The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Archive/File: imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-02/tgmwc-02-11.07
Last-Modified: 1999/09/09
                                                                  
In the latter part of the Air Attache's report, reference is made
to the presence of reliable agents and informers, which he called
" V-Leute ", or V-people, apparently drawn from the ranks of the
Henlein Party in this area, It was indicated that these agents
were in touch with the "Abwehr Stelle", the Intelligence Office in
Breslau.

In September, when the Nazi propaganda campaign was reaching its
height, the Nazis were not satisfied with playing merely on the
Sudeten demands for autonomy. They attempted to use the Slovaks as
well. On 19th September the Foreign Office in Berlin sent a
telegram to the German Legation in Prague. I offer in evidence,
Document 2858-PS, Exhibit USA 97. It is another captured German
Foreign Office document, and the telegram reads:

    "Please inform Deputy Kundt that Konrad Henlein requests to
    get into touch with the Slovaks at once and induce them to
    start their demands for autonomy tomorrow. (Signed)
    Altenburg."

Kundt was Henlein's representative in Prague.

As the harassed Czech Government sought to stem the disorders in
the Sudetenland, the German Foreign Office turned to threatening
diplomatic tactics in a deliberate effort to increase the tension
between the two countries.

I offer in evidence Documents 2855-PS, 2854-PS, 2853-PS and 2856-
PS, as Exhibits USA 98, 99, 100 and 101 respectively. Four
telegrams from the Foreign Office in Berlin to the Legation in
Prague were dispatched between the 16th and 24th September, 1938.
They are self-explanatory. The first is dated 16th September:

    "Tonight 150 subjects of Czechoslovakia of Czech blood, were
    arrested in Germany. This measure is an answer to the arrest
    of Sudeten Germans since the Fuehrer's speech of 12th
    September. I request you to ascertain the number of Sudeten
    Germans arrested since 12th September as exactly as possible.
    The number of those arrested there is estimated conservatively
    at 400 by the Gestapo. Cable report."

A hand-written note follows:

    "Impossible for me to ascertain these facts as already
    communicated to the proper agent."

The second telegram is dated 17th September:

    "Most urgent.
    
    Request to inform the local government immediately of the
    following:
    
    The Reich Government has decided that:

                                                         [Page 35]
    (a)Immediately as many Czech subjects of Czech descent, Czech-
    speaking Jews included, will be arrested in Germany as Sudeten
    Germans have been in Czechoslovakia since the beginning of the
    week.
    (b) If any Sudeten Germans should be executed pursuant to a
    death sentence on the basis of martial law, an equal number of
    Czechs will be shot in Germany."

The third telegram was sent on 24th September. I read it:

    "According to information received here, Czechs have arrested
    2 German frontier-policemen, seven customs officials and 30
    railway officials. As counter-measure all the Czech staff in
    Marschegg were arrested. We are prepared to exchange the
    arrested Czech officials for the German officials. Please
    approach Government there and wire result."

On the same day the fourth telegram was dispatched, and I read the
last paragraph:

    "Confidential.
    
    Yielding of the Czech hostages arrested here for the
    prevention of the execution of any sentences passed by
    military courts against Sudeten Germans is, of course, out of
    question."

In the latter half of September, Henlein devoted himself and his
followers wholeheartedly to the preparations for the coming German
attack. About 15th September, after Hitler's provocative Nuremberg
speech, in which he accused Monsieur Benes of torturing and
planning the extermination of the Sudeten Germans, Henlein and
Karl Hermann Frank, one of his principal deputies, fled to Germany
to avoid arrest by the Czech Government. In Germany Henlein
broadcast over the powerful Reichsender radio station his
determination to lead the Germans home to the Reich, and denounced
what he called the Hussite-Bolshev1st criminals of Prague. From
his headquarters in a castle at Banndorf, outside Bayreuth, he
kept in close touch with the leading Nazi conspirators, including
Hitler and Himmler. He directed activities along the border and
began the organisation of the Sudeten German Free Corps, an
auxiliary military organisation. You will find these events set
forth in the Czechoslovak official Government Report, 998-PS,
which has already been offered as Exhibit USA 91.

Henlein's activities were carried on with the advice and
ass1stance of the German Nazi leaders. Lt.-Col. Kochling was
assigned to Henlein in an advisory capacity to ass1st with the
Sudeten German Free Corps. In a conference with Hitler on the
night of September 17th, Kochling received far-reaching military
powers.

At this conference, the purpose of the Free Corps was frankly
stated - the maintenance of disorder and clashes. I read from Item
25, a hand-written note labelled "Most Secret," at Page 49 of the
Schmundt file, Document 388-PS:

    "Most Secret. Last night conference took place between the
    Fuehrer and Oberstleutnant Kochling. Duration of conference 7
    minutes. Lt.-Col. Kochling remains directly responsible to
    O.K.W. He will be assigned to Konrad Henlein in an advisory
    capacity. He received far-reaching military plenary powers
    from the Fuehrer. The Sudeten German Free Corps remains
    responsible to Konrad Henlein alone. Purpose: Protection of
    the Sudeten Germans and maintenance of

                                                         [Page 36]
    disturbances and clashes. The Free Corps will be established
    in Germany. Armament only with Austrian weapons. Activities of
    Free Corps to begin as soon as possible."

