The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, I object to this evidence.
I was not quite sure whether Dr. Stahmer had finished
dealing with this evidence with regard to the air war, or
whether he was illustrating his argument. I want to make it
quite clear that I object to the first part of it as being
too remote; that is, the evidence about the various
conferences which took place with regard to the regulation
of aerial warfare.

With regard to the second part of the evidence, I object to
the documents which purport to show that Great Britain
attacked non-military targets. Where I have been able to
check the allegations, I find there is a complete dispute as
to whether the targets were military or non-military
targets, and therefore I cannot accept the German official
reports as being evidence of any purported value on their
part, and I respectfully submit that unless the Tribunal had
authority from the Charter it ought to take the same line.

I make these two additional points to the points raised by
my learned friends, General Rudenko and Mr. Justice Jackson,
on the general question. I do not want to take up more time
with the argument by developing that point. I will be
pleased to help with any aspect of it.

THE PRESIDENT: It seems to me, Dr. Stahmer, that this matter
stands upon exactly the same footing as the matter upon
which we have just ruled.

DR. STAHMER: That is right. I believe that from this book on
aerial warfare one document is of importance in my opinion;
which is quoted on Page 27. It is merely a statement by the
French General, Armengaud, concerning the fact that the
German Air Force operated in Poland in accordance with the
laws of warfare and attacked military targets exclusively. I
believe there will be no objection to reading at least this
quotation. It is Page 27.

THE PRESIDENT: Page 27 of the trial brief?

DR. STAHMER: Page 27 of the trial brief. There I give a
quotation of General Armengaud, the French Air Attache in
Warsaw of 14th September, 1939.

                                                  [Page 360]


DR. STAHMER: There it says: After the outbreak of war the
German Air Force under its Commander-in-Chief, Goering, did
not, by order of Hitler, attack any open cities in Poland;
this has been confirmed by Mr. Butler, the British Under-
Secretary for Foreign Affairs, on 6th September, 1939, and
by the French Air Attache in Warsaw in 14th September, 1939
(Documents 41 and 46 of the White Book). The latter, General
Armengaud, says literally:

  "I must emphasise that the German Air Force acted
  according to the laws of war; it attacked military
  targets only and, if civilians were often killed or
  wounded, this happened because they were near these
  military targets. It is important that this should be
  known in France and in England, so that no reprisals will
  be taken where there is no cause for reprisals, and so
  that total aerial warfare will not be let loose by us."

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Stahmer, what is the origin of that?

DR. STAHMER: May I have a look? It is contained in the
Document Book 46 concerning the bombing war, "Report of the
French Air Attache in Warsaw, General Armengaud." It is
dated 14th September, 1939, and then comes the report, from
which I have already quoted.


DR. STAHMER: I have submitted it.


DR. STAHMER: And now I proceed to Page 30 of the trial
brief. And in paragraph 10 I refer to the creation of the
Secret State Police (Gestapo) by the defendant Goering. A
passage is quoted there from the book "Hermann Giving, the
Man and his Work," Document Book 2, Pages 53 and 54. I
submit it as Document 44 and I quote from it the following

  "It can be seen from the big Stettin trial, and also from
  others, that Goering took ruthless measures against men
  who acted on their own authority against his
  The Prime Minister looked into hundreds of individual
  cases in connection with the supervision of political
  prisoners. He did not wait until he was asked; the offer
  was made on his own initiative.
  ... On the occasion of the Christmas amnesty of 1933, he
  ordered the release of nearly 5,000 prisoners from the
  concentration camps. 'Even they must be given a chance.'
  It would have been only too understandable if those
  released had found doors and gates closed to them
  whichever way they turned. That, however, would not be in
  keeping with the spirit of this act of mercy. Nobody was
  to consider himself shut out. Therefore, Goering, in a
  clearly worded decree, ordered that no difficulties by
  the authorities or the public were to be placed in the
  way of those released. If this action were to have any
  point, every effort must be made to take back these
  people, who had sinned against the State, into the
  community again as full fellow Germans."

And from the last paragraph I read the second sentence:

  "In September, 1934, he ordered the release of an
  additional 2,000 prisoners in a second big amnesty."

In this connection I beg to offer a telegram which I
received a few days ago, and I request that it be admitted
into evidence. It is an unsolicited telegram originating
from a certain Hermann Winter, Berlin, W.20, Eisenach Street
118. It has been included in the document book which I
submit. I believe it is the last document in it.

MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: If we are to examine unsolicited
correspondence or telegrams, if it is to become evidence, I
have a basketful of it in my office that, if that kind of
material could be used as evidence in this case without any

                                                  [Page 361]

verification, I could bring here in rebuttal. It does seem
to me that we should know something about this more than
just a wire has come in from some unknown person, who may
not even have been the signatory; maybe it is an assumed
name. I think we are entitled to a little better foundation
than that.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Stahmer, have you any other basis?

