The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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THE PRESIDENT: The prosecution?

                                             [Page 280]



Q. Witness, I want to ask you one or two questions
about the Athenia matter. You have told the Tribunal
that you, yourself, saw the American charg‚ d'affaires
and informed him about the middle of September that the
Athenia could not have been sunk by a German U-boat.
That is so, is it not?

A. I did not see the American charge d'affaires in the
middle of September but on the same day on which I
heard of the sinking, and that must have been, perhaps,
the 3rd, 4th or 5th of September.

Q. Were you already assuring the American
representatives as early as that that a U-boat could
not have been responsible?

A. Yes, that is correct.

Q. And did you recommend or, rather, did the German
Foreign Office recommend that the Commander-in-Chief of
the German Navy should receive the American naval
attache and tell him the same thing, namely, that a
U-boat could not have sunk the Athenia?

A. That I don't know. I only dealt with the charge

Q. I would like you to look at a new document, D-804,
which will be Exhibit GB 477, which is an extract from
the SKL file on the Athenia case. You will see that
that is a report from Neubauer to the naval attache and
it reads as follows:

  "The Foreign Office has had a report of the meeting
  between the Commander-in-Chief of the German Navy
  and the American naval attache on 13th September,
  passed on to it by telephone; it is worded as
  follows: 'On 16th September, at about 1300 hours,
  the Commander-in-Chief of  - "

A. I am sorry; I have not found the place yet.

Q. Perhaps you would like to follow the English copy,
witness. I read the second paragraph:

  "On 16th September, at about 1300 hours, the
  Commander-in-Chief of the Navy received the American
  naval attache on the advice of the Reich Foreign
  Minister, and told him more or less the following:
  He had intended for some days to ask him to visit
  him, in order to give him his opinion about the
  sinking of the Athenia, in view of the continued
  agitation about it. However, he had waited for the
  return of those of the submarines that had been
  employed against merchant ships at the time in
  question, in order to receive reports from their
  officers in person. He repeated most emphatically
  that the sinking of the Athenia was not caused by a
  German submarine. The ship nearest to the place of
  the incident was at the time actually about 75
  nautical sea miles away. Besides this, the
  instructions to commanders with reference to methods
  of dealing with merchant shipping had already been
  given. Up to date, in no case had these instructions
  been even slightly disregarded. On the contrary, an
  American captain reported a short time before about
  the particularly courteous and chivalrous behaviour
  of the submarine commanders."

Well, now, it is clear from that, is it not, that the
German Foreign Office was most anxious to cover up this
matter of the Athenia as best it could; was it not?

A. No, there was nothing to be covered up.

Q. When you discovered at the end of September that in
fact it was the U-3o that had sunk the Athenia, there
was then a good deal to be covered up, was there not?

A. I believe that I stated yesterday that I received no
information to that effect.

Q. Are you saying that you did not know at the end of
September, on the return of the U-30, that the U-30 had
in fact sunk the Athenia?

A. I do not remember that in any way at all.

Q. When did you first discover that the U-30 had sunk
the Athenia?

A. (No answer).

                                             [Page 281]

Q. When did you first discover that the U-30 had sunk
the Athenia?

A. According to my recollection, at no time during the

Q. But I understood you to say yesterday that you
thought that the publication in the Volkischer
Beobachter, accusing Mr. Winston Churchill of sinking
the Athenia, was a piece of perverse imagination; is
that right?

A. Completely.

Q. Are you really saying to the Tribunal that - though
you were in a responsible job - are you saying to the
Tribunal that when you were directly concerned in the
Foreign Office with this matter you did not discover
the true facts about the Athenia until the end of the

A. I told you already yesterday what I know about this.
It seems to me that it was realized later by the Navy,
that the sinking of the Athenia was due to the action
of a German submarine: but I cannot at all recall that
either I or the Foreign Office was informed of this

Q. At any rate, the defendant Raeder took no steps to
correct the information that had been passed to the
American diplomatic representatives, did he?

A. I have no recollection of Admiral Raeder advising me
or the Foreign Office to that effect.

Q. Now, with regard to the defendant won Neurath

If it pleases the Tribunal, I am not proposing to
question the witness as to the earlier diplomatic
history, as this Tribunal has indicated that it is
desirable to reserve the matter for the defendants when
they go into the witness-box later.

But I want to ask you a general question. What was the
earliest date at which responsible officials of the
Foreign Office like yourself first realized that Hitler
intended to wage aggressive war?

A. That the foreign policy of Hitler's Government was a
dangerous one, I realized clearly for the first time in
May, 1933; the fact that an aggressive war was planned,
perhaps, in the summer of 1938, or at least that the
course pursued in the foreign policy might very easily
lead to war.

Q. As early as April, 1938, the foreign political
situation was so tense that you sent a special
memorandum to all German diplomatic representatives
dealing with the situation, which had become critical.

A. That may be. May I be permitted to read the

Q. I want you to look at Document 3572-PS, which is a
memorandum of 25th of April, 1938, signed by yourself,
and a copy of which was sent to all the German
diplomatic representatives. It will be Exhibit GB 478.

That document reads:

  "Since the work in the field of preparation for the
  mobilization has made further progress within
  Germany in the Armed Forces and in all civil
  administrations, including the Foreign Office, it is
  necessary now that in the case of government offices
  abroad corresponding measures also be taken in their
  area of jurisdiction without delay."

