The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Yet it was only five weeks before this that on 3 March,
1933, von Papen had warned the electorate at Stuttgart
against abolishing federalism. I will now read from Document
3313-PS, which is on Page 48 of the English document book,
and which I now introduce as Exhibit GB 240, about the
middle of the third paragraph. This is an extract from von
Papen's speech at Stuttgart. He said:

   "Federalism will protect us from centralism, that
   organisational form which focuses all the living
   strength of a nation, like a burning mirror, on one
   point. No nation is less adaptable to being governed
   centrally than the German nation."

Earlier, at the time of the elections in the autumn of 1932,
von Papen, as Chancellor, had visited Munich. The
Frankfurter Zeitung of 12 October, 1932, commented on his
policy. I refer to Document 3318-PS on Page 51 of the
English document book, which I introduce as Exhibit GB 241.
The Frankfurter Zeitung commented:

   "Von Papen claimed that it had been his aim from the
   very beginning of his tenure of office to build a new
   Reich for, and with, the various States. The Reich
   Government is taking a definite federalist attitude. Its
   slogan is not a dreary centralism or unitarianism."

That was in October 1932. All that was now thrown overboard
in deference to his new master.

                                                  [Page 102]

I now come to the Jews. In March, 1933, the entire Cabinet
approved a systematic State policy of persecution of the
Jews. This has already been described to the Tribunal.

Only four days before the boycott was timed to begin, "with
all ferocity" - to borrow the words of Dr. Goebbels - von
Papen wrote a radiogram of reassurance to the Board of Trade
for German-American Commerce in New York, which had
expressed its anxiety to the German Government about the
situation. His assurance - which I now put in as Document D-
635, and it will be Exhibit GB 242, on Page 73 of the
English document book - his assurance was published in the
"New York Times" on 28 March, 1933, and it contained the
following sentence, which I read from about the middle of
the page. This document is the last but one in the German
document book.

"Reports circulated in America and received here with
indignation about alleged tortures of political prisoners
and mistreatment of Jews, deserve strongest repudiation.
Hundreds of thousands of Jews, irrespective of nationality,
who have not taken part in political activities, are living
here entirely unmolested."

This is a characteristic -

DR. KUBUSCHOK (Counsel for von Papen): The article in the
"New York Times" goes back to a telegram of the accused von
Papen, which is contained in the document book one page
ahead. The English translation has the date of 27 March.
This date is an error. The German text which I received
shows that it is a question of a week-end letter, which,
according to the figures on the German document, was sent on
25 March. This difference in time is of particular
importance for the following reason

In effect, on 25 March nothing was yet known concerning the
Jewish boycott, which Goebbels then announced for 1 April.
The accused von Papen could, therefore, on 25 March, point
to these then comparatively few smaller incidents, as he
does in the telegram. In any case, the conclusion of the
Indictment, that the contents of the telegram were a lie,
thereby fails.

THE PRESIDENT: Major Barrington, have you the original of

MAJOR BARRINGTON: The original is here, my Lord, yes. It is
quite correct that there are some figures at the top, which,
though I had not recognised it, might indicate that it was
dispatched on the 25th.

THE PRESIDENT: And when was the meeting of the cabinet which
approved the policy of persecution of the Jews?

MAJOR BARRINGTON: Well, my Lord, I cannot say. It was
sometime within the last few days of March, but it might
have been on the 26th. I can have that checked up.


DR. KUBUSCHOK: May I clarify that matter by saying that the
cabinet meeting in which the Jewish question was discussed
took place at a much later date, and that in this cabinet
meeting, cabinet members, among others the accused von
Papen, condemned the Jewish boycott. I shall submit the
minutes of the meeting as soon as my motion has been

THE PRESIDENT: I do not know what you mean by your motion
being granted. Does counsel for the prosecution say whether
he persists in his allegation or whether he withdraws it?

MAJOR BARRINGTON: I will say this. Subject to checking the
date when the cabinet meeting took place

THE PRESIDENT: Well, you can do that at the adjournment and
let us know in the morning.

MAJOR BARRINGTON: If your Lordship pleases.

                                                  [Page 103]

At this point I will just say this: That it was, as the
Tribunal has already heard, common knowledge at the time
that the Nazi policy was anti-Jewish, and Jews were already
in concentration camps. So I will leave it to the Tribunal
to infer that at the time when that radiogram was sent,
which I am prepared to accept as being 25 March, von Papen
did not know of this policy of boycotting.

