The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-09/tgmwc-09-88.01


Archive/File: imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-09/tgmwc-09-88.01
Last-Modified: 1999/12/7

                                                  [Page 332]

EIGHTY-EIGHTH DAYFRIDAY, 22ND MARCH, 1946DR. SERVATIUS
(counsel for the Leadership Corps): Mr. President, yesterday
I received the translation of Document D-728; it is the
document which yesterday was objected to as being incorrect.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes.

DR. SERVATIUS I request to have this retranslated, since
this translation is considerably different from the original
wording and, in particular, fails to make clear where the
mistakes are which led to the objection against the
document. On the first page of that document there are about
20 to 30 objections to be made. The translator, since he
could not realise the importance of the document, translated
it quickly without emphasising the decisive points. A
careful translation ought to be made, which would enable us
to get an idea of the original document. I am fully aware of
what the difficulties are.

THE PRESIDENT: Certainly, the translation shall be checked
by a different translator, or, if you like, by two different
translators.

DR. SERVATIUS : May I ask to have a new translation made for
comparison, since the version which we have here is also
evidence of the fact that the original contains considerable
mistakes.

THE PRESIDENT: Certainly it shall be checked and
retranslated.

DR. SERVATIUS: Then, I request further that the opinion of
an expert on the German language be obtained. This opinion
will show that the author of this document has not complete
knowledge of the German language and that it must have been
drawn up by someone who was a foreigner. I do not want to
give detailed reasons but I would like to make this motion
in writing.

THE PRESIDENT: I think you must certainly make a written
application about that.

DR. SERVATIUS : I shall submit it in writing.

HERMANN WILHELM GOERING: CROSS-EXAMINATION - continued

BY GENERAL RUDENKO:

Q. Defendant Goering, in your statement you said that the
attack on Poland was perpetrated after the bloody happenings
in the town of Bromberg.

A. I said that the date for the attack was set due to the
bloody events which included, in addition to many other
incidents, the bloody Sunday at Bromberg.

Q. Do you know that these events happened on 3rd September,
1939?

A. I might have made a mistake regarding the date of
Bromberg; I would have to see the documents about that. I
merely quoted that as one example among a lot of others.

GENERAL RUDENKO: It is understandable. The attack was
perpetrated on 1st September, and the events in the town of
Bromberg, which you just mentioned to the Tribunal, happened
on 3rd September, 1939. I submit to the Tribunal the
documentary evidence issued by the High Commission for the
Investigation of German Crimes in Poland, which is duly
certified in accordance with Article 21 of the Charter. From
this testimony it is clear that the events about which the
defendant Goering here is testifying happened on 3rd
September, 1939. That is to say, on the third day after the
attack by Germany on Poland.

THE PRESIDENT: You can put the document to the witness, if
you want to.

                                                  [Page 333]

GENERAL RUDENKO: I have no German text. I have it in English
and in Russian. I have just received this document. It is
dated 19th March, and I will submit it to the Tribunal as
conclusive evidence to prove this fact.

THE PRESIDENT: I do not think this is the appropriate time
to put in  documents in that way, but, very well, you can
submit the document now if you like.
GENERAL RUDENKO: Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: It must be translated into German, of course.
GENERAL RUDENKO: I have no German translation of this
document.
THE PRESIDENT: It has to be translated into German in order
that defendant's counsel may see it.
GENERAL RUDENKO: We will do that without fail.

DR. STAHMER (counsel for the defendant Goering): Mr.
President, may I ask to have the document read now - it is
only a short memorandum - so that we can hear immediately
what is contained in it?
THE PRESIDENT: Very well. Will you read it into the record,
General Rudenko?

  GENERAL RUDENKO: Yes, Sir. It is very short:"Certificate
  based on the investigation performed by the Polish Legal
  Authority. The High Commission for the Investigation of
  German Crimes in Poland certifies that the so-called
  Bloody Sunday in the town of Bromberg took place on 3rd
  September, 1939, that is to say, three days after the
  time when Poland was subjected to the German attack.
  
  On 3rd September, 1939, at 10. 15 hours in the morning,
  the German Forces attacked the Polish Army which was
  retreating from Bromberg. During the defensive engagement
  by retreating Polish detachments, 238 Polish soldiers and
  223 German Fifth Columnists were killed. After the German
  troops had entered the town of Bromberg they began mass
  executions, arrests, and deportations to concentration
  camps of Polish citizens, carried out by the German
  authorities, the S.S., and the Gestapo. As a consequence,
  there were 10,500 murdered and 13,000 who were
  exterminated in the camps.
  
