Archive/File: people/e/eichmann.adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-055-01 Last-Modified: 1999/06/02 Session No. 55 14 Sivan 5721 (29 May 1961) Presiding Judge: I hereby declare the fifty-fifth Session of the trial open. Attorney General: With the Court's permission, we are obliged to interrupt, for a short time, the evidence about Hungary, and to request the Court to hear evidence of a general nature. I shall call Professor Gilbert. Professor Gilbert will testify in English. Presiding Judge: Is he Jewish? Attorney General: Yes. [The witness is sworn.] Presiding Judge: What is your full name? Witness: Gustave M. Gilbert. Attorney General: Professor Gilbert, what post do you occupy at present? Witness Gilbert: I am chairman of the Psychology Department of Long Island University in Brooklyn, New York. Q. What are your professional qualifications? A. I am a qualified psychologist, having received the Doctorate at Columbia University in 1939. I also hold a diploma from the American Board of Examiners in Professional Psychology. Q. Were you in military service during the Second World War? A. Yes, I was commissioned as a military psychologist with the rank of First Lieutenant, and after spending some time examining misfit soldiers, I was sent overseas as a military intelligence officer, because of my knowledge of German. At the cessation of hostilities, I was assigned to the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg, where the major Nazi war criminals were about to be tried. That was the first trial of the major war criminals. Q. What was your function at the Nuremberg prison? A. It was, first of all, to make psychological examinations of all the defendants - Goering, Hoess, Ribbentrop and so on, in order to be informed of their mental state, in case any question of insanity arose, and also to keep watch over them - to be with them at all times, so that I would have my finger on the pulse of their morale and so on, and do everything that was possible to ensure the conduct of an orderly trial. Q. Were you their doctor in the sense that what they said to you was a medical confidence between patient and doctor? A. No; I am not a physician in the first place, but more important than that, their position there, and my position there was clearly not one of clinical confidences. In other words, I was there in the uniform of the American army - I was a military psychologist; it was my responsibility to watch over them, and I never at any time pretended that anything they said to me was in confidence. There was just one limitation on this, and that was that, as the Nazis ridiculed and cursed each other behind one another's backs, they would sometimes ask me to please not say anything about it to the others until the trial was over. I kept that confidence. Q. Professor, did they know that you were Jewish? A. At first they did not. I wanted to see whether they could tell according to the Nazi ideology that you could always tell "these despicable Jews." Not a single one could. However, Streicher did think that some of the judges were Jews. They were of course not - none of them. So I let it be known that I was Jewish and they, in turn, did not seem to react to this, beyond making it clear that they never had anything against Jews personally, that this was all silly ideological nonsense, and that some of their best friends had been Jews. Q. Did the fact that you revealed to them that you were a Jew have any effect on your subsequent talks with them? A. There was not really much, except in the case of Streicher and Rosenberg, who seemed to be a little nervous about it, but they reacted in rather a strange way: Streicher, for instance, decided that, since the Jews were fighting courageously to make a homeland in Palestine, he wanted to "lead" them, because he admired their courage. Outside of such nonsense, there was really no appreciable effect. I behaved absolutely correctly - they appreciated it, and the study went on in a perfectly dignified professional manner. Perhaps I might add that there is ample evidence that I had the respect and cooperation of the defendants - perhaps Dr. Servatius himself can confirm this. Q. Let us continue. Did you give any official evidence before the International Military Tribunal in relation to your task? A. The only actual official testimony was in connection with the sanity hearing for Rudolf Hess. I testified - I gave the final testimony that Rudolf Hess was, in fact, sane; and this testimony appears in Volume I of the proceedings of the International Military Tribunal. Now, aside from that, of course, I had examined all of the defendants and was with them all through the trial. Q. Did you subject them to psychological tests? A. Yes. I administered intelligence tests and personality tests to all of them before the trial started, to be sure that these would be valid, because it was of supreme importance to get to understand the Nazi mentality. Q. Did you keep in contact with the accused persons also after the trials had begun? A. Oh yes, I was in intimate daily contact with all of the Nazis on trial in Nuremberg; I was with them every day in the court, I spoke to them during the court intermissions and during the lunch hours, and had extensive conversations with them at night in their cells and over the long weekends and recesses from court. This went on from the beginning of the trial to the end of the trial, without losing a day. Q. Did you keep notes of your conversations with these accused? A. Yes, I made very extensive notes after every conversation - but not in their presence. I recorded the summary of our conversations with extensive verbatim quotations, and compiled this in my own diary; and the defendants were unaware of this until about the end of the trial. I might add that I further substantiated these conversations with notes by getting additional documentary evidence - you would say (protocols - I would say) - to substantiate what we had talked about; first, for psychological evidence, and secondly, because some of it was so incredible that I felt I had to have a record of these people because my colleagues would never believe me. Presiding Judge: What was the material that you recorded? Witness Gilbert: There were essays written by the defendants in their own handwriting which further substantiated what we had talked about. Attorney General: These essays are still in your possession to this day and have not yet been published - is that correct? Witness Gilbert: That's right. These essays are in my possession, and most of it has not been published - hardly any of it, in fact. Q. Your diary is here with you, as I can see - the one you kept at Nuremberg. A. Yes, these are my original