The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1998/04/22

                       FIFTY-FIRST DAY
                 TUESDAY, 5TH FEBRUARY, 1946
                                                   (Page 65)
THE MARSHAL: May it please the Court, I desire to announce
that the defendant Kaltenbrunner will be absent from this
morning's session on account of illness.

M. FAURE (Counsel for France): One of the attorneys would
like to address the Tribunal.

DR. LATERNSER (Counsel for the General Staff): On behalf of
the organisations I represent, I make application that the
testimony of the witness who was heard yesterday should be
stricken from the record for this reason: That the witness
made declarations, firstly, concerning the alleged wanton
destruction of the library in Louvain; secondly, concerning
the treatment of the inhabitants of the country during the
Rundstedt offensive.

THE PRESIDENT: Wait a minute. I did not hear that last
translation. I thought I heard "he made declarations
concerning the destruction of the Louvain library," and then ----

THE INTERPRETER: Concerning the German treatment of the
inhabitants of the country during the Runstedt offensive.

DR. LATERNSER: And secondly, in so far as he made statements
regarding the treatment of the inhabitants, which led him to
the conclusion that orders to this effect must have been
received from higher quarters.

I wish that this testimony should be stricken from the
Record for these reasons: Firstly, as regards yesterday's
testimony there was no question of testimony by a witness. A
witness should base his testimony on his own knowledge,
which can be based only on his own observations. These
prerequisites are not present in the points to which
objection is made. For the most part, the witness repeated
statements made by other people, some of them actually made
by people whom he himself did not know. The knowledge of
this witness can consequently be ascribed in part only to a
study of the documents.

Secondly, every second person is in a position to give
similar testimony as soon as the documents to which this
witness had access are put at his disposal; and if he is
also in a position to talk to the people to whom the witness
talked and who gave him his information.

It is consequently proved that this witness, van der Essen,
was not a genuine witness at all, because such a witness
cannot be replaced by every second person who may happen to
come along,

Thirdly, although the high Tribunal, in accordance with
Article 19 of the Charter, is not bound by the ordinary
rules of evidence, this evidence must be rejected, because
it has no probative value which can be determined by the
Court. This emerges of necessity from the fact that the
sources of the witness's testimony cannot be evaluated.

I regard it as my duty to point out that the introduction of
such indirect proof cannot lead to the discovery of the
truth regarding the points in dispute.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal would like to hear, M. Faure,
what you have to say in answer to the motion which has just
been made.

M. FAURE: Gentlemen, your Honours, I should like, first of
all, to
observe that, as already indicated by the counsel who has
just spoken, the Charter of

                                                   [Page 66]
this Tribunal provides that it shall not be bound by the
formal rules concerning the burden of proof. But, apart from
this, I consider that counsel's objection cannot be upheld,
this objection being based on three considerations which he
has enumerated, but which, as I understand, boil down to one
single objection, namely, that this witness was an indirect

I would like to emphasize the fact that I called Mr. van der
Essen as a witness for the precise reason that he was a
member of the official governmental Belgian Commission of
Inquiry into the Study and Research of War Crimes.

It is in conformity with all legal procedure with which I
personally am acquainted that a person who has made
investigations in connection with criminal matters may be
called before a court of justice to state the conditions
under which the inquiry was made and the results arrived at.
It is therefore not necessary that the witness who has just
testified regarding an investigation should have been
himself an eye-witness of the criminal activities which this
investigation is intended to bring to light.

Mr.  van  der Essen, therefore, in my opinion, testified  to
facts of which he has personal knowledge, to wit: as regards
the  matter of Stavelot, he stated that he himself had heard
witnesses  and  that he verified the authenticity  of  these

As  concerns  the  matter  of the  Library  of  Louvain,  he
testified  as  to the existing minutes of the commission  of
which he is a regular member.