  This certificate is an official document of the Polish
  Government and is submitted to the International Military
  Tribunal in accordance with Article 21 of the Charter of
  8th August, 1945.
  Stephan Kurovski, a member of the High Commission for the
  Investigation of German Crimes in Poland."

I should like to prove by this document that the events
regarding which the defendant Goering gave testimony
happened after the attack by Germany on Poland.

THE WITNESS: I am not sure whether we are both referring to
the same event.

BY GENERAL RUDENKO:

Q. I am speaking about the events in the town of Bromberg.
You spoke about them.
A. Maybe two different events took place in Bromberg.
Q. It is quite possible.
I pass on to the following question:
Is it known to you that there was an order by the O.K.W.
regarding the branding of Soviet prisoners of war, and what
are your views on that order?
A. That order is not known to me, and no representative of
the Air Force was present at this preliminary discussion, as
I have ascertained here from the records.

Q. I am interested in the fact of whether you knew about
this or not. The orders are quite clear.
A. No.
                                                  [Page 334]
Q. Do you know that the German Command ordered that Soviet
war prisoners and Soviet citizens had to be used for
clearing mine-fields and removing bombs that had not
exploded, etc? Do you know about that?

A. I know that Russian prisoners of war who were engineers
had to clear the mines which they had laid. To what extent
the civilian population was employed for that purpose I do
not know. But it was possible they were so used.

Q. It is quite clear.

Do you know about an order regarding the destruction of the
towns of Leningrad, Moscow, and other towns of the Soviet
Union?

A. In my presence the destruction of Leningrad was discussed
only in the document which was mentioned yesterday, in the
sense that the Finns, in case of capture of Leningrad, would
have no use for such a big city. Of the destruction of
Moscow I know nothing at all.

Q. Do you remember the minutes of the meeting? This document
was presented to you - the minutes of the meeting of 16th
July, 1941. You were present at this meeting. It states that
the Fuehrer declared ...

A. I have just mentioned and confirmed that.

Q. Did you speak about this particular document? But,
besides this statement, there were also official orders.

A. Would you be good enough to put them before me, then I
would be able to ascertain whether they are correct and
whether they were known to me.

Q. I have no intention of submitting those documents to you.
They have already been submitted to the Tribunal. I am only
interested in the fact of whether you were aware of those
orders.

A. I received no order to destroy Leningrad or Moscow in the
sense which you have indicated.

Q. All right. You were only told about the "important
happenings." But orders for the destruction of cities, and
murder of millions of men, etc., went through so-called
Service channels.

A. If a town was to have been destroyed by bombing, then
that order would have been given by me directly.

Q. On 8th March, here in the Tribunal, your witness
Bodenschatz stated that you told him in March, 1945, that
many Jews were killed and that "for that you will have to
pay dearly." Do you remember this testimony of your witness?

A. This testimony, in the form in which it is translated
now, I do not recollect at all. The witness Bodenschatz
never said it that way. I ask that the record of the session
be brought in.

Q. How did Bodenschatz say that? Do you remember?

A. That if we lose the war we would have to pay dearly.

Q. Why? For the murders which you had perpetrated?

A. No, quite generally, and after all, we have experienced
just that.

Q. Quite generally. I have a few concluding questions to put
to you.

First of all, regarding the so-called theory of the Master
Race.

I should like to put to you only one question in this
connection and I should like you to reply directly to it.
Were you in accord with this principle of the Master Race
and education of the German people in the spirit of it or
were you not in accord with it?

A. No, and I have also stated that I have never used that
expression either in writing or orally, but I definitely
recognise the differences between races.

Q. But do I understand you correctly that you are not in
accord with this theory?

A. I have never expressed my agreement with the theory that
one race should be considered as a Master Race superior to
the others, but I have emphasised the difference between
races.

                                                  [Page 335]

Q. You can answer this question; apparently you do not
consider it right?

A. I personally do not consider it right.Q. The next
question: You have stated here at the Tribunal that you did
not agree with Hitler regarding the question of annexation
of Czechoslovakia, the Jewish Question, the question of war
with the Soviet Union, the value of the theory of the Master
Race, and the question of shooting of the British airmen who
were prisoners of war. How would you explain that, having
such serious differences, you still thought it possible to
collaborate with Hitler and to carry out his policy?

