The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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DR. KUBUSCHOK: I should like to read now a quotation from
Document 40, on Page 122. After the conclusion of the
Concordat, Hitler published a decree, which is worded as
follows - near the middle of Page 122:

  "I therefore order:
     "1. All Catholic organizations which are recognized by
     the present treaty and which were dissolved without
     directions from the government are to be immediately
     2. All measures of coercion against members of the
     clergy and other leaders of these Catholic
     organizations are to be rescinded. A repetition of such
     measures is prohibited in future, and will be punished
     under prevailing laws."

I read that quotation to prove that only later did Hitler
change his mind, probably under the influence of the circle
nearest to him.

I refer to Document 41, Page 123, a telegram of von Papen.
In the English translation of this telegram there is a
mistake which affects the sense considerably. Paragraph 2 of
the telegram says:

  "Thanks to your generous and wise statesmanlike
  conception - "

The English translation reads "sportsmanlike" instead of

On the same page I draw attention to the telegram addressed
by von Papen to the Bishop of Trier. There are also
affidavits relevant to the questions which have been
discussed. Document 43, Page 127 is the affidavit of
Freiherr von Twickel, and it takes the place of an affidavit
which the late Cardinal von Galen was to have signed. The
statement had already been discussed with Cardinal von
Galen, but he died before being able to put it into writing.
Freiherr von Twickel, who discussed the questions with him,
has now stated the details in his affidavit, Document 43, on
Page 127.

I also draw particular attention to Document 52, on Page
139. This is an affidavit of the Abbot of the Benedictine
Abbey at Gruessau, Schmitt, who for many years has been the
spiritual adviser of the defendant. In the last but one
paragraph on Page 139, he discusses the question of the
Concordat, and says:

  "Herr von Papen was deeply upset by the disloyal attitude
  of the German Government, which became apparent soon
  after the conclusion of the Concordat. He continually and
  fully discussed with me his great anxiety, and he
  pondered ways and means of ending the violations of the
  Concordat. I can also testify, from my own experience,
  that he personally worked actively in the interests of
  the Church to assure a loyal observance of the


Q. Witness, did you, apart from the Concordat, endeavour to
see to it that your views on church policy were adopted?

A. Yes. On the 15th of June, 1933, I created an organization
in Berlin which we called the "Cross and Eagle," and a
little later I founded the Union (Arbeitsgemeinschaft) of
Catholic Germans. Catholic forces were to gather within
these two organizations, which were non-political. The Union
of Catholic Germans had

                                                  [Page 288]

the particular task of collecting complaints and reporting
them to me, so that I could try my best to help.

Q. The prosecution charges that by dissolving the Union of
Catholic Germans you yourself violated the Concordat. What
can you say to that?

A. Yes, and furthermore the prosecution has described the
events which followed the Concordat as "the characteristic
development of the Church policy of conspirators, and
Papen's participation in it."

The accusation raised by the prosecution, with regard to my
own sabotage of the Concordat, is a serious accusation,
which is connected with the dissolution of the Union to
which I have just referred. The documents show that this
Union had already been paralysed during the Roehm Putsch, on
the 30th of June, 1934, and that its later dissolution,
through me, was merely a formal affair. Moreover, this Union
had no connection whatever with the Concordat. It was a
political Union which never enjoyed the protection of the

DR. KUBUSCHOK: I refer to Document 45, on Page 129. It is an
exchange of telegrams between Hitler and Hindenburg on the
question of the appeasement of the Evangelical Church.

For the subject of the Union of Catholic Germans I refer to
Document 74, Pages 130 to 132. This document contains an
affidavit - I beg your pardon; I gave a wrong figure. I
refer to Document 47, on Page 130, which is an affidavit of
an executive member of the Union of Catholic Germans,
Roderich Count Thun. He discusses the dissolution on Page
131, and I quote the second paragraph:

  "On the 30th of June, 1934, the office of the Union of
  Catholic Germans was occupied by officials of the
  Gestapo. The files were confiscated and taken away. I
  myself was arrested."