THE PRESIDENT: Would that be a good place to break off for ten
minutes?

(A recess was taken.)

MR. ALDERMAN: May it please the Tribunal, General Jodl's diary
again gives a further insight into the position of the Henlein
Free Corps. At this time the Free Corps was engaged in active
skirmishing along the Czech border, furnishing incidents and
provocation in the desired manner. I quote from the entries in the
Jodl diary, for the 19th and 20th September, 1938, at Page 6 of
Document 1780-PS, which is Exhibit USA 72.

    "19th September: Order is given to the Army High Command to
    take care of the Sudeten German Free Corps.
    
    20th September: England and France have handed over their
    demands in Prague; the contents are still unknown. The
    activities of the Free Corps have reached such a pitch that
    they may bring about, indeed already have brought about,
    consequences harmful to the plans of the Army. (Transferring
    rather strong units of the Czech Army to the proximity of the
    border.) By checking with Lt.-Col. Kochling, I attempt to lead
    these activities into normal channels.
    
    Toward the evening the Fuehrer also takes a hand and gives
    permission to act only with groups up to 12 men each, after
    the approval of the Corps H.Q."

A report from Henlein's staff, which was found in Hitler's
headquarters, boasted of the offensive operations of the Free
Corps. It is Item 30 of the Schmundt file, Page 54 of Document 388-
PS. I read the last two paragraphs:

"Since 19th September - in more than 300 missions - the Free Corps
has executed its task with an amazing spirit of attack (now, that
word 'attack' was changed by superimposition to 'defence') and
with a willingness often reaching a degree of unqualified self-
sacrifice. The result of the first phase of its activities: more
than 1,500 prisoners, 25 MGs." - which I suppose means machine
guns - "and a large amount of other weapons and equipment, aside
from serious losses in dead and wounded suffered by the enemy. And
there was superimposed in place of 'enemy', 'The Czech
Terrorists'."

In his headquarters in the castle at Banndorf, Henlein was in
close touch with Admiral Canaris of the Intelligence Division of
the O.K.W. and with the S.S. and the S.A. The liaison officer
between the S.S. and Henlein was Oberfuehrer Gottlob Berger
(S.S.).

I now offer in evidence Document 3036-PS - Exhibit USA 102 which
is an affidavit executed by Gottlob Berger; and in connection with
that affidavit, I wish to submit to the Tribunal that it presents,
we think, quite a different question of proof from the Schuschnigg
affidavits which were not admitted in evidence by the Court.
Schuschnigg, of course, was a neutral and Austrian non-Nazi, and
he was not a member of this conspiracy, and I can well understand
that the Court rejected his affidavit for these reasons.

Berger was a Nazi. He was serving in this conspiracy. He has made
this affidavit. We think the affidavit has probative value and
should be admitted by the Tribunal under the pertinent provision
of the Charter,

                                                         [Page 37]
which says that you will accept in evidence any evidence having
probative value. We think it would be unfair to require us to
bring here as a witness a man who would certainly be a hostile
witness, who is to us a member of this conspiracy, and it seems to
us that the affidavit should be admitted with leave to the
defendants, if they wish, to call the author of the affidavit as
their witness. I should have added that this man was a prominent
member of the S.S. which is charged before you as being a criminal
organisation, and we think the document is perfectly competent in
evidence as an admission against interest by a prominent member of
the S.S. organisation.

DR. STAHMER (Counsel for the defendant Goering): Mr. President,
the defence objects to the use of this document. This document was
compiled as late as 22nd November, 1945. It was filed here in
Nuremberg. The witness, Berger, could, therefore, be brought to
Court without any difficulty.

We must insist that he be heard here on the subjects on which the
prosecution wishes to quote his testimony, so that the defence may
have an opportunity of cross-examining him in order to make sure
that objective truth is ascertained.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal upholds the objection and will not
hear this affidavit. It is open to either the prosecution or the
defendants, of course, to call the man who made the affidavit.
That is all I have to say. We have upheld your objection.

MR. ALDERMAN: If the Tribunal please, I had another affidavit by
one Alfred Helmut Naujocks which, I take it, will be excluded
under this same ruling, and which, therefore, I shall not offer.

THE PRESIDENT: If the circumstances are the same.

MR. ALDERMAN: Yes, I might merely refer to it for identification
because it is in your document books.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well.

MR. ALDERMAN: It is Document 3029-PS.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well. That also will be rejected as evidence.

MR. ALDERMAN: Yes. Offensive operations along the Czechoslovakian
border were not confined to skirmishes carried out by the Free
Corps. Two S.S.-Totenkopf, S.S. battalions, were operating across
the border in Czech territory near Eich.

I quote now from Item 36 in the Schmundt file and O.K.W.'s most
secret order, signed by Jodl, and dated 28th September, 1938. This
appears at Page 61 of the Schmundt file.