I will go further now that I am on this point, and I will
say that von Papen was indeed himself a supporter of the
anti-Jewish policy, and as evidence of this I will put in
Document 2830-PS, which is on Page 37A of the document book,
and which I now introduce as Exhibit GB 243.

This is a letter, my Lord, written by von Papen from Vienna
on 12 May, 1936 to Hitler on the subject of the
Freiheitsbund. Paragraph 4 of the English text is as

   "The following incident is interesting. The Czech
   Legation secretary Dohalsky has made to Mr. Staud,
   leader of the Freedom Union, an offer to make available
   to the Freedom Union every desired amount from the Czech
   Government which he would need for the strengthening of
   his fight against the Heimwehr. His only condition is
   that the Freedom Union should guarantee to take a stand
   directed against Germany. Mr. Staud has simply refused
   this offer. It is shown by that how, even in the enemy's
   camp, there is one who already evaluates the new
   grouping of forces. From that arises the further
   necessity for us to support, as before, this movement
   financially, and especially in reference to the
   continuation of its fight against Jewry."

DR. KUBUSCHOK: I must point out here a difficulty which has
apparently been caused by the translation. In the original
German text the word "in reference" are used in regard to
the transmittal in the following way:

"In reference to the continuation of its fight against
Jewry." These words "in reference" mean here that under this
heading the money must be transmitted, although this was not
the real purpose, for the Austrian Freiheitsbund (Freedom
Union) was not an anti-Semitic movement but a legal trade
union, to which Chancellor Dollfuss also belonged. This
expression "in reference" means only that the transmittal of
the money demanded a covering designation, because it was
not permissible to transmit money from abroad to a party
recognised by the State, for any party purposes, as is shown
by the rejected offer of the Czechoslovaks. I only wanted to
point out here that the words "in reference" perhaps give a
wrong impression and should rather be translated
"referring". In any case, I should like to point out that
this "in reference" was a kind of camouflage for the
transmittal of the money.

THE PRESIDENT: I do not know to which word you are
referring, but as I understand it the only purpose of
referring to this letter was to prove that in it von Papen
was suggesting that a certain organisation should be
financially assisted in its fight against Jewry. That is the
only purpose of referring to the letter. I do not know what
you mean about some word being wrongly translated.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: That is exactly how the error originated. The
money was not transmitted to fight Jewry, for that was not
at all the purpose of this Christian Trade Union in Austria,
but a certain designation for the transmittal of the money
had to be devised, so this continuation of its fight against
Jewry was used. The purpose therefore was not the fight
against Jewry, but the elimination, through financial
support, of another foreign influence, namely that of

THE PRESIDENT: I should have thought myself that the point
which might have been taken against the prosecution was that
the letter was dated nearly 3 years after the time with
which you were then dealing.

                                                  [Page 104]

MAJOR BARRINGTON: That is so, my Lord; it was not at the
time of the previous one.

THE PRESIDENT: No, the previous one was marked 1933, and
this was 1936.

MAJOR BARRINGTON: Yes. I only put it in, My Lord, to show
what von Papen's position was by then, at any rate. If your
Lordship has any doubt as to the translation I would suggest
that it might now be translated by the interpreter. We have
the German text, a photostat.

THE PRESIDENT: I think you can have it translated again
tomorrow; if necessary, you can have it gone into again


I come now to the Catholic Church. The Nazi treatment of the
Church has been fully dealt with by the United States
Prosecution. In this particular field von Papen, a prominent
lay Catholic, helped to consolidate the Nazi position both
at home and abroad, as perhaps no one else could have done.

In dealing with the persecution of the Church, Colonel
Wheeler read to the Tribunal Hitler's assurance given to the
Church on 23 March 1933 in Hitler's speech on the Enabling
Act, an assurance which resulted in the well-known Fulda
Declaration of the German Bishops, also quoted by Colonel
Wheeler. That was Document 3387-PS, which was Exhibit USA
566. This deceitful assurance of Hitler's appears to have
been made at the suggestion of von Papen eight days earlier
at the Reich Cabinet meeting at which the Enabling Act was
discussed, on 15 March, 1933. I refer to Document 2962-PS,
which is exhibit USA 578, and it is on Page 40 of the
English document book. I read from Page 44, that is at the
bottom of Page 6 of the German text. The minutes say:

The Deputy of the Reich Chancellor and Reich Kommissar for
Prussia stated that it was of decisive importance to co-
ordinate into the new State the masses standing behind the
parties. The question of the incorporation of political
Catholicism into the new State was of particular

That was a statement made by von Papen at the meeting at
which the Enabling Act was discussed, prior to Hitler's
speech on the Enabling Act in which he gave his assurance to
the Church.

