it. As far as I am concerned, I have said that I did
not know, even approximately, to what degree this thing took

Q. You did not know to what degree, but you knew there was a
policy that aimed at the extermination of the Jews?

A. No, a policy for emigration, not liquidation, of the
Jews. I only knew that there had been isolated cases of such


Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.