diary notes, in their original binding, just as I kept them in Nuremberg. In fact, it just so happens that I had them locked in a trunk for the last ten years, and they only arrived by diplomatic pouch last night, so they are substantially as they were in Nuremberg. Q. Did you publish part of it in 1947, under the name Nuremberg Diary? A. Yes, that is correct. The original edition of the Nuremberg Diary, which represents, I should say, about two- thirds of the material in my original diaries, was published in 1947. Q. Has this now appeared in a new edition? A. Yes, a new edition was published just this year, because of the renewed interest in Nazi war crimes, and it is an authentic reproduction of the original edition. In fact, it went to press before I even knew it, and it was printed from the original manuscript. Q. Is this the book? [Shows the witness a book] A. Yes, this is the book. This is the authentic copy of the original edition, which was edited by me from my own original diary notes. Attorney General: I shall now submit this, for the Court's convenience, if that should be desirable. I have another copy. Presiding Judge: Perhaps you have two more? Attorney General: I shall submit the second one as well, at the end of the session. Witness Gilbert: I have a further copy. Presiding Judge: Thank you very much. This will be marked T/1168. Attorney General: We shall come back to this diary of yours, but meanwhile I wanted to ask you a number of questions. When you were in Nuremberg, did you see Judge Musmanno there? Witness Gilbert: Oh yes. He wasn't Judge Musmanno then. He was Commander Musmanno of the Navy. I remember him very well. Q. When was that? A. It was somewhere around the early part of the trial. I don't remember the exact date. Q. What was Judge Musmanno doing there? A. He was on two missions, as I recall. One was to investigate the death of Adolf Hitler. The other one pertained to naval military intelligence, and I don't think I'm free to speak about that. It's quite irrelevant to the trial. Q. Did you introduce him, Judge Musmanno, to some of the accused? A. Yes, I did. I particularly remember that because he was the only one outside of some psychiatrists who was allowed to come down into the cells. In other words, everybody was kept out of the gaol cells - except myself, chaplains and so on, and occasional psychiatrists for the psychiatric examinations - but Musmanno had special permission to come down, and I introduced him to several of the top Nazi defendants to satisfy his commissions. Q. Did you take him to Goering? A. Yes. Goering was one of them. Since Goering couldn't speak English, I remained for that interview as his interpreter. Attorney General: At this stage, I request the Court to rule, by virtue of its powers under Section 15 of the Nazis and Nazi Collaborators (Punishment) Act 5710-1950, that Professor Gilbert should be permitted to recount what he heard at Nuremberg from the following persons: Goering, Ribbentrop, Keitel, Frank, Oswald Pohl, Ohlendorf, Rudolf Hoess (the commandant of Auschwitz), and Kaltenbrunner. All these conversations are relevant to the subject under discussion; some of them are also linked to the evidence of Judge Musmanno and to the matters on which he testified, others are linked directly to the Accused, to persons with whom he was in contact, and with remarks which they made about him, with their mentality, with the Nazi personnel structure... Presiding Judge: With whose mentality? Attorney General: Of the accused persons. Presiding Judge: Of the persons who were accused there? Attorney General: Of the persons who were accused there. We also showed Professor Gilbert the psychological tests which we conducted on the Accused here, and we shall ask him to make a particular comparison between the tests that he was shown here by the government psychologists and the tests he conducted there. Presiding Judge: Were tests conducted here as well? Attorney General: Tests were conducted here. We shall submit them in the proper way through the persons who conducted them. These are public officials of the Ministry of Health. Psychological tests were made. We shall submit them. Professor Gilbert has seen them. Presiding Judge: Very well, that may be an additional question. Attorney General: Yes, this is an additional question. But I am explaining why I am interested in evidence on the personality of an SS man engaged in exterminating Jews. Together with it a certain question of comparison will arise. Presiding Judge: At the present moment this matter is not so clear to me. Attorney General: Perhaps the Court will allow me to go over this stage by stage? Presiding Judge: Perhaps we could separate the issues and leave this question of the psychological tests on one side for the time being. Attorney General: As the Court pleases. Presiding Judge: Yes, Dr. Servatius? Witness Gilbert: Pardon me, may I receive a summary of what is being discussed? Presiding Judge: No, this is a legal argument. If it would be more comfortable for you to be seated, you remain where you are; if not, you may leave the witness box. Perhaps some member of the Prosecution, Mr. Bach, the Assistant State Attorney, will explain to you briefly what is going on here, as we did in the case of Judge Musmanno. For that we have a precedent. Dr. Servatius: If a psychological research is going to be presented here dealing with what the Nuremberg accused said and thought, I should have received, in the first place, the tests that were conducted here concerning the Accused himself. Presiding Judge: Dr. Servatius, pardon me. I have already said to the Attorney General that we shall deal separately with the question of the psychological tests. We now have here an application to hear evidence on what the witness heard from the Nuremberg accused whose names we have heard. This is the first question, irrespective of the psychological aspect of the matter. What is your reply to that? Dr. Servatius: I believe that such a question has already arisen here once, and it was settled by the Court. I believe that this is hearsay evidence, and I want to voice an objection, something which I have already done previously. Judge Raveh: Mr. Hausner, did you only mention persons who are no longer alive? Attorney General: Only persons who are no longer living. I have here eight names. Presiding Judge: Decision No. 58 We shall permit evidence by this witness about matters which he heard from those persons whose names have been mentioned by the Attorney General, on the grounds we gave in our Decisions 7 and 29, by virtue of our powers under Section 15 of the Nazis and Nazi Collaborators (Punishment) Law, 5710- 1950.
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