I add that this procedure appears to me to have the
advantage of avoiding the need to call a large number of
individual witnesses to the witness stand. However, in order
to have every possible guarantee regarding the facts laid
before the Tribunal in evidence, I have decided to bring
here the briefs and the texts of the testimonies to which
the witness referred. I shall then be able to communicate to
the defence the affidavit of the witnesses who were
mentioned yesterday, and I think that this will give the
defence ample guarantee.

I therefore ask the Tribunal to reject the objection as far
as the admissibility of testimony is concerned, it being
understood that the defence will pronounce upon the value
and probative force of this testimony as it sees fit.

THE PRESIDENT: M. Faure, you said something about the
affidavits of witnesses which you would furnish to the
defendant's counsel. I understand that you intended also to
put in the governmental report or the committee's report
with reference to which the witness had testified, did you

M. FAURE: Yes, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: But you intended also, as a matter of
courtesy, to furnish the affidavits which were before that
committee to the defendants' counsel; is that what you mean?

M. FAURE: Yes, if this meets with the approval of the

THE PRESIDENT: The governmental report, I suppose, does not
actually annex the affidavits, does it?

M. FAURE: Yes, Mr. President, precisely.

THE PRESIDENT: It does? The affidavits are part of the
report, are they?

M. FAURE: The report which was submitted does not contain
the elements on which the witness depended yesterday with
regard to certain points, because the investigation on
Stavelot was very long and very conscientious and no resume
was made at that time.

I said, therefore, that I proposed to submit these
complementary elements as evidence and in this way to
communicate them to the defence.

THE PRESIDENT: That is what I thought; that is to say, the
report did not contain all the details which were in the
affidavits or evidence?


THE PRESIDENT: Therefore, you thought it right, as a matter
of courtesy, to allow the defendants' counsel to see those
details upon which the report proceeded. The Tribunal
understands that.

                                                   [Page 67]
The Tribunal will consider the motion which has been made at
a later stage. You can now proceed with your argument.

M. FAURE: Your Honours, I should like, first of all, to
point out to the Tribunal that since a certain amount of
time has been given to witnesses and discussions, and as I
do not wish to exceed the time limit which was announced, I
am compelled to shorten to a considerable extent the
presentation of the brief which I am now presenting on the
subject of propaganda. I shall therefore ask the Tribunal
kindly to excuse me if I occasionally hesitate during this
presentation, inasmuch as I shall not follow my brief

I indicated yesterday the method employed by the Germans
with regard to the freedom of public meetings and of
association, which they suppressed. When they did uphold
these rights, they exploited them to their own advantage. I
should like now to say something about books and publishing.

The German authorities, first of all, issued an ordinance on
30th August, 1940, published in the Official Journal of 16th
September, forbidding certain school books in France. We
have already seen that they had done the same thing in

Another step taken by the Germans was to prohibit a certain
number of books of which they disapproved. I present in this
connection Exhibit RF 1103, which is the "Otto" list,
published in September, 1940. It is a list of 1,075 volumes
forbidden by the Germans. I shall not, of course, read it to
the Tribunal.

A second "Otto" list, longer than the first, was drawn up
later and published on 8th July, 1942, and I present it as
Exhibit RF 1104. The conclusion of this second document,
which is the last page in my document book, gives a clear
indication of the principles on which the German authorities
worked. I read a few lines:

     "As a matter of principle, all translations of English
     books, except the English Classics, are withdrawn from
     sale"; and, further, "All books by Jewish authors, as
     well as books in which Jews have collaborated, are to
     be withdrawn from sale with the exception of works of a
     scientific nature, where special measures are
     anticipated. From now on, biographies of Jews, even if
     written by French Aryans -- as, for instance, the
     biographies of the Jewish musicians Offenbach,
     Meyerbeer, Darius, Milhaud, etc. -- are to be withdrawn
     from sale."
This method of procedure may have appeared fairly harmless
at first, since only about 1,200 volumes were involved, but
one can see the significance of the principle itself.