DR. STAHMER: I have no other basis, and I beg to have your
decision whether this telegram is admissible as evidence.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I do not think we could admit it simply
as a telegram which has been received by you from an unknown

DR. STAHMER: I request your decision; is it being denied? I
am coming to the end, Page 34.

THE PRESIDENT: Of the trial brief?

DR. STAHMER: Page 34 of the trial brief (12). With respect
to the question of whether one could blame the defendants
for having had confidence in Hitler and following him, it is
important to know Churchill's attitude, expressed in his
book "Step by Step," and I am quoting two passages, Document
Book 2, Page 46.

MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: This is in 1937, before the events with
which we have mainly being dealing here. I do not think it
is very important. Mr. Churchill's speeches are well known,
but I do think that we waste time going into Mr. Churchill's
opinions back in 1937, before the event, when he is
doubtless in the same position as Dahlerus, the witness,
with reference to his knowledge of what was going on behind
the scenes.

THE PRESIDENT: In as much as we have already received this
book and some passages from it, you may state this.

DR. STAHMER: I may state it? Thank you. On Page 187, in an
article, "Friendship with Germany," of 17th September, 1937,
is written:

  "One can condemn Herr Hitler's system and still marvel at
  its patriotic achievement. Should our country be
  defeated, I could only desire that we would find an
  equally indomitable champion who would give us our
  courage again...."

THE PRESIDENT: I only said that you could read it because
you had read from this book by Mr. Churchill, but at the
same time it seems to be absolutely irrelevant.

DR. STAHMER: I did not ... Oh, I see. May I refer to the
quotation on Page 323, which is also a description of
Hitler's personality. I consider it of particular importance
because I attach considerable weight in particular to
Churchill's judgement. It says: "Our leadership must at
least ..."

THE PRESIDENT: But, Dr. Stahmer, do you not think we have
heard sufficient about Hitler's personality?

DR. STAHMER: Yes, but not from that source. If the

THE PRESIDENT: Presumably the defendant Goering knows more
about Hitler than Mr. Churchill.

DR. STAHMER: If the Tribunal does not wish it to be read,
then of course, I will abide by that wish.

THE PRESIDENT: I think it is cumulative.

DR. STAHMER: Well, in that case I have finished. I may
still, of course, keep in reserve the evidence which I have
not been able to submit up to now, about which I spoke this
morning. I said this morning I had a certain amount of
evidence which I have not been able to submit because I have
not received it yet.


MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Would this be a convenient time, if
your Honour pleases, to classify the documents which I was
to offer formally for the record?

THE PRESIDENT: I do not quite follow? What documents are you
referring to?

                                                  [Page 362]

MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: The ones used in cross-examination -

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, certainly.

MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: - which your Honour spoke to me about.


MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: I understand they have been handed to
the Secretary and they have been marked.

The affidavit of Halder is US 779. It is offered.

Document 3700-PS is offered as Exhibit USA 780.

Document 3775-PS is offered as Exhibit USA 781.

Document 3787-PS is offered as Exhibit USA 782.

Document 2523-PS is offered as Exhibit USA 783.

Document 014-PS is offered as Exhibit USA 784.

Document 1193-PS is offered as Exhibit USA 785.

Document EC-317 is offered as Exhibit USA 786.

Document 3786-PS is offered as Exhibit USA 787.

Document 638-PS is offered as Exhibit USA 788.

Document 1742-PS is offered as Exhibit USA 789.

M. CHAMPETIER DE RIBES: Mr. President, Dr. Stahmer in his
presentation did not speak of Document 26. It concerns a
note from the German Government to the French Government
concerning the treatment of German prisoners of war in
France dated 30th May, 1940. The reasons which made us
reject the White Book from the discussion make it necessary
to reject this document too. I gather that Dr. Stahmer
realised that and, therefore, did not speak of it again, but
I would like him to be assured that this document has been
definitely rejected from the discussion.

DR. STAHMER: I have not mentioned the document. I withdraw

THE PRESIDENT: I call on counsel for the defendant Hess.

DR. SEIDL (counsel for the defendant Rudolf Hess): Mr.
President and your Honours: Before commencing the submission
of evidence I have to make the following remarks upon
request of the defendant.

The defendant Hess contests the jurisdiction of the Tribunal
in so far as other than war crimes proper are the subject of
the trial. However, he specifically assumes full
responsibility for all laws or decrees which he has signed.
Furthermore, he assumes responsibility for all orders and
directives which he, in his capacity as Deputy of the
Fuehrer and Minister of the Reich, has issued. For these
reasons he does not desire to be defended against any
charges which refer to the internal affairs of Germany as a
sovereign State. That applies in particular to the relations
between Church and State and similar questions. I shall,
therefore, submit evidence only with reference to questions
in the clarification of which other countries can have a
justified interest. This applies, for instance, to the tasks
and activities of the foreign organisation of the N.S.D.A.P.
Beyond that, evidence will be submitted to the Tribunal only
in so far as this is necessary to ascertain the historical
truth. This applies, among other things, to the motives
which caused Rudolf Hess to fly to England and to the
purposes for which he was doing it.