   "Supreme Command of the Armed Forces, Berlin, 28th September,
   1938, 45 copies, 16th copy.
   
   Subject: 4 S.S.-Totenkopf battalions subordinate to the C.-in-
   C. Army.
   
   To: Reichsfuehrer S S. and Chief of the German Police (S. S.
   Central Office) (36 copies). MOST SECRET.
   
   By order of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces the
   following Bns. of the S.S. Death's Head Organisation will be
   under the command of the C.-in-C. Army with immediate effect.
   
   II and III Bn. of the 2nd S.S.-Totenkopf Regiment Brandenburg
   at present in Brieg (Upper Silesia).
   
                                                         [Page 38]
   
   I and II Bn. of the 3rd S.S.-Totenkopf Regiment Thuringia, at
   present in Radeboul and Koetzenbroda near Dresden.
   
   C.-in-C. Army is requested to deploy these Bns. for the West
   (Upper Rhine), according to the Fuehrer's instructions.
   
   These S.S.-Totenkopf units now operating in the Eich
   promentory (I and II Bn. of Oberbayern Regiment) will come
   under the C.-in-C. Army only when they return to German Reich
   territory, or when the: Army crosses the German-Czech
   frontier.
   
   It is requested that all further arrangements be made between
   C.-in-C. Army and Reichsfuehrer S.S. (S.S. Central Office).
   
   For the Chief of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces.
   Jodl."

According to the 25th September entry in General Jodl's diary,
these S.S.-Totenkopf battalions were operating in this area on
direct orders from Hitler. As the appointed time approached, the
disposition of the Free Corps became a matter of dispute.

On 26th September Himmler issued an order to the Chief of Staff of
the Sudeten German Free Corps, directing that the Free Corps come
under control of the Reichsfuehrer S.S. in the event of German
invasion of Czechoslovakia. This document is Item 37 in the
Schmundt file, at Page 62.

On 28th September defendant Keitel directed that as soon as the
German Army crosses the Czech border, the Free Corps will take
orders from the O.K.H. In this most secret order of the O.K.W.,
Keitel discloses that Henlein's men are already operating in
Czechoslovak territory.

I read now, from Item 34 Of the Schmundt file on Page 58, the last
three: paragraphs of this most secret document:

"For the Henlein Free Corps and units subordinate to this the
principle remains valid, that they receive instructions direct
from the Fuehrer and that they carry out their instructions only
in conjunction with the competent General Staff Corps. The advance
units of the: Free Corps will have to report to the local
commander of the frontier guard immediately before crossing the
frontier.

Those units remaining forward of the frontier should - in their
own interests - get into communication with the frontier guard as
often as, possible.

As soon as the Army crosses the Czechoslovak border the Henlein
Free Corps will be subordinate to the O.K.H. Thus it will be
expedient to assign a sector to the Free Corps, even now, which
can be fitted into the scheme of army boundaries later."

On 30th September, when it became clear that the Munich settlement
would result in a peaceful occupation of the Sudetenland, the
defendant Keitel ordered that the Free Corps Henlein, in its
present composition, be placed under the command of Himmler.

I read from Item 38, at Page 63, of the Schmundt file:

   "1. Attachment of the Henlein Free Corps:
   
   The Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces has just ordered
   that the Henlein Free Corps in its present composition be
   placed under command of Reichsfuehrer S.S. and the Chief of
   German Police.
   
   It is therefore at the immediate disposal of O.K.H. as a field
   unit for the invasion, but it is to be later drawn in like the
   rest of the police forces for police duties in agreement with
   the Reichsfuehrer S.S."

                                                         [Page 39]

I have been able, if the Tribunal please, to ascertain the dates
the Tribunal asked about before the recess.The first visit of
Chamberlain in connection with this matter to Germany was 15th
September, 1938. Chamberlain flew to Munich and arrived at 12.30
o'clock on 15th September. He went by train from Munich to
Berchtesgaden, arriving at 1600 hours, and by car to the Berghof,
arriving at about 1650, for three talks with Hitler. On 16th
September Chamberlain returned by air to London.

The second visit was on 22nd September. Chamberlain met Hitler at
Bad Godesberg at 1700 hours for a three-hour discussion, and it
was a deadlock. On 23rd September discussions were resumed at 2230
hours. On 24th September Chamberlain returned to London.

The third visit was on 29th September. Chamberlain flew to Munich
and the meeting of Chamberlain, Mussolini, Daladier and Hitler
took place at the Braunhaus at 1330 and continued until 0230 hours
on Friday, 30th September, 1938, when the Munich Agreement was
signed. Under the threat of war by the Nazi conspirators, and with
war in fact about to be launched, the United Kingdom and France
concluded the Munich Pact with Germany and Italy at that early
morning hour Of 3oth September, 1938. This Treaty will be
presented by the British Prosecutor. It is sufficient for me to
say of it at this point that it provided for the cession of the
Sudetenland by Czechoslovakia to Germany. Czechoslovakia was
required to acquiesce.

The Munich Pact will be TC-23 of the British documents.


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