By this procedure the German authorities achieved the
practical result they sought, which was essentially, apart
from other prohibitions, the complete disappearance of
serious and objective works permitting a study of German
doctrines, the policy of Germany, and the philosophy of

Apart from prohibiting works already existing, the Germans
naturally established a censorship. At first they proceeded
in a veiled manner by making a kind of agreement with
publishers in which the publishers themselves were made
responsible for indicating which of the books on their lists
appeared to them to be subject to censorship. I submit this
censorship agreement as Exhibit RF 1105, and I wish, without
reading it, to make an observation with regard to certain
action, which is highly characteristic of the invariable
German method.

In the printed brochure of this agreement, which is
submitted in the original, there appears, in addition to the
agreement itself, a notice drafted in terms which do not
reflect French feeling. This notice was not drafted by the
publishers upon whom the agreement itself was imposed, but
was drafted by the Germans and published in the same
brochure, which bears the words: "National Syndicate of
Publishers," so that one might think that the French
publishers accepted the phrases occurring in this preamble.
For that matter, the attentive

                                                   [Page 68]
reader has only to see that this brochure does not bear the
printer's name to realize that this is a German publication
and not one put out by French publishers, for only the
Germans were exempted from the French rule requiring mention
of the printer's name.

The Germans did not limit themselves to this procedure,
which was, apparently, rather too liberal; and later an
ordinance of 27th April, 1942, entitled, "Concerning the
Rational Use of Printing Paper," was published in the
Official Journal of 13th May. This ordinance decreed, on
pretext of the rational utilisation of paper, that all
publications, without exemption, should bear the German
authorisation number.

I point out also that in their control of paper the Germans
had a very effective weapon with which to put a stop to
French publishing. I submit as Exhibit RF 1106 the affidavit
of M. Marcel Rives, Director of Internal Commerce at the
Ministry of Industrial Production. In order to shorten the
proceedings I shall not read this document. I may say
shortly it makes it clear that the distribution of available
paper stocks was made entirely under the authority of the
Germans, and that the Germans reduced the amount of paper
placed at the disposal of publishers in a proportion
exceeding that of the general reduction in paper quotas as
compared with the pre-war situation.

I must add that the Germans also took for their own
propaganda publication a certain amount of the reduced paper
quota allotted to the French publishers. Thus, they not only
used for their propaganda the paper which they themselves
had in Germany, but they also took some of the small amount
of paper which they allotted to the French publishers. I
should like to read, in this connection, just a few lines of
the document which constitutes Appendix 2 of this exhibit,
which I have just submitted. I merely read a few lines of
this appendix, which is a letter from the German Military
Command to the Ministry of National Economy, dated 28th
June, 1943:

     "More especially during the month of March, which you
     particularly mention, it has been impossible to allot
     the publishers any quantity from current production, as
     this was needed for urgent propaganda purposes."

The other aspect of this German activity in the publishing
sphere was, in fact, the carrying on of an intensive
propaganda by means of all kinds of pamphlets and
publications. This propaganda literature is extremely
tedious. I should like to mention only one detail, which
shows the method of camouflage always employed by the Nazis.
I have here a few German propaganda pamphlets which I shall
submit, without reading them, as Exhibit RF 1106-bis. The
first of these is part of a series entitled "England
Unmasked." The first numbers of this series, taken at
random, have on the fly-leaf, "Office of German Information,
England Unmasked, No., etc." No attempt at concealment is
made; and the reader knows what he has before him. But by
some curious accident, No. 11 in the same series no longer
bears the words, "German Office of Information," and we see
instead, "International Publishing House, Brussels." Here
again, however, we are warned of its origin, for the
author's name is Reinhard Wolf, and this is a German name.

But here, by way of a final example, is a pamphlet entitled
"The Pact against Europe," which is also published by the
International Publishing House, Brussels. We know, after
seeing the other specimens, that this publishing house is
only a firm attached to the German (propaganda) office; but
people who are not so well informed may believe the pamphlet
to be a French or Belgian compilation, for in this case the
name of the author is Jean Dubreuil.

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