The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Archive/File: imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-06/tgmwc-06-56.06
Last-Modified: 1997/11/12
                                                  [Page 233]
DR. NELTE (counsel for defendant Keitel): I would like to
ask the Tribunal for a ruling as to a general question of
submission of evidence. The Soviet delegation has submitted
books which contain statements by generals and statesmen,
without these statements being accompanied by an official
remark by the Soviet authorities.

The documents which have been given to me to-day -- USSR
149, 150 and 294 -- are only photostats of handwritten
manuscripts. They contain neither a marking which could
qualify them as affidavits, nor do they represent
testimonies taken before a Soviet official or officer, nor
do they represent governmental or official declarations.

I should be grateful to the Tribunal if it would make a
decision on this question in accordance with Article 21 of
the Charter. The opinion of the defence counsel is that such
statements have only the value of a personal presentation by
the prosecution but no probative value.

THE PRESIDENT: May I see the documents?

The Tribunal have no objection to the course taken by Dr.
Nelte in drawing their attention to these documents at this
stage. But they think it will be better for them to wait
until the documents are actually offered in evidence before
they consider whether or not they will admit them. If and
when the documents are offered in evidence, they will then
consider whether they will admit them or not.

COL. POKROVSKY: With the permission of the Tribunal, I wish
to present Major General Zorya, State Councillor of Justice
of the 3rd Class, who will present the evidence on the
following theme of "Aggression against the Soviet Union."

DR. LATERNSER (Counsel for the General Staff): I should like
to point out that the decision of the Tribunal, that every
defendant's counsel should receive, sufficiently in advance,
a copy of all documents which are to be submitted as
evidence in the course of the proceedings, has not been
complied with. It is, therefore, difficult for the defence
to follow the proceedings because the documents submitted
have not been distributed in sufficient quantity.

THE PRESIDENT: I don't think the Tribunal have ever imposed
upon the prosecution the duty of supplying a copy of every
document to every member of defendants' counsel.

You no doubt have before you a copy of the Tribunal's order
upon the subject, and I believe that the order is posted
upon the board in the defendants' Information Center. If I
remember correctly, it is, that a certain No. of originals
or photostatic copies shall be deposited in the Information
Center, and that a certain No. of copies of the documents
shall be supplied to the defendants' counsel, and that, for
the rest, the defendants' counsel must rely upon the fact
that every document or part of a document which is put in
evidence is read in open court and, therefore, comes through
the earphones to defendants' counsel and will appear in the
shorthand notes. We have provided that copies of the
shorthand notes shall be supplied to defendants' counsel as
soon as possible after the day on which the evidence is
given. Beyond that we have not thought it right to impose a
duty upon the prosecution to supply documents to the
defendants' counsel.

                                                  [Page 234]
Is that not in accordance with your recollection?

DR. LATERNSER: Mr. President, the American prosecution, the
British prosecution and also the French prosecution, in the
course of the proceedings, handled this in such a way that
enough copies of all documents were made available to the
defence for each defendant's counsel to have one copy before
him. I believe that what is possible for the other
prosecutions should also be possible for the Soviet
prosecution, in order to facilitate the work.

THE PRESIDENT: That is a belief on your part which is not
strictly in accordance with the Tribunal's orders. The
Tribunal has not made that order, and it may be that the
United States and Great Britain have gone beyond the
Tribunal's orders, and have supplied a copy to each
defendant's counsel. But, as I say, the Tribunal has not as
yet seen fit to impose that duty upon the prosecution.

I suppose you don't really know exactly how many copies of
these Soviet documents have been deposited in the
Information Center?

DR. LATERNSER: I don't know the exact No.. At any rate,
there were not enough for each defendant's counsel to get a
copy of each document, as was the case, so far, with the
other prosecutions.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, you no doubt understand the very great
difficulties of making translations and making copies. I am
sure that the Soviet prosecutors will do everything in their
power to assist defendants' counsel, but, as I say, we have
not imposed upon the prosecution the duty of supplying one
copy of a translation into German of each document for each
defendants' counsel. I can only express the hope that the
Soviet prosecutors will do the best they can.

DR. LATERNSER: Mr. President, I remember, when the fact
became known that the press had received 250 copies of the
documents, you, Mr. President, expressed the opinion that it
should then also be possible to distribute 25 copies to the
defendants' counsel. That was, at that time, the opinion of
the Tribunal.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal's orders on this subject are in
writing and you will find them in the defendants'
Information Center. I have stated my recollection of them;
if I am wrong, you can bring me a copy of the document and I
will withdraw my statement.