And then there follows a series of instructions as to
the actions that are to be taken on the commencement of
the period of crisis or of actual mobilization, and
there is an insistence in the last paragraph but one

  "I request the heads of offices, without waiting for
  further instructions, to start examining now the
  measures to be taken into consideration in their
  sphere of activity in the case of a serious
  situation. In the interest of absolute secrecy it
  must be observed strictly that the number of people
  informed remains as restricted as possible."

That suggests, does it not, that as early as April,
1938, you were conscious of the imminent approach of
actual mobilization; is that so?

A. May I ask, is this document really from the year
1938 or is it from 1939? I cannot quite distinguish the

Q. It is dated the 25th April, 1938.

A. Well, that maybe.

                                             [Page 282]

Q. Now, you yourself were opposed to Hitler's
aggressive foreign policy, were you not?

A. I did not quite understand your question.

Q. You yourself were opposed to Hitler's aggressive
foreign policy, were you not?

A. I personally, you mean? Completely.

Q. Did you try to persuade the defendant von Neurath
also to oppose Hitler's aggressive foreign policy?

A. Herr von Neurath was not Foreign Minister at that

Q. But he continued to be a very important functionary
of the Nazi State, did he not?

A. I believe that his influence in that period was even
smaller than before, but I did keep in contact with
him, and I believe that I agreed with his opinion and
he with mine.

Q. And yet he continued to serve the Nazi State, in
particular, in a territory which was acquired as a
result of this policy of aggression; is that not so?

A. I should be grateful if this question would be put
to Herr von Neurath rather than to me.

Q. If you please. Now, you were in Italy and in Rome,
were you not, in March of 1944?

A. Yes.

Q. You have given me some evidence as to the behaviour
of the German forces in Italy. Were you in Rome at the
time of the massacres in the Hadrian Cave? You remember
the incident, witness, do you not?

A. Yes.

Q. When 325 Italians were murdered and fifty-seven Jews
were thrown in as a bit of make-weight. You were there
when that happened, were you not?

A. I believe it was 320 prisoners who were murdered in
this cave which you just mentioned.

Q. Yes. Were you consulted about that matter?

A. No.

Q. That was an action by German forces, was it not?

A. I believe by the German police and not by the German
Armed Forces.

Q. And you know, witness, that there were many murders
of that kind carried out by the SS during the period of
German activity in Italy, do you not?

A. I do not know about many murders having taken place,
but I know that the German police could do quite a bit
in this connection.

Q. You know that they left a record of terror and
brutality as their mark upon Italy; is that not so?

A. The German police, yes.

MAJOR ELWYN JONES: I have no further questions.

THE PRESIDENT: Do you want to re-examine?

DR. SIEMERS: (Counsel for defendant Raeder) I have no
more questions, your Honour.

THE PRESIDENT: Then the witness can retire.

DR. SIEMERS: Mr. President, may I now call the witness,
Vice-Admiral Schulte-Monting.


                                             [Page 283]

ERICH SCHULTE MONTING (a witness), took the stand and
testified as follows


Will you state your full name?

A. Erich Schulte-Monting.

Q. Will you repeat this oath after me

I swear by God, the Almighty and Omniscient, that I
will speak the pure truth and will withhold and add

(The witness repeated the oath.)

THE PRESIDENT: You may sit down.



Q. Admiral, please tell us briefly what positions you
held from 1925 to 1945 particularly in what positions
you served immediately under Grand Admiral Raeder.

A. From 1925 to 1928, I was naval adjutant to Reich
President Hindenburg, and at the same time second
adjutant to the Chief of the Navy. Consequently, my
first collaboration with Raeder dates back to 1928.

From 1929 to 1933 I had several Commands.

From 1933 to 1937 I was first adjutant to Raeder.

From 1937 to 1939 I had several front Commands.

From 1939 to 1943, I was Grand Admiral Raeder's chief
of staff.

In January 1944, I became Naval C.-in-C. in southern
France, and held that post until the invasion; then I
became Naval C.-in-C. in North Trondhjem. After the
collapse, I was employed for some months by the British
Navy in winding-up activities. Then in the autumn, I
was interned in a camp for generals in England.

Q. Please tell me, if you remember this, the month of
1939 in which you started to work with Raeder.

A. January 1939.

Q. Can you tell us briefly about Raeder's reputation as
a navy expert, especially abroad? I mean only with
regard to naval technical questions.

A. Yes, I believe I can, as a result of the many years
of service I had with Raeder, and the many
conversations I had with foreigners. After all, Raeder
was head of the Navy for fifteen years. He was known,
or rather had a name as a navy officer, and as
Chief-of-Staff of the Chief of the German Imperial
Navy, Admiral Hipper, the opponent of the British
Admiral Beatty in the Skaggerrak Battle. He was known
through his literary activity at the time of the
"Tirpitz era," when he edited the Nauticus, and later,
after the First World War, through his two works about
the cruiser war during 1914-18, for which he received
an Honorary Doctor's Degree, and which, I should say,
gained him a reputation among experts.

Q. The defendant is accused of building up the Navy
with the intention of carrying on an aggressive war,
and this even after the Treaty of Versailles was
already in force.

A. That is not correct. Never in all my conversations
with Raeder was there mentioned even the thought of an
aggressive war. I believe that all his actions and his
directives contradict this.

Q. Were there possibly any ideas of a strategic nature
under consideration while the Versailles Treaty was in
force, with a view to an aggressive war?

A. Never.

Q. What was the basic reason for the manoeuvres held by
the Navy from the years 1932 until 1939?

A. They were exclusively held for the security,
protection and defence of the coastal waters and the
coast itself.

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