The fact that, as a result of these measures, the
dissolution became a mere formality is mentioned in the last
paragraph on Page 131:

  "Even after my release, which was effected after a time,
  the confiscated files were not returned. In view of the
  attitude taken up by the Party authorities, a revival or
  any further activity on the part of the organization
  could no longer be considered. Furthermore, in practice
  any further activity of the Union of Catholic Germans was
  no longer possible, as the only person who could have
  undertaken the constantly necessary interventions, Herr
  von Papen, had moved to Vienna. The only question which
  remained for the heads of the Union was that of
  officially declaring the end of the Union's activities,
  which in fact had already occurred. But one had to
  consider that in the event of an official announcement of
  the enforced dissolution, the large number of Catholics
  who had distinguished themselves through their work for
  the organization would be persecuted. In order to prevent
  this, the dissolution was pronounced by the Union's own

Then I quote the last sentence:

  "In order to do everything still possible to safeguard
  Catholic interests, this pronouncement did not omit to
  point out again that official authorities, above all,
  Hitler himself, had solemnly vowed to protect Christian
  and ecclesiastical interests."

THE PRESIDENT: Will you remind me of the date when the
defendant von Papen moved to Vienna?

DR. KUBUSCHOK: On the 15th of August, 1934, he went to
Vienna; he was appointed at the end of July, 1934.


Q. In the summer of 1934 it became obvious that the Party
was sabotaging the Concordat, and that Hitler's assurances
were not being kept. How do you explain Hitler's behaviour
in this respect?

A. I believe that in those days Hitler himself had been
entirely willing to keep peace with the Church, but that the
radical elements in his Party did not wish it,

                                                  [Page 289]

that most of all Goebbels and Bormann continually instigated
Hitler to violate assurances in the Church question. Often
and repeatedly I protested to Hitler and in my speech at
Marburg I branded these violations publicly. I stated at

  "How can we fulfil our historic mission in Europe if we
  ourselves strike our name from the list of Christian

DR. KUBUSCHOK: I draw attention to Document 85 on Page 186
and ask that judicial notice be taken of it -

THE PRESIDENT: The translation did not get through.


I call attention to Document 85, Page 186, and ask that
judicial notice be taken of it. It is an affidavit of Dr.
Glasebock, former leader of the "Front of German
Conservative Catholics."

Q. Witness, on the 14th of March, 1937, Pope Pius XI
expressed his burning anxiety in an encyclical and solemnly
protested against the interpretation and the violations of
the Concordat. The prosecution said that if you had been
serious in giving the assurances contained in the Concordat,
you would, at that point, have had to resign from your
official post. What do you say to that?

A. What could I have improved by resigning? Apart from the
Austrian affair, I no longer had any political influence at
all on Hitler; and my own conviction that, in the critical
time of 1937, there was an urgent necessity for me to remain
in Austria, prevented me from leaving my post there. We
shall later see that from the developments.

Besides, if the prosecution assumes that on account of the,
certainly quite justified, encyclical of the Pope, I should
have left my post, then I must ask, what did the Church do?
The Church did not recall the Papal Nuncio from Berlin, and
Bishop Berning did not leave the State Council in which he
represented Catholic interests. No doubt, all this was quite
justified, because all of us at that time still hoped for
inner changes.

Q. I draw attention to Document 48, Page 133. The document
has already been submitted as Exhibit USA 356, it is on Page
133 in my Document Book. It is the speech of Pope Pius XII
on 2nd of June, 1945. I quote:

  " ... It must, nevertheless, be recognized that the
  Concordat, in the years that followed, brought some
  advantages, or at least prevented worse evils. In fact,
  despite all the violations to which it was subjected, it
  gave Catholics a juridical basis for their defence, a
  stronghold behind which they could shield themselves in
  their opposition - as long as this was possible - to the
  ever growing campaign of religious persecution".

A practical effect of the Concordat is shown in Document 49,
on Page 134 of my Document Book. It has already been
presented as Exhibit USA 685. It is a letter from the Deputy
of the Fuehrer to the Reich Minister of Education, and deals
with the dissolution of the theological faculties of the
universities. I quote the last paragraph of that letter:

  "In this case, as you have likewise pointed out in your
  letter, the directives of the Concordat and the Church
  Treaties are to be taken into consideration. In the case
  of those faculties which are not mentioned by a specific
  directive in the Concordat and the Church Treaties, as,
  for example, Munich and a few others, the dissolution may
  begin at once. This is equally true of the theological
  faculties in Austria, Vienna and Graz."