MAJOR-GENERAL ZORYA:  May it please your Honours, it is my
task to present the documentary evidence dealing with the
aggression against the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics,
organised by the Fascist war criminals now sitting in the

This charge of the crime, mentioned in sub-paragraph (a),
Article 6 of the Charter of the International Military
Tribunal, was formulated in paragraph 6, Section 4, Count 1,
of the Indictment in the present case, and in Section IV of
the opening statement by the Chief Prosecutor from the
U.S.S.R., General Rudenko.

Among the many criminal wars which German Fascism, with
predatory aims, waged against the freedom-loving nations,
the attack on the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics
occupies a place by itself.

It can be safely said that the predatory war against the
Soviet Union was the keynote of the entire Fascist
conspiracy against the world. The aggressive actions on the
part of German Fascism committed prior to the attack on the
U.S.S.R., and in part the German aggression against
Czechoslovakia, Poland and Yugoslavia, were, as has been
demonstrated by my colleague, Colonel Pokrovsky, merely
stages on the road to the attack on the Soviet Union.

Ukrainian wheat and coal from the Don Basin, nickel from the
Kola Peninsula, and oil from the Caucasus, the fertile
steppes o the pre-Volga region and the forests of
Byelorussia all played a decisive part in the criminal
schemes of the Fascist aggressors.

The war against the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics
was also waged by Fascist Germany with the intent of
enslaving and exploiting the Soviet peoples.

                                                  [Page 235]

In the war of Fascist Germany against the Soviet Union, the
animal hatred of the Hitlerites against the Slav peoples
found its full horrifying expression.

And finally, German imperialism, appearing in its Fascist
guise, saw in the seizure of the wealth of the Soviet Union
and in its incalculable resources of food and raw materials
a base for the realisation of their far-reaching aggressive
aims to achieve, first, ascendancy over Europe, and, later
on, ascendancy over the whole world.

The well-known formula of German imperialism, "Drang nach
Osten," mentioned in the opening statement of the Chief
Prosecutor of the U.S.S.R., was at different times and in
many different ways disguised by the Fascist criminals, but
always, in all their aggressive plans, pride of place was
given to the attack on the Soviet Union.

     "If new territory is desired" wrote Hitler in his book,
     "Mein Kampf," in substance it can be secured at the
     expense of Russia. The new empire must move along the
     paths trodden by the knights of old." (Hitler, Adolf,
     Mein Kampf, Munich edition, 1930, Page 742.)

The fact that, having definitely brought Fascist aggression
to a head in 1939, Hitler began the war in the West, did not
substantially change anything in this basic conception of

Under Document 789-PS the American prosecution submitted to
the Tribunal the transcript of the conference held on 23rd
November, 1939, between Hitler and the members of the German
High Command.

At this conference, Hitler, according to his own expression,
gave a "survey of the thoughts influencing him in connection
with the events to come."

In the course of this survey he declared -- you will find
the passage I am now reading on Page 3 in the document book
lying on the table of the Tribunal:

     "For a long time I hesitated whether I should not begin
     with an attack in the East, and only then with the one
     in the West. It came about by force of events that for
     the immediate future the East dropped out of the
     picture." (Page 2 of the Russian text.)
This statement by Hitler bore witness to the fact that the
attack on the Soviet Union remained within the plans of
Fascist aggression, and the whole question was reduced only
to the problem of selecting the most favorable moment for
this attack.

It should be noted that this "Western" version of the start
of Fascist aggression was not considered as the most
favorable version by the authors of the aggression.

This same Hitler, exactly five months prior to the above-
mentioned conference, at another conference of 23rd May,
1939 (Document 79-L), while briefing his accomplices on the
present situation and political aims, had said (the passage
I am now quoting is Page 6 of the document book):

     "If fate forces us into a conflict with the West, it
     would be desirable that we, by that time, possess more
     expanse in the East."
The vast expanses in the East, according to the aspirations
of Hitler's conspirators, were to play a decisive part
during the conflict in the West.

Therefore, when the Fascist hordes were unable to force the
Channel, stopped at its shores and were obliged to seek new
ways of aggression, the conspirators immediately began to
prepare for an attack on the Soviet Union. This attack was
the basis of all their plans of aggression, without which
they could not materialise.

I believe it is not necessary to refer to documents of an
earlier period, and particularly to quote any further from
Hitler's book, "Mein Kampf," where questions connected with
the predatory attack on the Soviet Union were formulated
long before 1939.

                                                  [Page 236]
This book has already been presented to the Tribunal, and
relevant passages from it were quoted as evidence by our
American and British colleagues.

The Soviet prosecution desires to submit to the Tribunal a
series of documents which bear witness to the fact that the
aggression of Fascist Germany against the Union of Soviet
Socialist Republics was committed with malice aforethought.

Among these documents there are files from various archives
captured by units of the advancing Red Army, statements by
Fascist leaders published in the Press, including those by
several of the defendants, and depositions by persons who
were in possession of reliable information as to how the
preparations for the attack on the Soviet Union were
actually carried out.

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