A. That was not the way I worded my answers. Here, too, we
must consider separately various periods of time. As to the
attack against Russia, there were no basic differences, but
differences as to the date.

Q. You have told us that already. Excuse me; I do not want
you to be lengthy on this theme. Will you reply directly?

A. All right. I may have had a different opinion from that
of my supreme leader, and I may also express my opinion
clearly. If the supreme leader insists on his opinion and I
have sworn allegiance to him, then the discussion comes to
an end, just as is the case elsewhere. I do not think I need
to elaborate that point.

Q. You are not just a simple soldier, as you stated here;
but you have presented yourself also as a statesman?

A. There you are right. I am not only a simple soldier, and
just because I am not a simple soldier but occupied such a
prominent position I had to set an example for the ordinary
soldier by my own attitude as to how the oath of allegiance
should be adhered to strictly.

Q. In other words, you thought it possible, even in spite of
these differences, to collaborate with Hitler?

A. I have emphasised it and I maintain that it is true. My
oath does not only hold good in good times but also in bad
times, although the Fuehrer never threatened me and never
told me that he was afraid for my health.

Q. If you thought it possible to co-operate with Hitler, do
you recognise that, as the second man in Germany, you are
responsible for the organising on a national scale of
murders of millions of innocent people, independently of
whether you know about those facts or not?

Tell me briefly, yes or no.

A. No, because I did not know anything about them and did
not cause them.

Q. I should like to underline again, "whether you knew about
these facts or not."

A. If I actually did not know them, then I cannot be held
responsible for them.

Q. It was your duty to know about these facts.

A. I shall go into that.

Q. I am questioning you. Answer me this question: Was it
your duty to know about these facts?

A. In what way my duty? Either I know the fact or I do not
know it. You can only ask me if I was negligent in failing
to obtain knowledge.

Q. You ought to know yourself better. Millions of Germans
knew about the crimes which were being perpetrated, and you
did not know about them?

A. Neither did millions of Germans know about them. That is
a statement which has in no way been proved.

Q. My last two questions: You stated to the Tribunal that
Hitler's Government brought great prosperity to Germany. Are
you still sure that that is so?

A. Definitely until the beginning of the war. The collapse
was only due to the war being lost.

Q. As a result of which, you brought Germany - as a result
of your politics - to military and political destruction. I
have no more questions.

                                                  [Page 336]
THE PRESIDENT: Does the Chief Prosecutor for France wish to
cross-examine?

M. CHAMPETIER DE RIBES: I ask the Tribunal for permission to
make one very short statement. To fulfil the desire
expressed by the Tribunal and to abbreviate as much as
possible the discussions at this trial, the French
prosecution has come to an agreement with Mr. Justice
Jackson and with Sir David Maxwell Fyfe that the questions
put to the defendant Goering as a witness should only be
those which are considered pertinent.

The questions have been asked and we have heard the answers
of the defendant, as far as it was possible to obtain from
him anything except propaganda speeches. I think the defence
will not be able to complain that its freedom has been
curtailed. It has been able to use its freedom abundantly in
the past twelve sessions without having been able in any way
to weaken the prosecution's overwhelming accusations,
without having been noticeably able to convince anyone that
the second man in the German Reich was in no way responsible
for launching the war or that he knew nothing of the
atrocities committed by the men whom he was so proud to
command.

THE PRESIDENT: You will, no doubt, have the opportunity
later to comment, but the question that I ask you now is
whether you wish to ask the witness definite questions.

M. DE RIBES: Mr. President, I have finished; I have said all
that I wanted to say, that is to say, after all these long
discussions, the French prosecution feels that nothing has
been changed in the crushing accusation which we brought
forth. Consequently, I have no further questions to ask the
defendant.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Stahmer?

RE-EXAMINATION BY DR. STAHMER:

Q. The British prosecution has stated that you issued direct
orders to the Herman Goering Division, during its employment
in Italy, about the fight against the Partisans. Is that
statement correct?

A. No. The Hermann Goering Division was a ground division
and was part of the operational task force of an army and
army group. Consequently, it could never have received
orders for its tactical employment from me, from Berlin or
from my headquarters, which were not on the scene.
Therefore, I could not have given it any orders as to
whether and how it was to be employed in the Partisan war.
Only such orders were given which referred exclusively to
matters of personnel and equipment or which concerned the
internal administration of justice with regard to officers;
nor did the division submit to me daily reports but only -


Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.