During the following years public discussion of questions
regarding Church policy was almost entirely suppressed,
since the Catholic Press, and in violation of the Concordat
even Catholic Church papers, were to a large extent banned.
What did you do against this?

A. It appeared to me necessary, since the Catholic Press had
been completely muzzled, to endeavour to continue public
discussion of the struggle against tendencies inimical to
the Church. I very often talked about this question with
Bishop Dr. Hudal, a prominent churchman in Rome, whose book
written in 1936 will be

                                                  [Page 290]

submitted to the Tribunal by my counsel. This book contains
my severe criticism of the anti-religious tendencies, and
contains also an objective appreciation of the positive
social ideas of National Socialism; it is all the more
notable because a high authority of the Church was then, in
1936, making yet another attempt to create a synthesis of
Christian ideas and the healthy doctrines of National

Q. In what way do you consider the book of importance with
regard to the charge brought by the prosecution?

A. I consider it to be relevant for the following reason: In
view of the criminal end of National Socialism, the
prosecution is making its task very easy by placing all
blame for it to the initial years of development, and brands
as criminals all those who, from pure motives, attempted to
give the movement a constructive and creative character.
Here in this book of 1936 a churchman of high rank raises
his voice in an attempt, made on his own initiative, to
bring about an improvement of conditions. Today we know that
all such attempts failed, and that a world crumbled in
ruins. But is it right, on that account, to accuse millions
of people of crimes because they tried to achieve something
good in those days?

DR. KUBUSCHOK: I refer to extracts from Bishop Hudal's book,
contained in Document 36, Page 116, and ask that judicial
notice be taken of that document. With reference to the
subject which the witness has just mentioned, the attitude
of high ranking churchmen to the question of a possible
synthesis of ideas, I refer to Document 50, Page 135, which
is an appeal made by Cardinal Innitzer at the request of the
Austrian bishops on their behalf.

Q. Witness, as you have said, Bishop Hudal's objective was
to bring about a change in Hitler's policy and attitude on
the lines proposed in his book. What was Hitler's reaction
to the book?

A. At first Hitler was, I thought, very impressed by this
book, but then the anti-Christian forces among his advisers
gained the upper hand once more and convinced him that it
would be extremely dangerous to allow such a book to appear
in Germany. The book had been printed in Austria and
therefore a permit for its publication in Germany had to be
issued. All I could obtain was permission to print two
thousand copies, which Hitler wanted to distribute among
leading Party members for a study of the problem.

Q. Did you consider that the foreign policy of the Reich was
being pursued according to the principles laid down when the
government was formed?

A. Yes. While I was a member of the cabinet it was certainly
conducted on the agreed principles. As illustration, I might
mention the pact of friendship with Poland, which was
concluded at that time and which was an important step
toward peace. Hitler concluded this treaty, although on
account of the problem of the Corridor, it was most
unpopular. I might also mention the Four-Power Pact
concluded in the summer of 1933, which affirmed the Locarno
Treaty and the Kellogg Pact. I mention also the visit of Mr.
Eden in January, 1934, to whom we submitted proposals for
the demilitarisation of the SA and the SS. Thus we tried to
remove the discriminations against Germany by peaceful
means. In my opinion, the Great Powers made a catastrophic
mistake by not showing sympathetic understanding and
assisting Germany during that phase, and thus checking
radical tendencies.

Q. On the 14th of October, 1933, Germany left the
Disarmament Conference. Was this a departure from the
previous policy which you have just discussed?

A. The withdrawal from the Disarmament Conference was not in
any way intended to be a departure from our political
principles, but it took place because the equality of which
we had been definitely assured on 11th December was then

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Kubuschok, would you tell me, is the
defendant saying that the principles adopted in 1933 were
contained in any document or not?

DR. KUBUSCHOK: The proclamation of the Reich Government of
1st February, 1933, contains the principles of the policy of
the new cabinet. These principles

                                                  [Page 291]

are supplemented in the statement of the Reich Government
dated 23rd March, 1933, a statement which deals with the
Enabling Act.

THE PRESIDENT: Could you give me the reference to the first
document that you mentioned?

DR. KUBUSCHOK: I shall give it to you after the recess, Mr.

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