The evidence which I have prepared is collected in three
document books. Considering the acceleration of the trial
desired by the Tribunal, I shall forgo the quoting of any
documents whatsoever from the first book and ask the
Tribunal to take cognisance only of those parts of the
document book which have been marked in red. I shall only
read the affidavit which is at the end of the document book,
and that is the affidavit of the former secretary of the
defendant Rudolf Hess, Hildegard Fath, and I shall read,
furthermore -

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Seidl, if you are passing from your
opening remarks and going to deal with the documents, I
think it is right to point out to you that there can be no
challenge to the jurisdiction of this Court here. Article 3
provides that the Tribunal shall not be challenged by the
prosecution or by the

                                                  [Page 363]

defendants or their counsel, and the Tribunal cannot hear
any argument upon that subject. Now you can go on with your

DR. SEIDL: There will furthermore be read from the second
volume the record of a conversation between the defendant
Rudolf Hess and Lord Simon, which took place on 10th June,
1941, in England. So as to prevent interruption in the
reading of the documentary evidence, I shall to-day only
read the affidavit of the witness Hildegard Fath, Page 164
of the document book. The affidavit reads as follows:

  "Having been advised of the consequences of a false
  affidavit, I declare the following which is to be
  submitted to the International Military Tribunal in
  Nuremberg under oath."

Then come the "Personal Data"; and I am now quoting
literally from figure 2:

  "I was employed as private secretary of the Fuehrer's
  deputy, Rudolf Hess, in Munich, from 17th October, 1933,
  until his flight to England on 10th May, 1941.
  Beginning in the summer of 1940 - I cannot remember the
  exact time - I had, by order of Hess, to obtain secret
  weather reports about weather conditions over the British
  Isles and the North Sea, and to forward them to Hess. I
  received the reports from a Captain Busch. In part I also
  received reports from Fraulein Sperr, the secretary of
  Hess, with his liaison staff in Berlin.
  Hess left a letter behind on his departure by air for
  England, which was handed to the Fuehrer at a time when
  Hess had already landed in England. I read a copy of this
  letter. The letter began with words like this: 'My
  Fuehrer, when you receive this letter, I shall be in
  England.' I do not remember the exact wording of the
  letter. Hess occupied himself in the letter mainly with
  the proposals which he wanted to submit in England in
  order to achieve peace. I can no longer remember the
  details of the proposed settlement. I can, however, state
  definitely that no word was mentioned about the Soviet
  Union or about the idea that a peace treaty should be
  concluded with England in order to have the rear free on
  another front. If this had been discussed in the letter,
  it certainly would have been impressed upon my memory.
  From the content of the letter the definite impression
  was to be gained that Hess undertook this extraordinary
  flight in order to prevent further bloodshed, and in
  order to create favourable conditions for the conclusion
  of a peace.
  In my capacity as secretary of long standing, I have come
  to know Rudolf Hess quite well and his attitude towards
  certain questions. If I am told now that, in a letter of
  the Reich Minister of Justice to the Reich Minister and
  Chief of the Reich Chancellery, Dr. Lammers, of 17th
  April, 1941, it is mentioned that the Fuehrer's Deputy
  had discussed the introduction of corporal punishment
  against Poles in the annexed Polish territories, then I
  cannot believe that this attitude of the department
  headed by Hess was due to a personal decision of his.
  Such a proposal would be totally contradictory to the
  behaviour and attitude which the Fuehrer's Deputy
  displayed with regard to similar questions on other

I shall refrain from reading the affidavit of the witness
Ingeborg Sperr, Page 166 of the document book.
From the first two volumes of the document book I wish
still, as I have already said, to read only parts from a
discussion between Hess and Lord Simon. However, in order to
prevent the report of this discussion from being
interrupted, I ask permission of the Tribunal to read this
document to the Tribunal next Monday.

                                                  [Page 364]

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, certainly. You mean not to go on any
more now?

DR. SEIDL:  With the permission of the Tribunal, I shall
stop now.
THE PRESIDENT: Have you no other document you wish to
DR. SEIDL: I beg your pardon? Yes, there are some documents
in Document Book 3, but I should prefer to submit these
documents coherently to the Tribunal.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well, Dr. Seidl, if you wish it, we will
adjourn now.

(The Tribunal adjourned until 23rd March, 1946, at 10.00 hours.)

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