On 20 July 1933 Papen signed the Reich Concordat negotiated
by him with the Vatican. The Tribunal has already taken
judicial notice of this as Document 3280-A-PS. The signing
of the Concordat, like Hitler's Papen-inspired speech on the
Enabling Act, was only an interlude in the church policy of
the Nazi conspirators. Their policy of assurances was
followed by a long series of violations which eventually
resulted in Papal denunciation in the Encyclical "Mit
brennender Sorge," which is Document 3476-PS, Exhibit USA

Papen maintains that his actions regarding the Church were
sincere, and he has asserted, during interrogations, that it
was Hitler who sabotaged the Concordat. If von Papen really
believed in the very solemn undertakings given by him on
behalf of the Reich to the Vatican, I submit it is strange
that he, himself a Catholic, should have continued to serve
Hitler after all those violations and even after the Papal
Encyclical itself. I will go further. I will say that Papen
was himself involved in what was virtually, if not
technically, a violation of the Concordat. The Tribunal will
recollect the Allocution of the Pope, dated 2 June 1945,
which is Document 3268-PS, Exhibit USA 356, from which, on
Page 1647 of the transcript Colonel Storey read the Pope's
own summary of the Nazis' bitter struggle against the
Church. (Part 3, p. 50). The very first item the Pope
mentioned was the dissolution of Catholic organisations and,
if the Tribunal will look at Document 3376-PS on Page 56 of
the English document book, which I now put in as Exhibit GB
244 and which is an extract

                                                  [Page 105]

from "Das Archiv," they will see that in September, 1934 von
Papen ordered - and I say "ordered" advisedly - the
dissolution of the Union of Catholic Germans, of which he
was at the time the leader. The text of "Das Archiv" reads
as follows:

   "The Reich Directorate of the Party announces the self-
   dissolution of the Union of Catholic Germans.
   Since the Reich Directorate of the Party, through its
   Department for Cultural Peace, directly, and to an
   increasing extent, administers all cultural problems and
   those concerning the relationship of State and Churches,
   the tasks at first delegated in the Union of Catholic
   Germans are now included in those of the Reich
   Directorate of the Party in the interest of a stronger
   Former Vice-Chancellor von Papen, up to now the Leader
   of the Union of Catholic Germans, declared, about the
   dissolution of this organisation, that it was done upon
   his suggestion, since the attitude of the National
   Socialist State toward the Christian and Catholic Church
   had been explained often and unequivocally through the
   Leader and Chancellor himself."

I said that von Papen "ordered" the dissolution, although
the announcement said it was self-dissolution on his
suggestion, but I submit that such a suggestion from one in
Papen's position was equivalent to an order, since by that
date it was common knowledge that the Nazis were dropping
all pretence that rival organisations might be permitted to

After nine months' service under Hitler, spent in
consolidating the Nazi control, von Papen was evidently well
content with his choice. I refer to Document 3375-PS, Page
54 of the English document book, which I put in as Exhibit
GB 245. On 2 November 1933, speaking at Essen from the same
platform as Hitler and Gauleiter Terboven, in the course of
the campaign for the Reichstag election and the referendum
concerning Germany's leaving the League of Nations, von
Papen declared:

   "Ever since Providence called upon me to become the
   pioneer of national resurrection and the rebirth of our
   homeland, I have tried to support with all my strength
   the work of the National Socialist Movement and its
   leader; and just as I at the time of taking over the
   Chancellorship" - that was in 1932 - "advocated paving
   the way to power for the young fighting liberation
   movement, just as I on 30 January was selected by a
   gracious fate to put the hands of our Chancellor and
   Fuehrer into the hand of our beloved Field Marshal, so
   do I today again feel the obligation to say to the
   German people and all those who have kept confidence in
   The good Lord has blessed Germany by giving it in times
   of deep distress a leader who will lead it through all
   distresses and weaknesses, through all crises and
   moments of danger, with the sure instinct of the
   statesman, into a happy future."

And then the last sentence of the whole text on Page 55;

   "Let us in this hour say to the Fuehrer of the new
   Germany that we believe in him and
   his work."

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